University of Southern California

Volume 78, Number 1 (November, 2004)

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    Choosing the Next Supreme Court Justice: An Empirical Ranking of Judge Performance
    Article by Stephen J. Choi & G. Mitu Gulati

    The judicial appointments process has grown increasingly frustrating in recent years. Both sides claim that their candidates are the “most meritorious” and yet there is seldom any discussion of what constitutes merit. Instead, the discussion moves immediately to the candidates’ likely positions on hot-button political issues like abortion, gun control, and the death penalty. One side claims that it is proposing certain candidates based on merit, while the other claims that the real reason for pu...

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    Out of Joint: Replacing Joint Representations with Lawyer-Mediation in Friendly Divorces
    Note by Avi Braz

    Joint client representation is a practice that is fundamentally important to the legal system. The cost of obtaining private legal services has been rising over the past decade. This trend poses a serious problem: while the cost of these services has skyrocketed, the ability of large segments of the population to pay for them has not matched pace. Often times, due to the economic constraints faced by an ever-growing segment of our society, parties in need simply cannot afford to obtain independe...

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    E-nuisance: Unsolicited Bulk E-mail at the Boundaries of Common Law Property Rights
    Note by Jeremiah Kelman

    E-mail, the most revolutionary advancement in communication since the printing press, has now become the single most important means of intrusion into our daily lives. Because of its inherent convenience and efficiency, e-mail facilitates an unprecedented level of constant, unchecked disturbances from unsolicited bulk messages, also known as spam. As a result of the Internet’s decentralized architecture and flawed technical underpinnings, consumers and businesses face daily mass invasions via e-...

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    Tribute: A Tribute to Professor David Carroll
    Article by Arthur Berney, Stephen J. Morse, Michael H. Shapiro, Matthew Spitzer, Stephen H. Turner & Charles D. Weisselberg

    The following tributes commemorate the May 2004 passing of David Carroll, one of USC Law School’s most beloved and well-respected professors. Professor Carroll was a member of the faculty from 1975 until his retirement in 1992. These pieces evidence the many wonderful contributions that Professor Carroll made to the Law School and the lives of those around him....

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    Procedural Justice
    Article by Lawrence B. Solum

    The real work of procedure is to guide conduct. It is sometimes said that the regulation of primary conduct is the work of the general and abstract norms of substantive law—clauses of the constitution, statutes, regulations, and common law rules of tort, property, and contract. But substance cannot effectively guide primary conduct without the aid of procedure. This is true because of three problems: (1) the problem of imperfect knowledge of law and fact, (2) the problem of incomplete specificat...

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    Be Careful What You Wish For: Problem with Using Empirical Rankings to Select Supreme Court Justices
    Article by William P. Marshall

    In Choosing the Next Supreme Court Justice: An Empirical Ranking of Judicial Performance, Professors Stephen Choi and G. Mitu Gulati present an imaginative and well-timed challenge to the current judicial nominations culture, which insists in maintaining that nominees are selected for their excellence when they are actually chosen for their ideology....

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    Judging Merit
    Article by Patrick S. Shin

    In their provocative article, Professors Choi and Gulati make various claims advocating the selection of the next Supreme Court Justice on the basis of "merit." The ingenious statistical tournament (the "Tournament") they have designed purports to identify a set of judges-"a merit-worthy pool"' of candidates, as they put it-who should be given privileged consideration for future vacancies on the Court....

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    On Tournaments for Appointing Great Justices to the U.S. Supreme Court
    Article by WERL

    Professors Stephen Choi and G. Mitu Gulati are ambitious: they seek to quantify great legal minds. This interesting endeavor has both descriptive and normative components. Choi and Gulati hope not only to offer objective measures of what makes a judge great but also to affect the choices that presidents and senators make when appointing individuals to the U.S. Supreme Court....


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