Teaching the Holding/Dictum Distinction
Judith M. Stinson
Arizona State University (ASU) - Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
January 15, 2011
Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing, Vol. 19, p. 192, 2011
Lawyers and judges often have difficulty distinguishing between dictum and holding. Those of us who teach legal writing are in a prime position to rectify this problem. This is true because 1) we have more control over our materials and assignments; and 2) in our courses, we force students to do more than just think about legal analysis – we teach them to communicate that analysis in writing. That process provides a unique opportunity to teach the holding/dictum distinction. This short article discusses six concrete steps to help teach the distinction.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 7
Keywords: Legal Writing, Holding, Dicta
Date posted: January 17, 2012 ; Last revised: October 19, 2012
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