The Runaway Judge: John Grisham's Appearance in Judicial Opinions

21 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2018 Last revised: 30 Aug 2018

Date Written: March 15, 2018


Each year, countless scholars publish articles in law reviews across the country hoping to have some impact on the way courts interpret and apply the law. To have one’s labors approvingly cited or discussed by a court is one of the highest compliments a legal scholar can receive. Thus, it is the height of irony that judges have discussed or alluded to the works of novelist John Grisham — an attorney who has never authored a law review article — in over two dozen opinions. This study of those opinions begins with an explanation of methodology and an annotated bibliography of the results. Next, the author discusses the various ways that courts have used Grisham’s works, categorizing each case according to its function. The author concludes with further speculation about why judges are drawn to Grisham’s novels.

Keywords: Law and literature, John Grisham

Suggested Citation

Mignanelli, Nicholas, The Runaway Judge: John Grisham's Appearance in Judicial Opinions (March 15, 2018). University of Memphis Law Review, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2018; University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 18-12. Available at SSRN: or

Nicholas Mignanelli (Contact Author)

University of Miami - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States

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