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Series

Litigation

Trials

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Publication Year
File Type

Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Law

Narrative And Drama In The American Trial, Robert P. Burns Jan 2012

Narrative And Drama In The American Trial, Robert P. Burns

Faculty Working Papers

This short essay summarizes an understanding of the trial as a medium in which law is realized or actualized, rather than imposed or enforced. It suggests that we should pay close attention to the actual practices that prevail at trial, its "consciously structured hybrid" of languages and practices, if we want to understand the nature of law.


What Will We Lose If The Trial Vanishes?, Robert P. Burns Jan 2011

What Will We Lose If The Trial Vanishes?, Robert P. Burns

Faculty Working Papers

The number of trials continues to decline andfederal civil trials have almost completely disappeared. This essay attempts to address the significance of this loss, to answer the obvious question, "So what?" It argues against taking a resigned or complacent attitude toward an important problem for our public culture. It presents a short description of the trial's internal structure, recounts different sorts of explanations, and offers an inventory of the kinds of wounds this development would inflict.


The Dignity, Rights, And Responsibilities Of The Jury: On The Structure Of Normative Argument, Robert P. Burns Jan 2011

The Dignity, Rights, And Responsibilities Of The Jury: On The Structure Of Normative Argument, Robert P. Burns

Faculty Working Papers

Many theorists follow an inevitably circular method in evaluating legal institutions and practices. "Considered judgments of justice" embedded in practices and institutions in which we have a high level of confidence can serve as partial evidence for the principles with which they are consistent, principles that can then have broader implications. Conversely, principles that we have good reason to embrace can serve as partial justification for institutions and practices with which they are consistent. This is the heart of Rawls' notion of "reflective equilibrium," where we "work at both ends" to justify institutions, practices, and principles. This method is applicable ...


The Death Of The American Trial, Robert P. Burns Jan 2009

The Death Of The American Trial, Robert P. Burns

Faculty Working Papers

This short essay is a summary of my assessment of the meaning of the "vanishing trial" phenomenon. It addresses the obvious question: "So what?" It first briefly reviews the evidence of the trial's decline. It then sets out the steps necessary to understand the political and social signficance of our vastly reducing the trial's importance among our modes of social ordering. The essay serves as the Introduction to a book, The Death of the American Trial, soon to be published by the University of Chicago Press.