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Full-Text Articles in Law

Evidentiary Wisdom And Blinders In Perspective: Thoughts On Misjudging, Elaine W. Shoben Jan 2007

Evidentiary Wisdom And Blinders In Perspective: Thoughts On Misjudging, Elaine W. Shoben

Scholarly Works

Empirical studies serve to enlighten the law, even when they simply confirm the wisdom of existing rules. Chris Guthrie's article, Misjudging, primarily serves that useful function—confirming the wisdom of existing rules—even though the author sought to establish something different. Guthrie's article applies insights from cognitive psychology to the resolution of legal disputes and presents some empirical proof of the effect of the application. He concludes that three sets of “blinders”—informational, cognitive, and attitudinal—affect the ability of judges to reach correct resolutions of disputes. He therefore recommends further appreciation of the ability of arbitration and mediation to avoid some of the …


Ranking Judges According To Citation Bias, Mitu Gulati, Stephen J. Choi Jan 2007

Ranking Judges According To Citation Bias, Mitu Gulati, Stephen J. Choi

Faculty Scholarship

In our Essay, we put forward a methodology to assess the amount of political bias that affects judges based on the decisions judges make on whom to cite in their opinions. Unlike prior studies looking at judicial bias that focus on judicial voting outcomes, our study of bias in citation practices is aimed at uncovering more subtle forms of bias. Judges may shy away from acting overly biased when making a highly visible decision such as voting in a particular case, but instead seek to shift the law more subtly through their reasoning and citation patterns in the opinion, thereby …


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

All Faculty Scholarship

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. …