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Full-Text Articles in Law

Docketology, District Courts And Doctrine, David A. Hoffman, Alan J. Izenman, Jeffrey Lidicker Jan 2007

Docketology, District Courts And Doctrine, David A. Hoffman, Alan J. Izenman, Jeffrey Lidicker

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Empirical legal scholars have traditionally modeled trial court judicial opinion writing by assuming that judges act rationally, seeking to maximize their influence by writing opinions in politically important cases. Support for this hypothesis has reviewed published trial court opinions, finding that civil rights and other "hot" topics are more likely to be explained than purportedly ordinary legal problems involved in resolving social security and commercial law cases. This orthodoxy comforts consumers of legal opinions, because it suggests that they are largely representative of judicial work. To test such views, we collected data from a thousand cases in four different jurisdictions. …


Not So Peaceful Coexistence: Inherent Tensions In Addressing Tort Law Reform, Jeffrey W. Stempel Jan 2004

Not So Peaceful Coexistence: Inherent Tensions In Addressing Tort Law Reform, Jeffrey W. Stempel

Scholarly Works

As Professor Michael Green's comments trenchantly remind us, all of this has a familiar ring: insurers and tort defendants claim unfairly escalating liability, plaintiffs' lawyers and consumer groups counterattack, and (for the most part), insurers and defendants obtain some of the relief they seek. The tort reform victories are not so overwhelming as to completely unravel the historical rights of victims or the power of courts generally, but some constriction of rights inevitably occurs. During periods of quiescence, plaintiffs and consumers take back some lost territory through common law victories expanding claimant rights, or through specific legislation. Statutes that permitted …


Nullificatory Juries, Kaimipono David Wenger, David A. Hoffman Jan 2003

Nullificatory Juries, Kaimipono David Wenger, David A. Hoffman

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In this Article, we argue that current debates on the legitimacy of punitive damages would benefit from a comparison with jury nullification in criminal trials. We discuss critiques of punitive damages and of jury nullification, noting the surprising similarities in the arguments scholars use to attack these (superficially) distinct outcomes of the jury guarantee. Not only are the criticisms alike, the institutions of punitive damages and jury nullification also turn out to have many similarities: both are, we suggest, examples of what we call "nullificatory juries." We discuss the features of such juries, and consider recent behavioral data relating to …