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Who's Afraid Of Judicial Activism? Reconceptualizing A Traditional Paradigm In The Context Of Specialized Domestic Violence Court Programs, Jennifer L. Thompson 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Who's Afraid Of Judicial Activism? Reconceptualizing A Traditional Paradigm In The Context Of Specialized Domestic Violence Court Programs, Jennifer L. Thompson

Maine Law Review

The Specialized Domestic Violence Pilot Project (Pilot Project), implemented in York and Portland in July and August 2002, is the result of the collaborative efforts of the District Court system, law enforcement, prosecutors, members of the defense bar, and various community agencies offering services to victims and perpetrators. District court judges are largely responsible for overseeing the changes in court procedures and implementing the new protocols in domestic violence cases. The Pilot Project, and the changes it is making to the role that courts play in domestic violence cases, represents a significant departure from the procedures followed by traditional court ...


The False Idolarty Of Rules-Based Law, John C. Sheldon 2017 University of Maine School of Law

The False Idolarty Of Rules-Based Law, John C. Sheldon

Maine Law Review

When the Supreme Court outlawed segregation in public schools in 1954, it acknowledged this social truth: assigning separate public facilities to separate classes of people fosters inequality among those classes. Although Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka addressed only educational facilities, the Court quickly broadened the scope of its decision, applying it to racial discrimination in or at public beaches, buses, golf courses, parks, municipal airport restaurants and state courtrooms. And although Brown addressed only racial discrimination, it quickly became the basis for condemning many forms of discrimination, including race, religion, wealth, gender, age, and disability. What gave Brown ...


Reflections On The Challenging Proliferation Of Mental Health Issues In The District Court And The Need For Judicial Education, Jessie B. Gunther 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Reflections On The Challenging Proliferation Of Mental Health Issues In The District Court And The Need For Judicial Education, Jessie B. Gunther

Maine Law Review

Maine's courts constantly deal with litigants with mental health issues. Historically, our decisions have relied on expert testimony addressing specific issues of responsibility, risk, and treatment. In recent years, by my observation, court involvement in the treatment process has increased, but the availability of expert evidence has decreased. Thus, we as judges have become the ultimate decision-makers regarding litigants' mental health treatment in both criminal and civil contexts, without supporting expert testimony. In the face of this development, three interconnected issues arise. The first issue is whether judges should even attempt to fill the void caused by lack of ...


Abuse Of Discretion: Maine's Application Of A Malleable Appellate Standard, Andrew M. Mead 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Abuse Of Discretion: Maine's Application Of A Malleable Appellate Standard, Andrew M. Mead

Maine Law Review

It is not unusual for an appellate court to simply announce: “In the circumstances of this case, the trial justice did not abuse his discretion ....” No further clarification or elaboration is offered by the learned justices of the court. The parties are left with a final judgment, but little understanding of the appellate court's review process. Although the objective of finality is satisfied, the objective of clarity is ignored. When litigants and counsel are faced with similar factual or legal circumstances in the future, they remain without guidance or insight into the factors that the appellate court deemed to ...


Judges, Racism, And The Problem Of Actual Innocence, Stephen J. Fortunato Jr. 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Judges, Racism, And The Problem Of Actual Innocence, Stephen J. Fortunato Jr.

Maine Law Review

The facts and data are in and the conclusion they compel is bleak: the American criminal justice system and its showpiece, the criminal trial, harbor at their core a systemic racism. For decades, criminologists, law professors, sociologists, government statisticians, and others have been collecting and collating data on crime, punishment, and incarceration in the United States. These intrepid scholars have looked at crime, criminals, and the justice system from all angles—the race of defendants and victims; the relationship of poverty to criminality; severity of crime; severity of punishment; incarceration rates for different racial groups; sentencing and sentence disparities; and ...


Witness For The Client: A Judge's Role In Increasing Awareness In The Defendant, Joyce Wheeler 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Witness For The Client: A Judge's Role In Increasing Awareness In The Defendant, Joyce Wheeler

Maine Law Review

My participation in a new drug treatment court over the last few years signifies a transformation of this judge's application of herself in the courtroom. I have moved from the traditional role of judge to a more fluid role in which I begin from the stance as witness for the client and, when necessary, move to the more traditional decision-making responsibility of a judge. Awareness of the change occurred over time, but became most apparent in the context of an adult drug treatment court that integrates drug and alcohol treatment into the criminal justice system. A number of factors ...


When The Court Speaks: Effective Communication As A Part Of Judging, Daniel E. Wathen 2017 University of Maine School of Law

When The Court Speaks: Effective Communication As A Part Of Judging, Daniel E. Wathen

Maine Law Review

One of my early judicial role models, Justice James L. Reid of the Maine Superior Court, was sentencing a defendant for a murder committed within the confines of the Maine State Prison. The defendant was already serving a life sentence for another murder at the time the offense was committed. Because Maine has no parole or capital punishment, the sentencing options were limited and ultimately meaningless. As Jim imposed a life sentence consecutive to the existing life sentence, the defendant rose in his manacles and uttered an early Anglo-Saxon version of “screw you.” Jim, rising from the bench and moving ...


Some Reflections On Dissenting, Kermit V. Lipez 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Some Reflections On Dissenting, Kermit V. Lipez

Maine Law Review

In the collegial world of appellate judging, where the dominant impulse is consensus, dissents depart from the norm. If their language is sharp, the dissents may offend colleagues and worry court watchers who expect consensus. These self-assigned opinions also add to the pressures of the work. Given these implications, the choice to dissent should never be a casual one. You must weigh the institutional and personal costs and benefits, understand the purpose of the dissent and the audiences for it, and always be attentive to style and tone. In a haphazard sort of way, I consider these issues when I ...


Dedication To Dean Edward Settle Godfrey, Iii, Christine I. Hepler 2017 University of Maine School of Law

Dedication To Dean Edward Settle Godfrey, Iii, Christine I. Hepler

Maine Law Review

It is impossible to fully describe the impact that Dean Godfrey had (and continues to have) on the legal community in Maine, on the University of Maine School of Law, and on the Maine Law Review. This Article provides a sampling of the lives he touched and the contributions he made to the law through his writings. On February 5, 2005, the Maine legal community celebrated the life and work of the Honorable Edward S. Godfrey, III. In attendance were his family members; past and present faculty, staff, and students of the University of Maine School of Law, the law ...


Judging The Judiciary By The Numbers: Empirical Research On Judges, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Andrew J. Wistrich 2017 Cornell Law School

Judging The Judiciary By The Numbers: Empirical Research On Judges, Jeffrey J. Rachlinski, Andrew J. Wistrich

Jeffrey J. Rachlinski

Do judges make decisions that are truly impartial? A wide range of experimental and field studies reveal that several extra-legal factors influence judicial decision making. Demographic characteristics of judges and litigants affect judges’ decisions. Judges also rely heavily on intuitive reasoning in deciding cases, making them vulnerable to the use of mental shortcuts that can lead to mistakes. Furthermore, judges sometimes rely on facts outside the record and rule more favorably towards litigants who are more sympathetic or with whom they share demographic characteristics. On the whole, judges are excellent decision makers, and sometimes resist common errors of judgment that ...


President Nixon's Prescience: The Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, Timothy John Casey 2017 St. John's University School of Law

President Nixon's Prescience: The Honorable Kevin Thomas Duffy, Timothy John Casey

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


Judges And Judicial Process In The Jurisprudence Of St. Thomas Aquinas, Charles P. Nemeth, J.D., Ph.D., LL.M. 2017 St. John's University School of Law

Judges And Judicial Process In The Jurisprudence Of St. Thomas Aquinas, Charles P. Nemeth, J.D., Ph.D., Ll.M.

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


Objective And Subjective Tests In The Law, R. George Wright 2017 Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Objective And Subjective Tests In The Law, R. George Wright

University of New Hampshire Law Review

Across many subject areas, the law commonly attempts to distinguish between objective and subjective tests, and to assess the merits of objective as opposed to subjective legal tests. This Article argues that all such efforts are fundamentally incoherent and ultimately futile in practice. As demonstrated below, what the law takes to be objective in the relevant sense is essentially constituted by what the law takes to be subjective, and vice versa. Judicial preoccupation with objective and subjective tests thus does no more than distract from more meaningful concerns. Judicial attention should be directed away from this hopeless distinction, and instead ...


United States V. Pho: Defining The Limits Of Discretionary Sentencing, John G. Wheatley 2017 University of Maine School of Law

United States V. Pho: Defining The Limits Of Discretionary Sentencing, John G. Wheatley

Maine Law Review

In the consolidated case of United States v. Pho, the government appealed two district court rulings that imposed criminal sentences outside of the range provided in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual (Guidelines). At separate trials, both defendants pied guilty to the crime of possession with intent to distribute five grams or more of cocaine base (commonly known as crack). Rejecting the Guidelines' disparate treatment of crack and powder cocaine, the district court imposed sentences that were below the Guidelines' range, but above the statutory mandatory minimum. The Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated both sentences and remanded the ...


Criminal Certification: Restoring Comity In The Categorical Approach, Joshua Rothenberg 2017 University of Michigan Law School

Criminal Certification: Restoring Comity In The Categorical Approach, Joshua Rothenberg

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Federal sentencing enhancements force federal courts to delve into the world of substantive state criminal law. Does a state assault statute require violent force or just offensive touching? Does a state burglary statute that criminalizes breaking into a car or a house require prosecutors to charge the location entered as an element? Whether a person with prior convictions convicted of violating 18 U.S.C. § 922(g) faces a minimum sentence of fifteen years and a maximum of life imprisonment rather than a maximum sentence of ten years turns upon the answers to these questions. Yet, state law often does ...


Corpus Linguistics: Misfire Or More Ammo For The Ordinary - Meaning Canon?, John D. Ramer 2017 University of Michigan Law School

Corpus Linguistics: Misfire Or More Ammo For The Ordinary - Meaning Canon?, John D. Ramer

Michigan Law Review

Scholars and judges have heralded corpus linguistics—the study of language through collections of spoken or written texts—as a novel tool for statutory interpretation that will help provide an answer in the occasionally ambiguous search for “ordinary meaning” using dictionaries. In the spring of 2016, the Michigan Supreme Court became the first to use corpus linguistics in a majority opinion. The dissent also used it, however, and the two opinions reached different conclusions. In the first true test for corpus linguistics, the answer seemed to be just as ambiguous as before.

This result calls into question the utility of ...


Unprecedented? Judicial Confirmation Battles And The Search For A Usable Past, Josh Chafetz 2017 Cornell Law School

Unprecedented? Judicial Confirmation Battles And The Search For A Usable Past, Josh Chafetz

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Recent years have seen intense conflicts over federal judicial appointments, culminating in Senate Republicans' 2016 refusal to consider the nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats' 2017 filibuster of Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the same seat, and Republicans' triggering of the "nuclear option" to confirm Gorsuch. At every stage in this process, political actors on both sides have accused one another of "unprecedented" behavior.

This Essay, written for the 2017 Supreme Court issue of the Harvard Law Review, examines these disputes and their histories, with an eye toward understanding the ways in which discussions of (un ...


A Kantian System Of Constitutional Justice: Rights, Trusteeship, Balancing, Alec Stone Sweet 2017 Yale Law School

A Kantian System Of Constitutional Justice: Rights, Trusteeship, Balancing, Alec Stone Sweet

Alec Stone Sweet

No abstract provided.


Newsroom: Courtroom Dedicated To Judge Selya 10-30-2017, Roger Williams University School of Law 2017 Roger Williams University

Newsroom: Courtroom Dedicated To Judge Selya 10-30-2017, Roger Williams University School Of Law

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Moral Issues And The Virtuous Judge: Reflections On The Nomination And Confirmation Of Supreme Court Justices, Robert J. Araujo, S.J. 2017 St. John's University School of Law

Moral Issues And The Virtuous Judge: Reflections On The Nomination And Confirmation Of Supreme Court Justices, Robert J. Araujo, S.J.

The Catholic Lawyer

No abstract provided.


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