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Full-Text Articles in Law

A Tale Of Election Day 2008: Teaching Storytelling Through Repeated Experiences, Serge A. Martinez, Stefan H. Krieger Sep 2009

A Tale Of Election Day 2008: Teaching Storytelling Through Repeated Experiences, Serge A. Martinez, Stefan H. Krieger

Stefan H Krieger

The article was inspired by a one-day project November 4, 2008, when we supervised a number of clinic students representing voters who had been denied the right to vote. As they represented client after client, we noticed significant improvement in their storytelling skills over a very short period, despite having little training in storytelling theory or techniques. Using our Election Day project as a starting point, the article questions the dominant pedagogical model for teaching storytelling, which focuses primarily on teaching storytelling and narrative theory. We propose a new method, based on cognitive science findings about experiential learning, that emphasizes ...


Once Upon A Time In Law: Myth, Metaphor, And Authority, Linda H. Edwards Aug 2009

Once Upon A Time In Law: Myth, Metaphor, And Authority, Linda H. Edwards

Linda H. Edwards

We have long accepted the role of narrative in fact statements and jury arguments, but in the inner sanctum of analyzing legal authority? Surely not. Yet cases, statutes, rules, and doctrines have stories too. When we talk about legal authority, using all our best formal logic and its bedfellows of analogy and policy, we are actually swimming in a sea of narrative, oblivious to the water around us. As the old Buddhist saying goes, we don’t know who discovered the ocean, but it probably wasn’t a fish.

This article teases out several familiar archetypes hidden in discussions of ...


Of Victims, Villains And Fairy Godmothers: Regnant Tales Of Predatory Lending, Carolyn Grose Aug 2009

Of Victims, Villains And Fairy Godmothers: Regnant Tales Of Predatory Lending, Carolyn Grose

carolyn grose

The subprime mortgage crisis has exposed a system of predatory and irresponsible lending on a scale we are only beginning to comprehend. Those initially harmed in this crisis – the canaries in the coal mine – were largely low-income people of color. As the crisis has unfolded, the potential solutions available to such borrowers seem to privilege one kind of legal story over all others: the story of the poor person as a victim in need of rescuing.

In order to win, therefore, lawyers who represent these clients often fall back on a default narrative about their clients as unwitting or irresponsible ...


How Embedded Knowledge Structures Affect Judicial Decision Making: An Analysis Of Metaphor, Narrative, And Imagination In Child Custody Disputes, Linda L. Berger Jan 2009

How Embedded Knowledge Structures Affect Judicial Decision Making: An Analysis Of Metaphor, Narrative, And Imagination In Child Custody Disputes, Linda L. Berger

Linda L. Berger

We live in a time of radically changing conceptions of family and of the relationships possible between children and parents. Though undergoing “a sea-change,” family law remains tethered to culturally embedded stories and symbols. While so bound, family law will fail to serve individual families and a society whose family structures diverge sharply by education, race, class, and income. This article advances a critical rhetorical analysis of the interaction of metaphor and narrative within the specific context of child custody disputes. Its goal is to begin to examine how these embedded knowledge structures affect judicial decision making generally; more specifically ...


Legal Storytelling: The Theory And The Practice - Reflective Writing Across The Curriculum, Nancy Levit Jan 2009

Legal Storytelling: The Theory And The Practice - Reflective Writing Across The Curriculum, Nancy Levit

Nancy Levit

This article concentrates on the theory of narrative or storytelling and addresses the reasons it is vital to encourage in law schools in non-clinical or primarily doctrinal courses. Section I traces the advent of storytelling in legal theory and practice: while lawyers have long recognized that part of their job is to tell their clients' stories, the legal academy was, for many years, resistant to narrative methodologies. Section II examines the current applications of Writing Across the Curriculum in law schools. Most exploratory writing tasks in law school come in clinical courses, although a few adventurous professors are adding reflective ...


When Reading Between The Lines Is Not Enough: Lessons From Media Coverage Of A Domestic Violence Homicide-Suicide, Elizabeth L. Macdowell Jan 2009

When Reading Between The Lines Is Not Enough: Lessons From Media Coverage Of A Domestic Violence Homicide-Suicide, Elizabeth L. Macdowell

Scholarly Works

In October 2008, Karthik Rajaram murdered his wife, mother-in-law, sons and, ultimately, himself, in a wealthy Los Angeles suburb. This Article analyzes media reports about the deaths to illustrate the resilience of patriarchy and significant gaps in research and scholarship about domestic violence, and suggests a strategic approach to building counter-narratives about violence against women.

The Article is composed of five parts. Part I is the Introduction. Part II draws on narrative theory and critical media scholarship to lay the groundwork for analysis, and to show why media coverage of homicide-suicide is implicated in the production of dominant ideology.

Part ...


How Embedded Knowledge Structures Affect Judicial Decision Making: An Analysis Of Metaphor, Narrative, And Imagination In Child Custody Disputes, Linda L. Berger Jan 2009

How Embedded Knowledge Structures Affect Judicial Decision Making: An Analysis Of Metaphor, Narrative, And Imagination In Child Custody Disputes, Linda L. Berger

Scholarly Works

We live in a time of radically changing conceptions of family and of the relationships possible between children and parents. Though undergoing "a sea-change," family law remains tethered to culturally embedded stories and symbols. While so bound, family law will fail to serve individual families and a society whose family structures diverge sharply by education, race, class, and income.

This article advances a critical rhetorical analysis of the interaction of metaphor and narrative within the specific context of child custody disputes. Its goal is to begin to examine how these embedded knowledge structures affect judicial decision making generally; more specifically ...


The Sec And The Madoff Scandal: Three Narratives In Search Of A Story, Donald C. Langevoort Jan 2009

The Sec And The Madoff Scandal: Three Narratives In Search Of A Story, Donald C. Langevoort

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This essay, part of a symposium on narrative in corporate law, considers various portrayals of the complicity of the SEC in the Bernard Madoff scandal--including the Commission's own Inspector General's report issued in September 2009. It considers possible explanations (revolving door problems, incompetence and sloth, etc.) but suggests that the story is deeper and more frustrating, arising out of the relative poverty in which the SEC operates, which in turn leads to habits of thought and action that leave too much unnoticed and undone. The interesting question, then: why the poverty? The essay concludes with a political explanation ...


Nonprofits And Narrative: Piers Plowman, Anthony Trollope, And Charities Law, Jill R. Horwitz Jan 2009

Nonprofits And Narrative: Piers Plowman, Anthony Trollope, And Charities Law, Jill R. Horwitz

Articles

What are the narrative possibilities for understanding nonprofit law? Given the porous barriers between nonprofit law and the literature about it, there are many. Here I consider two. First, nonprofit law and nonprofit literature are each enriched and made fully explicable by reference to the other. Nonprofit law has grown in parallel with literature. It may even be that important legal texts, texts about doing and being good, were imported directly from literary sources into law. Second, in writings ranging from sensational journalism to high literature, nonprofit laws and the scandals involving their violations have captured the public imagination for ...


Introduction: Unsettling Questions, Disquieting Stories, Mae Kuykendall, David A. Westbrook Jan 2009

Introduction: Unsettling Questions, Disquieting Stories, Mae Kuykendall, David A. Westbrook

Journal Articles

The Business Law and Narrative Symposium, held at Michigan State University on September 10-11, 2009, brought together nationally known legal scholars, and scholars from other disciplines, to discuss whether and how the institution of the corporation was embedded in social narratives, public stories. This introductory essay reviews the responses of these scholars to the thesis of Kuykendall's article, No Imagination: The Marginal Role of Narrative in Corporate Law. The authors conclude with a hope that corporate law might offer a more literary sensibility by which to make our lives in global capitalism more comprehensible.


Decisional Dignity: Teenage Abortion, Bypass Hearings, And The Misuse Of Law, Carol Sanger Jan 2009

Decisional Dignity: Teenage Abortion, Bypass Hearings, And The Misuse Of Law, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

How might we think about reforming abortion regulation in a world in which the basic legality of abortion may, as a matter of constitutional law, at last be relatively secure? I have in mind the era just upon us in which the overturn of Roe v. Wadeno longer looms so threateningly over the reproductive rights community in the United States and is no longer necessarily its central concern. There is now a general and seemingly well-founded optimism that under the Obama administration, those who support and rely on reproductive rights will not have to pray nightly for the health ...


Decisional Dignity: Teenage Abortion, Bypass Hearings, And The Misuse Of Law, Carol Sanger Jan 2009

Decisional Dignity: Teenage Abortion, Bypass Hearings, And The Misuse Of Law, Carol Sanger

Faculty Scholarship

Much attention has been paid to the harm women suffer when they are unable to get abortions, or, from an anti-abortion perspective, what women are said to suffer by virtue of having abortions. There has, however, been little discussion of the harms women suffer by virtue of abortion regulation, even when they are, in the end, able to obtain a legal abortion. What is the relation between the detailed regulation of abortion decisions and the right of women to be treated with dignity regarding such decisions? This Article considers the harms to dignity inflicted on one category of women - pregnant ...


Once Upon A Time, Happily Ever After, And In A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Using Narrative To Fill The Cognitive Gap Left By Overreliance On Pure Logic In Appellate Briefs And Motion Memoranda, Jennifer L. Sheppard Dec 2008

Once Upon A Time, Happily Ever After, And In A Galaxy Far, Far Away: Using Narrative To Fill The Cognitive Gap Left By Overreliance On Pure Logic In Appellate Briefs And Motion Memoranda, Jennifer L. Sheppard

Jennifer L. Sheppard

This article explores the cognitive effects of narrative and concludes that it is a highly effective persuasive tool because stories appeal to our logic and reason, not just to our beliefs and values. The article identifies the elements of an effective story and explores how lawyers can use narrative in appellate briefs and motion memoranda to tell stories not just about the facts of their clients’ cases, but also about the law. Building on these bases, the article establishes that, in order to craft an effective story in a brief or motion memorandum, a lawyer must tell that story in ...


Atlantean Prose And The Search For Democracy, Nick J. Sciullo Dec 2008

Atlantean Prose And The Search For Democracy, Nick J. Sciullo

Nick J. Sciullo

Atlantis, the Lost City, has been a focal point of folklore, archeological inquiry, literary criticism, and mystic interpretation. It has boggled the brilliant, confused scientists, and sparked the interest of children. "Skeptics, archaeologists, geologists, and anthropologists may rant and rave, but the myth of Atlantis endures. In every generation, someone emerges to champion the cause and to embroider the story." But the significance of Atlantean prose as an avenue through which to best understand critical legal thought has not been explored in depth. To be sure, there have been numerous books, articles, and opinions analyzing Atlantis, but little attention has ...