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Full-Text Articles in Law

An Essay On Torts: States Of Argument, Marshall S. Shapo Jan 2011

An Essay On Torts: States Of Argument, Marshall S. Shapo

Faculty Working Papers

This essay summarizes high points in torts scholarship and case law over a period of two generations, highlighting the "states of argument" that have characterized tort law over that period. It intertwines doctrine and policy. Its doctrinal features include the tradtional spectrum of tort liability, the duty question, problems of proof, and the relative incoherency of damages rules. Noting the cross-doctrinal role of tort as a solver of functional problems, it focuses on major issues in products liability and medical malpractice. The essay discusses such elements of policy as the role of power in tort law, the tension between communitarianism …


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 …


Franz Kafka, Lawrence Joseph, And The Possibilities Of Jurisprudential Literature, Patrick J. Glen Jan 2011

Franz Kafka, Lawrence Joseph, And The Possibilities Of Jurisprudential Literature, Patrick J. Glen

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

The purpose of this article is twofold. First, it offers a complementary reading of Franz Kafka’s writings on the law and Lawrence Joseph’s novel Lawyerland. This reading focuses on the distinct perspectives offered by these authors. Whereas Kafka approaches the law from the perspective of the litigant or accused, Joseph’s perspective, through the eyes of his lawyers and judges, is that of the consummate insider. The importance of perspective rests with the fact that although law might constitute an objective system, its experience is inevitably subjective. The absurd malevolence of law in Kafka can thus be rationalized by the system …


Affirmative Action As Government Speech, William M. Carter Jr. Jan 2011

Affirmative Action As Government Speech, William M. Carter Jr.

Articles

This article seeks to transform how we think about “affirmative action.” The Supreme Court’s affirmative action jurisprudence appears to be a seamless whole, but closer examination reveals important differences. Government race-consciousness sometimes grants a benefit to members of a minority group for remedial or diversifying purposes. But the government may also undertake remedial or diversifying race-conscious action without it resulting in unequal treatment or disadvantage to non-minorities. Under the Court’s current equal protection doctrine, both categories of cases are treated as presumptively unconstitutional. Race-consciousness itself has become a constitutional harm, regardless of tangible effects.

Prior scholarship has suggested that the …