Thursday, December 21, 2017

Judge Kozinski as Advocate: Breaking the Rules

In a recent class action concerning an automotive recall, retired Judge Alex Kozinski, a member of the plaintiff class, filed objections to the proposed settlement. Professor Beth Wilensky has analyzed his objections to determine whether he followed the advice on persuasion that he has  given to practitioners. Her conclusion: he didn't. Here are some of the “rules” he broke:

  1. Attacks on Counsel (In the past, he gave mixed advice on this tactic; most commentators advice against it.)
  2. Snark. Hyperbole. Anger.
  3. Intensifiers. Intensifiers are those little words and phrases—“clearly” “it is obvious” “there can be no doubt”—that advocates use as a crutch. 14)
  4. Overly Long Briefs.
  5. Block Quotes

You can read the full article here and here. Wilensky, Beth H. "Judge Kozinski Objects." Legal Comm. & Rhetoric 14 (2017): 81-97.


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