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University of Michigan Law School

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Controlling The Jury-Teaching Function, Richard D. Friedman Apr 2018

Controlling The Jury-Teaching Function, Richard D. Friedman

Articles

When evidence with a scientific basis is offered, two fundamental questions arise. First, should it be admitted? Second, if so, how should it be assessed? There are numerous participants who might play a role in deciding these questions—the jury (on the second question only), the parties (through counsel), expert witnesses on each side, the trial court, the forces controlling the judicial system (which include, but are not limited to, the appellate courts), and the scientific establishment. In this Article, I will suggest that together, the last two—the forces controlling the judicial system and the scientific establishment—have a large role to …


Trends In Prisoner Litigation, As The Plra Enters Adulthood, Margo Schlanger Apr 2015

Trends In Prisoner Litigation, As The Plra Enters Adulthood, Margo Schlanger

Articles

The Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), enacted in 1996 as part of the Newt Gingrich "Contract with America," is now as old as some prisoners. In the year after the statute's passage, some commenters labeled it merely "symbolic." In fact, as was evident nearly immediately, the PLRA undermined prisoners' ability to bring, settle, and win lawsuits. The PLRA conditioned court access on prisoners' meticulously correct prior use of onerous and error-inviting prison grievance procedures. It increased filing fees, decreased attorneys' fees, and limited damages. It subjected injunctive settlements to the scope limitations usually applicable only to litigated injunctions. It made …


Prisoners' Rights Lawyers' Strategies For Preserving The Role Of The Courts, Margo Schlanger Apr 2015

Prisoners' Rights Lawyers' Strategies For Preserving The Role Of The Courts, Margo Schlanger

Articles

This Article is part of the University of Miami Law Review’s Leading from Below Symposium. It canvasses prisoners’ lawyers’ strategies prompted by the 1996 Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”). The strategies comply with the statute’s limits yet also allow U.S. district courts to remain a forum for the vindication of the constitutional rights of at least some of the nation’s millions of prisoners. After Part I’s introduction, Part II summarizes in several charts the PLRA’s sharp impact on the prevalence and outcomes of prison litigation, but demonstrates that there are still many cases and situations in which courts continue to …


What We Know, And What We Should Know About American Trial Trends, Margo Schlanger Jan 2006

What We Know, And What We Should Know About American Trial Trends, Margo Schlanger

Articles

More than a few people noticed that the American court system was seeing ever fewer trials before Marc Galanter named the phenomenon.' But until Galanter mobilized lawyers2 and scholars to look systematically at the issue, inquiry was both piecemeal and sparse. Over the past three years, in contrast, Galanter's research 3 and his idea entrepreneurship, crystallized in the "Vanishing Trial" label, has spawned if not a huge literature at least a substantial one. We have now gotten the benefit of sustained scholarly inquiry by researchers of many stripes. Their work has been largely, though not entirely, empirical, and so we …