Friday, June 25, 2010

Equality under the AALS and Professor George Fletcher

Today I found an e-mail message in my mailbox. The message contains a memo that purports to have been written by a committee of the Association of American Law Schools. Part of this memo states:
June 4, 2010


To: Faculty of AALS Member Schools

From: Planning Committee for 2011 Workshop on Women Rethinking Equality:

Kathryn Abrams, University of California, Berkeley Law, Chair
Serena Mayeri, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Elizabeth Nowicki, Tulane University Law School
Angela Onwuachi-Willig, University of Iowa College of Law
Lisa R. Pruitt, University of California, Davis, School of Law
Stephanie M. Wildman, Santa Clara University School of Law
Subject: Call for Presentations, Papers and Posters

We are seeking proposals for presentations, papers and posters for the 2011 Mid-Year Meeting Workshop on Women Rethinking Equality. ... We welcome participation by all AALS members-and particularly all women-regardless of whether their scholarship focuses on gender.


I have just finished reading Professor George Fletcher's novel The Bond (2009). Although I found the novel's accounts of Socratic classroom discussions (in a fictitious law school that closely resembles Columbia University's law school) somewhat tedious (rather than exhilarating), perhaps Fletcher's novel influenced my reaction to the memo supposedly written by the AALS Planning Committee. (The hero of Fletcher's novel -- a male law professor -- runs into trouble with some feminists.)

Have you read The Bond? If so, what do you think of it?

Bruce Ackerman, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale University, apparently found the Fletcher's accounts of law school classroom discussions more invigorating than I did. He said (in a blurb on the back cover of the book), "This novel provides a unique insight into the workings of the legal mind and the inner life of law schools." Professor Ackerman's enthusiasm for the novel is, I think, more representative than is my ambivalence about it.

I would not say that Professor Fletcher's book is a barn-burner. But I guess it was, in my case, a page-turner: I lost a night's sleep because I did not want to put the book down. But, then, the hero of the book is a law professor and I'm a law professor. So....(?)

I should probably be working on a treatise or article instead of wasting my time blogging about topics such as AALS committees, faculty politics, and political correctness in the academy. I don't think I have anything new to add about these provocative topics.


The dynamic evidence page

It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.

Monday, June 21, 2010

New Evidence Scholarship in China

Nanning Zhang and Douglas Walton, "Recent trends in evidence law in China and the new evidence scholarship," 9 Law, Probability and Risk 103-129 (2010)


This paper reviews the history and status quo of evidence theory in China and analyses its gradual shift from a pluralistic evidence law to a model informed by scientific evidence scholarship. It compares fundamental distinctions on evidence and judicial proof between the contemporary evidence theories of China and those in Anglo-American law. The paper reveals that no matter what the evidence system is, the common method of discovering truth plays an important role in the modernization of evidence theory as such theory moves towards a comprehensive evidence scholarship. By shedding light on the theoretical framework of a comprehensive evidence scholarship and the increasing use of scientific ideas in evidence law, our theoretical perspective shows that the framework of a comprehensive evidence scholarship consists of four interdependent and overlapping components.

Keywords: Chinese evidence law; comprehensive evidence scholarship; theoretical framework of evidence; free evaluation of evidence of judicial proof
[Footnote by authors:] The reader should note that the concept of ‘new evidence scholarship’ used in this paper is different from the expression ‘new evidence scholarship’ coined by Richard O. Lempert in his article ‘The New Evidence Scholarship: Analyzing the Process of Proof’ (1986) 66 Boston University Law Review 439.


The dynamic evidence page
It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.