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Courts on Trial (1949)

by Jerome Frank

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CONTENTS: I. The Needless Mystery of Court House Government. II. Fights and Rights. III. Facts Are Guesses. IV. Modern Legal Magic. V. Wizards and Lawyers. VI. The "Fight" Theory versus the "Truth" Theory. VII. The Procedural Reformers. VIII. The Jury System. IX. Defenses of the Jury System--Suggested Reforms. X. Are Judges Human? XI. Psychological Approaches. XII. Criticism of Trial-Court Decisions--The Gestalt. XIII. A Trial as a Communicative Process. XIV. "Legal Science" and "Legal Engineering." XV. The Upper-Court Myth. XVI. Legal Education. XVII. Special Training for Trial Judges. XVIII. The Cult of the Robe. XIX. Precedents and Stability. XX. Codification. XXI. Words and Music: Legislation and Judicial Interpretation. XXII. Constitutions--The Merry-Go-Round. XIII. Legal Reasoning. XXIV. Da Capo. XXV. The Anthropological Approach. XXVI. Natural Law. XXVII. The Psychology of Litigants. XXVIII. The Unblindfolding of Justice. XXIX. Classicism and Romanticism. XXX. Justice and Emotions. XXXI. Questioning Some Legal Axioms. XXXII. Reason and Unreason--Ideals.… (more)
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INTRODUCTION -- There are a few books in every generation that somehow stand independent of time and the sagging breezes of intellectual fashion; Courts on Trial is one of them. -- Edmond Cahn
PREFACE -- I have tried in this book to tell, with candor, much about the workings of our courts with which the ordinary citizen unfortunately is not acquainted. As the book is intended for intelligent non-lawyers as well as lawyers, I have avoided the use of lawyers' technical jargon.
I. The Needless Mystery of Courthouse Government -- About two hundred years ago, a singularly unsuccessful English lawyer gave a series of lectures at Oxford on English courts and legal doctrines. Incorporated in a book, those lectures, Blackstone's Commentaries, became a sort of lawyer's Bible, particularly in America. Those lectures, and that book, however, were intended not for lawyers but as an essential part of the education of the young English aristocrats who were to become the rulers of England.
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CONTENTS: I. The Needless Mystery of Court House Government. II. Fights and Rights. III. Facts Are Guesses. IV. Modern Legal Magic. V. Wizards and Lawyers. VI. The "Fight" Theory versus the "Truth" Theory. VII. The Procedural Reformers. VIII. The Jury System. IX. Defenses of the Jury System--Suggested Reforms. X. Are Judges Human? XI. Psychological Approaches. XII. Criticism of Trial-Court Decisions--The Gestalt. XIII. A Trial as a Communicative Process. XIV. "Legal Science" and "Legal Engineering." XV. The Upper-Court Myth. XVI. Legal Education. XVII. Special Training for Trial Judges. XVIII. The Cult of the Robe. XIX. Precedents and Stability. XX. Codification. XXI. Words and Music: Legislation and Judicial Interpretation. XXII. Constitutions--The Merry-Go-Round. XIII. Legal Reasoning. XXIV. Da Capo. XXV. The Anthropological Approach. XXVI. Natural Law. XXVII. The Psychology of Litigants. XXVIII. The Unblindfolding of Justice. XXIX. Classicism and Romanticism. XXX. Justice and Emotions. XXXI. Questioning Some Legal Axioms. XXXII. Reason and Unreason--Ideals.

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