Judges and Their Editors

12 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2009 Last revised: 16 May 2020

See all articles by Douglas E. Abrams

Douglas E. Abrams

University of Missouri School of Law

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Date Written: March 16, 2010


This essay discusses the roles of personal law clerks, central staff clerks, and Reporters of Decisions in editing judges’ opinions at the drafting stage. “The overarching lesson [is] that by submerging pride of authorship during an opinion’s gestation and by weighing editorial input with an open mind, judges secure in their craft advance the interests of justice.” The essay also discusses the constraints imposed by the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct on the circle of persons a judge may consult without giving the parties advance notice. The essay is adapted from Prof. Abrams’ address to the international meeting of the Association of Reporters of Judicial Decisions in Halifax, Nova Scotia on August 7, 2009.

Keywords: law clerks, central staff clerks, reporters of decisions, judge's opinions, judges

Suggested Citation

Abrams, Douglas E., Judges and Their Editors (March 16, 2010). Albany Government Law Review, Vol. 3, p. 392, 2010, University of Missouri School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-18, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1438303

Douglas E. Abrams (Contact Author)

University of Missouri School of Law ( email )

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573-882-0307 (Phone)

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