Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Retired Judge Rita M. Novak Reviews ALA September Presenter Joel Cohen's Book "Blindfolds Off: Judges on How They Decide”

In an article for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, retired Judge Rita M. Novak reviewed Joel Cohen's Book "Blindfolds Off: Judges on How They Decide." The book will be the basis for the ALA's September 26th event featuring Cohen.

Here are a few snippets from Judge Novak's review:
The explorations in Joel Cohen’s engaging book stem from reflections of Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo in “The Nature of the Judicial Process,” published nearly 100 years ago. Cardozo’s classic work examined the “ingredients” that go into judicial decisions.
Judge Nancy Gertner, a former criminal defense and civil rights lawyer, relates how she decided a tort claim involving the wrongful conviction of innocent defendants perpetrated by FBI misconduct.
Judge John E. Jones III describes his ruling in an “intelligent design” case and the conservative firestorm that followed, one ignited by partisan attackers who perceived the decision as unfaithful to the judge’s prior political affiliations.
Whether in the context of settlement or trial, allowing the facts to unfold and guide the outcome of the case is a check on subjective rulings. Starting with organizing facts early in discovery, as Hellerstein discusses, or awaiting the evidence on a crucial issue, as Judges Charles P. Kocoras, Jones and Walker describe, letting the facts lead where they will keeps the rulings objectively grounded.
The full article is available on the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin's website.

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