Some Kind of Judge: Henry Friendly and the Law of Federal Courts

16 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2014 Last revised: 22 Apr 2014

See all articles by Aaron Brecher

Aaron Brecher

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Date Written: March 15, 2013


This Book Notice reviews David Dorsen's biography of Henry Friendly, the famed Second Circuit judge. The Notice focuses in particular on Judge Friendly's contributions to the law of federal courts and federal jurisdiction. The Notice looks to Friendly's views on federal common law, federal habeas review, and the proper scope of diversity jurisdiction, and the reception those ideas have received in the doctrine, in scholarship, and from legislators. It concludes that Friendly's influence lies less in having his views carry the day, and more in the manner in which they have shaped the discourse among legal decision-makers and commentators.

Keywords: Henry Friendly, Friendly, federal jurisdiction, federal courts, judicial biography, federal common law, habeas corpus, diversity jurisdiction, federal judge

Suggested Citation

Brecher, Aaron, Some Kind of Judge: Henry Friendly and the Law of Federal Courts (March 15, 2013). 112 Michigan Law Review, No. 6, p. 1179, 2014. Available at SSRN:

Aaron Brecher (Contact Author)

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP ( email )

Seattle, WA
United States

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