Narrative and Drama in the American Trial

16 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2011

Date Written: October 11, 2011


This short essay summarizes an understanding of the trial as a medium in which law is realized or actualized, rather than imposed or enforced. It suggests that we should pay close attention to the actual practices that prevail at trial, its "consciously structured hybrid" of languages and practices, if we want to understand the nature of law.

Keywords: trial, nature of law, rhetoric, narrative, drama

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K40, K49

Suggested Citation

Burns, Robert P., Narrative and Drama in the American Trial (October 11, 2011). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 11-60, Available at SSRN:

Robert P. Burns (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-6613 (Phone)
312-503-8977 (Fax)

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