How Judges Write

The Daily Beast has this interesting interview with Judge Richard A. Posner (7th Circuit, Chicago) about his writing habits. Lawyers and judges are familiar with Judge Posner’s legendarily prolific output (dozens of books and over 2,000 published opinions), covering many legal, economic, and political subjects. Posner is an intellectual polymath, a sort of Isaac Asimov meets lawyer with a day job on the federal court of appeals. He is the most cited legal scholar of the 20th century. He regularly blogs with Nobel Laureate Dr. Gary Becker (Chicago) on various topics. Whatever one thinks of his jurisprudential views and legal philosophy (pragmatic libertarian), Posner’s work has had a dramatic effect on the law, legal writing, and the rise of the “law and” movements (law and economics, law and literature, law and race, etc). Judge Posner co-founded the law and economics or cost-benefit analysis of law movement from the University of Chicago’s Law School, where he has been a faculty member (first a professor, now a senior lecturer) for decades. Posner fans and critics alike agree that when Posner retires from the bench, he will be remembered alongside Judges Learned Hand and Henry Friendly as one of the most brilliant, prolific, and influential judges of his time.

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(c) 2013, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.

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