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Judicial Process in a Nutshell

NCJ Number
W L Reynolds
Date Published
326 pages
Intended for use by lawyers and law students, this volume provides a succinct exposition on the process by which American judges decide cases. Questions involving both common law adjudication and statutory interpretation are analyzed.
The judicial role is considered from two perspectives: the horizontal position of the judiciary with respect to the other branches of government and the vertical relationships of the several courts in each judicial system. The history of common law is also briefly summarized. To examine craftsmanship, or the manner in which judges and their colleagues conduct the decisionmaking process, the text covers the opinion, the mechanics of opinion formulation, dissent, concurrence, divided courts, appellate review, and the role of the trial court. Common law adjudication is also described, focusing on goals, precedent, judicial lawmaking, and changing the common law. Finally, the court's tasks in statutory interpretation, the processes of understanding the statute and legislative intent, and consideration of developments after the statute is enacted are examined. An index and a table of cases are included.


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