A Note on Trend-Spotting in the Case Law
Boston College Law Review, Vol. 40, Pp. 891-896, July 1999
Posted: 31 Jul 2000
This note, largely a comment on an article by Robert Hillman, describes and contrasts two models of legal evolution. The orthodox view holds that legal evolution occurs through the active effort of judges. An alternative view models legal evolution as the outcome of the trial selection process - i.e., the process through which disputes are selected for trial rather than settled. This note critiques the orthodox view and explores implications of the trial selection model. I find the empirical evidence inconsistent with the orthodox view.
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