The Effect of Legal Theories on Judicial Decisions

12 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2010

Date Written: 1999


I draw a distinction in the beginning of this essay between judicial decision-making and a judge's decision-making. To persuade a judge, we should try to discover what her theories are. Across a range of theories, I offered well-known case examples typically cited as examples of each theory. Then I showed that the exact same theory used to justify or explain those case results could be used to justify or explain the opposite result in each of those cases.

Keywords: legal theory, judicial decisions, Speluncean Explorers

JEL Classification: K10, K30, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

D'Amato, Anthony, The Effect of Legal Theories on Judicial Decisions (1999). Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 74, No. 2, 1999; Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 10-51. Available at SSRN:

Anthony D'Amato (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

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