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Full-Text Articles in Law

From Scanner To Court: A Neuroscientifically Informed “Reasonable Person” Test Of Trademark Infringement, Zhihao Zhang, Maxwell Good, Vera Kulikov, Femke Van Horen, Mark Bartholomew, Andrew S. Kayser, Ming Hsu Feb 2023

From Scanner To Court: A Neuroscientifically Informed “Reasonable Person” Test Of Trademark Infringement, Zhihao Zhang, Maxwell Good, Vera Kulikov, Femke Van Horen, Mark Bartholomew, Andrew S. Kayser, Ming Hsu

Journal Articles

Many legal decisions center on the thoughts or perceptions of some idealized group of individuals, referred to variously as the “average person,” “the typical consumer,” or the “reasonable person.” Substantial concerns exist, however, regarding the subjectivity and vulnerability to biases inherent in conventional means of assessing such responses, particularly the use of self-report evidence. Here, we addressed these concerns by complementing self-report evidence with neural data to inform the mental representations in question. Using an example from intellectual property law, we demonstrate that it is possible to construct a parsimonious neural index of visual similarity that can inform the reasonable …


Statutory Interpretation And Chevron Deference In The Appellate Courts: An Empirical Analysis, Amy Semet Feb 2022

Statutory Interpretation And Chevron Deference In The Appellate Courts: An Empirical Analysis, Amy Semet

Journal Articles

What statutory methods does an appellate court use in reviewing decisions of an administrative agency? Further, in doing this review, are appellate judges more likely to use certain statutory methods when they expressly cite the Chevron two-step framework than if they do not? This Article explores the answers to these questions using an original database of over 200 statutory interpretation cases culled from more than 2,500 cases decided in appellate courts reviewing National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or the Board) adjudications from 1994 through 2020. In particular, the study examined the use of text, language canons, substantive canons, legislative history, …


The Conceptual Problems Arising From Legal Pluralism, Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora Jan 2022

The Conceptual Problems Arising From Legal Pluralism, Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora

Journal Articles

This paper argues that analytical jurisprudence has been insufficiently attentive to three significant puzzles highlighted by the legal pluralist tradition: the existence of commonalities between different types of law, the possibility of a distinction between law and non-law, and the explanatory centrality of the state. I further argue that the resolution of these questions sets the stage for a renewed agenda of analytical jurisprudence and has to be considered in attempts for reconciliation between the academic traditions of analytical jurisprudence and legal pluralism, often called “pluralist jurisprudence.” I also argue that the resolution of these problems affects the empirical, doctrinal, …


Judicial Populism, Anya Bernstein, Glen Staszewski Nov 2021

Judicial Populism, Anya Bernstein, Glen Staszewski

Journal Articles

Populism has taken center stage in discussions of contemporary politics. This Article details a judicial populism that resonates with political populism’s tropes, mirrors its traits, and enables its practices. Like political populism, judicial populism insists there are clear, correct answers to complex, debatable problems, treating reasonable disagreement as illegitimate. It disparages the institutions that mediate divergent interests in a republican democracy, claiming special access to the law’s clear objective meaning. And it imagines a pure, unified people locked in battle with a subversive elite.

While commentators have recognized political populism as fundamentally undemocratic, judicial populism has largely escaped recognition and …


The Ostensible (And, At Times, Actual) Virtue Of Deference, Anthony O'Rourke Nov 2021

The Ostensible (And, At Times, Actual) Virtue Of Deference, Anthony O'Rourke

Journal Articles

In Rethinking Police Expertise, Anna Lvovsky exposes how litigators leverage judicial understandings of police expertise against the government. The article is rich not only with descriptive insights, but also with normative potential. By rigorously analyzing the relationship between expertise and authority in specific cases, Professor Lvovsky offers guidance as to how judges and lawyers should factor a police officer’s expertise into an assessment of whether the officer’s conduct is lawful. This Response argues, however, that Rethinking Police Expertise’s normative potential is weakened by the sharp conceptual distinction it draws between judicial understandings of expertise as a “professional virtue” (which it …


Legal Corpus Linguistics And The Half-Empirical Attitude, Anya Bernstein Nov 2021

Legal Corpus Linguistics And The Half-Empirical Attitude, Anya Bernstein

Journal Articles

Legal writers have recently turned to corpus linguistics to interpret legal texts. Corpus linguistics, a social-science methodology, provides a sophisticated way to analyze large data sets of language use. Legal proponents have touted it as giving empirical grounding to claims about ordinary language, which pervade legal interpretation. But legal corpus linguistics cannot deliver on that promise because it ignores the crucial contexts in which legal language is produced, interpreted, and deployed.

First, legal corpus linguistics neglects the relevant legal context—the conditions that give legal language authority. Because of this, legal corpus studies’ evidence about language use perversely obscures and misstates …


Legal Positivism As A Theory Of Law’S Existence: A Comment On Margaret Martin’S "Judging Positivism", Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora Sep 2021

Legal Positivism As A Theory Of Law’S Existence: A Comment On Margaret Martin’S "Judging Positivism", Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora

Journal Articles

This comment critically examines the conception of legal positivism that informs Margaret Martin’s interesting and multilayered challenge against the substance and method of this intellectual tradition. My central claim is that her characterization of the substantive theory of legal positivism sets aside a more fundamental and explanatory prior dimension concerning the positivist’s theory of the existence of legal systems and legal norms. I also argue that her understanding of the positivist’s descriptive methodology as a nonnormative project is too demanding and overlooks both the relationships between law and morality recognized by contemporary legal positivists and the pivotal distinction between internal …


Reframing Law's Domain: Narrative, Rhetoric, And The Forms Of Legal Rules, Stephen Paskey May 2021

Reframing Law's Domain: Narrative, Rhetoric, And The Forms Of Legal Rules, Stephen Paskey

Journal Articles

Legal scholars typically understand law as a system of determinate rules grounded in logic. And in the public sphere, textualist judges and others often claim that judges should not "make" law, arguing instead that a judge's role is simply to find the meaning inherent in law's language. This essay offers a different understanding of both the structure of legal rules and the role of judges. Building on Caroline Levine's claim that texts have multiple ordering principles, the essay argues that legal rules simultaneously have three overlapping forms, none of which is dominant: not only the form of conditional, "if-then" logic, …


Legal Pluralism And Analytical Jurisprudence: An Inapposite Contrast, Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora Jan 2021

Legal Pluralism And Analytical Jurisprudence: An Inapposite Contrast, Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora

Journal Articles

The intellectual tradition of legal pluralism characterizes itself by way of a contrast to legal centralism or monism. Self-styled pluralists typically attribute centralist and monist views to mainstream theories of law, which I call here analytical jurisprudence. This article argues that the pluralist foundational contrast with analytical jurisprudence suffers from three recurrent defects. First, the pluralist opposition to analytical jurisprudence conflates conceptual questions with empirical, doctrinal, and politico-moral inquiries. Second, pluralists misattribute to analytical jurisprudents an equation between law and state that they do not hold and have the resources to reject. Third, pluralists address the conceptual problems of legal …


Derecho Penal Sustantivo, Luis E. Chiesa Jul 2019

Derecho Penal Sustantivo, Luis E. Chiesa

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Democratizing Interpretation, Anya Bernstein Nov 2018

Democratizing Interpretation, Anya Bernstein

Journal Articles

Judges interpreting statutes sometimes seem eager to outsource the work. They quote ordinary speakers to define a statutory term, point to how an audience understands it, or pin it down with interpretive canons. But sometimes conduct that appears to diminish someone’s power instead sneakily enhances it. So it is, I argue, with these forms of interpretive outsourcing. Each seems to constrain judges’ authority by handing the reins to someone else, giving interpretation a democratized veneer. But in fact each funnels power right back to the judge.

The outsourcing approaches I describe show a disconnect between the questions judges pose and …


Semantic Vagueness And Extrajudicial Constitutional Decisionmaking, Anthony O'Rourke May 2017

Semantic Vagueness And Extrajudicial Constitutional Decisionmaking, Anthony O'Rourke

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


The Rejection Of Horizontal Judicial Review During America's Colonial Period, Robert J. Steinfeld Mar 2015

The Rejection Of Horizontal Judicial Review During America's Colonial Period, Robert J. Steinfeld

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Latcrit Praxis @ Xx: Toward Equal Justice In Law, Education And Society, Tayyab Mahmud, Athena D. Mutua, Francisco Valdes Jan 2015

Latcrit Praxis @ Xx: Toward Equal Justice In Law, Education And Society, Tayyab Mahmud, Athena D. Mutua, Francisco Valdes

Journal Articles

This article marks the twentieth anniversary of Latina and Latino Critical Legal Theory or the LatCrit organization, an association of diverse scholars committed to the production of knowledge from the perspective of Outsider or OutCrit jurisprudence. The article first reflects on the historical development of LatCrit’s substantive, methodological, and institutional commitments and practices. It argues that these traditions were shaped not only by its members’ goals and commitments but also by the politics of backlash present at its birth in the form of the “cultural wars,” and which have since morphed into perpetual “crises” grounded in neoliberal policies. With this …


Why Law Matters For Our Obligations, Guyora Binder Jan 2015

Why Law Matters For Our Obligations, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Political philosophers have long debated the problem of political and legal obligation: how the existence of a political community and its laws can affect our obligations. This paper applies Alon Harel’s argument that law has intrinsic value to this venerable problem. It interprets Harel’s argument as a Kantian claim that law enables us to treat our fellows with the respect they deserve, by requiring us not only to treat them decently, but to recognize decent treatment as their right.


Piety And Profession: Simon Greenleaf And The Case Of The Stillborn Bowdoin Law School, 1850–1861, Alfred S. Konefsky Dec 2012

Piety And Profession: Simon Greenleaf And The Case Of The Stillborn Bowdoin Law School, 1850–1861, Alfred S. Konefsky

Journal Articles

In 1850, Bowdoin College turned to former Harvard professor Simon Greenleaf when it sought to establish a law school. Although the school did not materialize, Greenleaf wrote a remarkable report that reveals anxieties about the profession, competing visions of legal education, and controversies over the meaning of the science of law in antebellum New England.


How Money For Legal Scholarship Disadvantages Feminism, Martha T. Mccluskey Dec 2011

How Money For Legal Scholarship Disadvantages Feminism, Martha T. Mccluskey

Journal Articles

A dramatic infusion of outside money has shaped legal theory over the last several decades, largely to the detriment of feminist theory. Nonetheless, the pervasive influence of this funding is largely ignored in scholarly discussions of legal theory. This denial helps reinforce the marginal position of feminist scholarship and of women in legal theory. Conservative activists and funders have understood the central role of developing community culture and institutions, and have helped shift the prevailing framework for discussion of many questions of theory and policy through substantial investments in law-and-economics centers and in the Federalist Society. Comparing the institutional resources …


Philip Hamburger's Law And Judicial Duty: The Origins Of Judicial Review, Robert J. Steinfeld Aug 2010

Philip Hamburger's Law And Judicial Duty: The Origins Of Judicial Review, Robert J. Steinfeld

Book Reviews

No abstract provided.


Thinking With Wolves: Left Legal Theory After The Right's Rise (Review Essay), Martha T. Mccluskey Jan 2007

Thinking With Wolves: Left Legal Theory After The Right's Rise (Review Essay), Martha T. Mccluskey

Book Reviews

Reviewing Wendy Brown & Janet Halley, Left Legalism/Left Critique (2001).

Left legal theory is in crisis. This crisis reflects a broader problem of contemporary U.S. politics: the lack of grand ideas capable of mobilizing meaningful opposition to the triumph of the political right. Right-wing legal theory has contributed to that dramatic political change by promoting ideas questioning the foundations of the twentieth century liberal welfare and regulatory state.

This review essay analyzes a rare recent attempt to revive left legal theory in the face of the right's triumph: the anthology Left Legalism/Left Critique edited by Wendy Brown and Janet Halley …


Aesthetic Judgment And Legal Justification, Guyora Binder Jan 2007

Aesthetic Judgment And Legal Justification, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Although criticized as illegitimate, literary elements are necessary features of legal argument. In a modern liberal state, law motivates compliance by justifying controversial prescriptions as products of an appropriate process for representing the will of society. Yet because law constructs the will of individual and collective actors in representing them, its representations are necessarily figurative rather than mimetic. In evaluating law's representation of society, citizens of the liberal state are also shaping their own ends. Such self-expressive choices, subjective but non-instrumental, entail aesthetic judgment. Thus the literary elements of rhetorical figuration and aesthetic appeal are fundamental, rather than merely ornamental, …


The Poetics Of The Pragmatic: What Literary Criticisms Of Law Offers Posner, Guyora Binder Jul 2001

The Poetics Of The Pragmatic: What Literary Criticisms Of Law Offers Posner, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

The process by which we represent our society's will and welfare in the medium of law is an imaginative and expressive one, narrating the path from a virtuous past to a decent future, informed by aesthetic judgment. In Literary Criticisms of Law, Guyora Binder and Robert Weisberg argued that, because law is literary in this sense, scholars can use the methods of literary criticism to "read" the law and to subject it to critical evaluation and reflective aesthetic judgment. In reviewing that book, Judge Richard Posner reasserted his long-held position that it is most useful to evaluate law economically rather …


Does Duncan Kennedy Wear Boxers Or Briefs? Does Richard Posner Ever Sleep? Writing About Jurisprudence, High Culture And The History Of Intellectuals (Review Essay), John Henry Schlegel Jan 1997

Does Duncan Kennedy Wear Boxers Or Briefs? Does Richard Posner Ever Sleep? Writing About Jurisprudence, High Culture And The History Of Intellectuals (Review Essay), John Henry Schlegel

Book Reviews

Reviewing Neil Duxbury, Patterns of American Jurisprudence(1995).


Institutions And Linguistic Conventions: The Pragmatism Of Lieber's Legal Hermeneutics, Guyora Binder Apr 1995

Institutions And Linguistic Conventions: The Pragmatism Of Lieber's Legal Hermeneutics, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

This article presents Francis Lieber’s 1839 treatise “Legal and Political Hermeneutics” as a surprisingly modern and pragmatic account of interpretation. It first explicates the two most important influences on Liber’s thought, the romantic philology of Friedrich Schleiermacher, and the institutional positivism of Whig jurists Story and Kent. It shows that both of these sources frankly acknowledged that interpretation is an institutional practice, organized by the evolving aims and customs of the institutions within which it took place. Both tended to view the writing and reading of texts as the deployment of linguistic conventions. Both movements thereby viewed meaning for all …


Liberal Environmental Jurisprudence, David A. Westbrook Jan 1994

Liberal Environmental Jurisprudence, David A. Westbrook

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


What's Left?, Guyora Binder Jul 1991

What's Left?, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Addressing the future of radical politics at the end of the cold war, this article offers a reconstruction of radical theory around the goal of enabling collaborative self-realization through participatory democratic politics. It offers an interpretation of the radical tradition as defined by a view of human nature as a cultural artifact, and a conception of liberation as the self-conscious transformation of human nature. It proceeds to critique radical theory’s traditional focus on revolution as the means of radical transformation. Distinguishing instrumental and self-expressive conceptions of transformation it critiques revolutionary processes as tending to reproduce instrumental culture. It offers democratic …


Feminist Jurisprudence: The 1990 Myra Bradwell Day Panel, Elizabeth M. Schneider, Lucinda M. Finley, Carin Clauss, Joan Bertin Jan 1991

Feminist Jurisprudence: The 1990 Myra Bradwell Day Panel, Elizabeth M. Schneider, Lucinda M. Finley, Carin Clauss, Joan Bertin

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.


Mastery, Slavery, And Emancipation, Guyora Binder Mar 1989

Mastery, Slavery, And Emancipation, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

Hegel's dialectic of master and slave in the Phenomenology of Mind portrays a master unable to win genuine recognition from a slave because unwilling to confer it. The dialectic implies that freedom has to be conceived as association based on mutual respect, rather than independence. This article offers a communitarian interpretation of emancipation inspired by Hegel's dialectic of master and slave. It proceeds from an account of slave society which, like Hegel's dialectic, equates slavery with the denial of social recognition. This account argues that the experience of slave society led both the masters and the slaves to conceive of …


Beyond Criticism, Guyora Binder Jan 1988

Beyond Criticism, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

During the 1980’s, Critical Legal Studies was frequently criticized for offering no policy prescriptions. This essay explained critical scholars’ reluctance to propose policy as a reflection of their epistemological and political critiques of instrumentalist policy analysis. Because critical scholars saw both causal relationships and interests as highly contingent on normative assumptions, they were skeptical of claims that well-intentioned law reforms would benefit the interests of the poor and the powerless. Valuing democratic participation, critical legal scholars were also reluctant to define the interests of the powerless for them. The essay proceeded to argue that critical legal scholars should see instrumentalism …


On Critical Legal Studies As Guerilla Warfare, Guyora Binder Oct 1987

On Critical Legal Studies As Guerilla Warfare, Guyora Binder

Journal Articles

This sardonic 1987 essay defended Critical Legal Studies (CLS) against alarmist attacks from the right, claiming that CLS was dangerously subversive of the rule of law, and seemingly contradictory attacks from the left dismissing CLS as empty theorizing lacking any practical implications for reform. The essay responded that while CLS lacked proposals for legislative reform, it favored a highly participatory process of reform, drawn from experience in the student movements of the 1960’s. It distrusted state power and bureaucracy as engines of change, and favored community organization, civil society, and popular mobilization.


Beyond Cases: Reconsidering Judicial Review, Janet S. Lindgren Jan 1983

Beyond Cases: Reconsidering Judicial Review, Janet S. Lindgren

Journal Articles

No abstract provided.