Instructor(s) Komesar, Neil
This Legal Process course is a course in advanced legal analysis. The course provides an analytical framework capable of use in all areas of the law and for all the lawyers roles such as advocate, counselor, planner, clerk, judge and legislator. The framework focuses on the legal process as a whole by examining law through the issue of institutional choice. Put simply, the central issue of all law is who decides. The analytical framework used to address this issue is called comparative institutional analysis.
The term institutional reflects the reality that the decision of who decides is really a decision of what decides. The alternative decision-makers are complex processes, such as the political process, the market, and the courts, in which the interaction of many participants shape performance. The character of institutional decision-making depends on the patterns of participation by actors like consumers, producers, voters, lobbyists and litigants.
Judges may address institutional choice consciously or subconsciously; sophisticatedly or simply; well or poorly. But they do and must address the issue. Therefore, the able advocate and analyst must understand this central issue. The materials for this course will be cases and commentary from property, torts, constitutional law, civil procedure, land use, contracts and administrative law. This framework has its origins in economic analysis and, therefore, this is a course in law and economics. (There is no need for a background in economics. All that you will need will be provided in the course materials and classes.)This is a limited enrollment course and there will be a conventional exam.