References (62)



Judges, Lawyers, and a Predictive Theory of Legal Complexity

Benjamin H. Barton

University of Tennessee College of Law

June 2008

University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 31

This Article uses public choice theory and the new institutionalism to discuss the incentives, proclivities, and shared backgrounds of lawyers and judges. In America every law-making judge has a single unifying characteristic, each is a former lawyer. This shared background has powerful and unexplored effects on the shape and structure of American law. This Article argues that the shared characteristics, thought-processes, training, and incentives of Judges and lawyers lead inexorably to greater complexity in judge-made law. These same factors lead to the following prediction: judge-created law will be most complex in areas where a) elite lawyers regularly practice; b) judges may have a personal preference in the case that can be written-around by way of legal complexity; and c) the subject area interests the judge, or is generally considered prestigious. The Article uses the law of standing as a case study.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: legal complexity, law and economics, public choice theory, new institutionalism, judicial behavior, standing

JEL Classification: D72, D73, K40, K41

Download This Paper

Date posted: May 25, 2008 ; Last revised: June 21, 2008

Suggested Citation

Barton, Benjamin H., Judges, Lawyers, and a Predictive Theory of Legal Complexity (June 2008). University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 31. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1136372 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1136372

Contact Information

Benjamin H. Barton (Contact Author)
University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )
1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 1,972
Downloads: 273
Download Rank: 68,431
References:  62
People who downloaded this paper also downloaded:
1. Bounded Rationality and the Emergence of Simplicity Amidst Complexity
By Cassey Lee

© 2015 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo4 in 0.406 seconds