Saturday, October 13, 2007

My Publications: Inside the Mind of a Judge

In 1999, I wrote and posted, online, a book I called Inside the Mind of a Judge: An Interpretation of Posner’s Problems of Jurisprudence. This book arose from what you might call my continuing legal education, as I became more exposed to the corruption and bankruptcy of the American legal system. Not that the system doesn't work well, for those fortunate enough to have lots of money or just the right circumstances to win big. For them, it's a great system.

Well, actually, in my experience rich people aren't terribly impressed with the American legal system either, but at least it generally tends not to destroy their lives. You can't say the same for those who lack the money for proper legal representation, and whose cases won't make their lawyers rich. People in that condition -- by which I mean to refer to the vast majority of Americans -- are entirely too much at risk of having their savings taken, or being thrown into debt, or being thrown into prison, by judges who are essentially out of touch with the real world.

In Problems of Jurisprudence, I found that Richard Posner, a prominent federal judge and an undeniably intelligent man, had presented himself and the courts as being, in some ways, a threat to society. That was not his intent; but when I went through his words carefully and pointed out their implications in my restatement, that is the picture that emerged. It goes without saying that, if time permitted, I would revise my restatement. Even in its present state, however, the problems of Posner's jurisprudence emerge pretty clearly.