Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Overinterpreting Law

51 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2011  

Robert F. Blomquist

Valparaiso University Law School

Date Written: February 22, 2011


Overinterpretation has attracted considerable attention in other fields, such as literary studies, science, and rhetoric, but it is under-theorized in law. This Article attempts to initiate a theory of legal overinterpretation by examining the rhetorical nature of excess, the sociological dimensions of roles in team performances, and citation to legal and non-legal sources that have discussed overinterpretation. The Article concludes by positing illustrative categories of potential legal overinterpretation, and an examination of ways to minimize legal overinterpretation through a judicious, pragmatic balance between abstract considerations and concrete considerations in law.

Keywords: Interpretation, Overinterpretation, Theatricality of Law, Law and Excess, Norms of Legal Interpretation

Suggested Citation

Blomquist, Robert F., Overinterpreting Law (February 22, 2011). Valparaiso University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-01. Available at SSRN: or

Robert F. Blomquist (Contact Author)

Valparaiso University Law School ( email )

656 S. Greenwich St.
Valparaiso, IN 46383-6493
United States
219-465-7857 (Phone)
219-465-7872 (Fax)

Paper statistics

Abstract Views