2010 Judicial Workshop Symposium

Devising Rule of Law Baselines: The Next Step in Quantitative Studies of Judging

Brian Z. Tamanaha - Washington University School of Law

Political scientists and law professors have lately taken to asserting that quantitative studies of judging reveal worrisome findings about the rule of law in the U.S. judicial system. The authors of Are Judges Political? declare: “variations in panel composition lead to dramatically different outcomes, in a way that creates serious… Read More »

Justice and Judgment Among the Whomever: An Anthropological Approach to Judging

John Conley - University of North Carolina Law School

Prior to the conference, the organizers asked me for my thoughts on how an anthropologist might approach the problem of studying judging.  Those thoughts follow.  I have subsequently reflected on the discussion at the conference itself, and I conclude this essay with those reflections.
When I think of “judging” as… Read More »

Evaluating Judges

Harris Hartz - Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals

Improving the quality of the judiciary is a noble cause. I welcome the participation of social scientists in the endeavor. But it is an open question whether social science can meaningfully contribute. Left to their own devices, social scientists are likely to produce work of dubious value. Perhaps judges can… Read More »

Distinguishing Causal and Normative Questions in Empirical Studies of Judging

Patrick S. Shin - Suffolk University Law School

In this Essay, I raise a metatheoretical question concerning the relationship between what seem to be two distinct categories of projects that might be lumped together under the rubric of empirical study of judicial performance. One kind of empirical project aims broadly at developing a social-scientific theory of judging, or… Read More »

Investigating Judicial Responses To Rules

Emily Sherwin - Cornell Law School

Much has been written about the process by which judges reach decisions in cases governed by the common law, but very little has been done to test this process empirically. Most empirical efforts have attempted to determine whether and to what extent judges’ political views influence their legal decisions. My… Read More »

Diversity, Tenure, and Dissent

Joanna M. Shepherd - Emory Law School

The primary goal of the Duke Law Journal’s Symposium on Evaluating Judging, Judges, and Judicial Institutions was to bring together judges and academics researching judges. Conversations between these groups can be constructive on both sides. Judges may benefit from learning about studies that show the influences on judicial performance or… Read More »

Evaluating Judges and Judicial Institutions: Reorienting the Perspective

Mitu Gulati & David E. Klein & David F. Levi

In September 2009, we hosted an unusual workshop at Duke Law School. The workshop focused on the empirical evaluation of judges, judging, and judicial institutions. Most work in this area has been driven by the agendas and constraints of empirical researchers, and empiricists from multiple disciplines—including history, sociology, anthropology, political… Read More »