In the Opinion of the Court

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University of Illinois Press, 1996 - Political Science - 183 pages
In the Opinion of the Court, the first close examination of judicial opinions as a literary genre, looks at opinions handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and district courts, tracing their history, function, and place in legal literature. William Domnarski explores the connection between judges and their audience on the one hand, and judicial opinions and their functions, on the other. He also reveals the key roles played by the reporting and publication of judicial opinions in advancing distinctly American values, the dominance exercised by the best opinion writers, and the rise of the law clerk as an individual increasingly called on to write opinions. Domnarski pays special attention to Learned Hand and Oliver Wendell Holmes traditionally seen as the best practitioners of the genre, and devotes a chapter to Richard Posner, Chief Judge of the Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago, seen as carrying on the Hand-Holmes tradition.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Reporting and Publishing Judicial Decisions
5
Who Writes Judicial Opinions
30
Style and Substance in Supreme Court Opinions
55
The Canon
75
Style and Substance in Lower Federal Court Opinions
90
Closing the Circle Judge Richard A Posner and the Exploration of the Judicial Opinion
116
Notes
157
Index
179
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