By Herbert M. Kritzer
In legislation, as in other places, the normal is overshadowed within the well known and educational literature by way of the dramatic and sensational. whereas the function and behaviour of attorneys within the operation of our felony justice procedure has been heavily scrutinized, relatively little learn has been dedicated to the style within which legal professionals litigate the day by day civil (non-criminal) situations that include the gigantic bulk of the workload in kingdom and federal courts. initially commissioned by means of the U.S. division of Justice, this is often the 1st entire nationwide learn of the U.S. civil justice approach. Kritzer analyzes 1600 circumstances concerning 1400 lawyers in 5 federal judicial districts. studying the heritage, reports, day by day actions, and outlook of civil legal professionals, Kritzer unearths that the paintings of attorneys combines the jobs of the pro and the dealer in lots of aeas of normal litigation. Arguing that attorneys' habit has to be understood partially as a kind of brokerage among the customer and the criminal method, he means that the jobs of pros and agents be regarded as enhances instead of possible choices within the justice approach, and concludes by way of recommending that attorneys' monopoly on advocacy in civil litigation be limited. an interesting, lucidly written examine, The Justice Broker can be of distinctive curiosity to working towards attorneys and felony scholars.
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Extra resources for The Justice Broker: Lawyers and Ordinary Litigation
Since it was unreasonable to ask an individual to go through an entire 1-hour interview more than once, multiple-case lawyers were interviewed only about one of their cases, with some brief questions about the additional cases. These brief sets of questions constitute another 430 short interviews that are not used in the analysis. An entirely separate survey was conducted with government lawyers involved in the court cases; these represent another 96 interviews that I will draw on for one or two specific points in the analysis (another 136 short interviews, which will not be used in the analysis, were conducted with government lawyers).
Figure 3-1 shows the median stakes by area of law for state and federal cases. As one would expect, for most substantive areas there is a substantial gap in the amount at stake for federal and state cases. The biggest gap seems to be for the property area, but one should keep in mind that a relatively small number of federal cases raised property issues, and the median stakes figure for federal property cases is less reliable than most of the others. 19 In the regulatory area, one field in which the federal courts have jurisdiction largely under federal law rather than under the constitutional provisions regarding diversity of citizenship, the federal/state gap is much smaller, primarily because the federal median is substantially lower (as opposed to the state medians being higher).
7 The modal category of cases in the federal courts varies from district to district: it is torts for Pennsylvania and South Carolina, contract/commercial for Wisconsin, California, and New Mexico. Four of the categories found in the federal court —business regulation, discrimination, government benefits, and government action— are virtually nonexistent in most of the state courts in the study; real property is an important category in state courts (except possibly for Pennsylvania), but is of much less importance for the caseload of the federal courts.
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