There Is No Such Thing as Litigation: Access to Justice and the Realities of Adjudication

28 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2015 Last revised: 28 May 2015

See all articles by Robert Rubinson

Robert Rubinson

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Date Written: Winter 2015

Abstract

Does a "contest by judicial process" describe litigation's "means and applications"? Overwhelmingly, no. Litigation is not about judges: it is about default judgments, settlements, plea bargains. It sometimes does not even involve judges at all. Litigation is not about trials: the amount of litigation that goes to trial is infinitesimal. It is not about "process": the process is so minimal that to dignify it with that term stretches the word beyond recognition. It is not a "contest": it is an exercise where one side has no plausible chance of winning, especially since that side either has no lawyers or lawyers with overwhelming caseloads to enforce whatever written rules do exist.

Keywords: litigation, access to justice, judges, default judgments, settlements, plea bargains, trials, process, contest, exercise, overwhelming caseloads, rules, attorneys, lawyers

JEL Classification: K10, K19, K29, K39, K41, K49

Suggested Citation

Rubinson, Robert, There Is No Such Thing as Litigation: Access to Justice and the Realities of Adjudication (Winter 2015). Journal of Gender, Race and Justice, Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 182-210, Winter 2015, University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-17, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2591393 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2591393

Robert Rubinson (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

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