The Justice Broker: Lawyers and Ordinary Litigation

The Justice Broker: Lawyers and Ordinary Litigation

by Herbert M. Kritzer

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In law, as elsewhere, the ordinary is overshadowed in the popular and academic literature by the dramatic and sensational. While the role and behavior of lawyers in the operation of our criminal justice system has been closely scrutinized, comparatively little research has been devoted to the manner in which lawyers litigate the day-to-day civil (non-criminal) cases that comprise the vast bulk of the workload in state and federal courts. Originally commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, this is the first comprehensive national study of the U.S. civil justice system. Kritzer analyzes 1600 cases involving 1400 attorneys in five federal judicial districts. Examining the background, experiences, day-to-day activities, and outlook of civil lawyers, Kritzer finds that the work of lawyers combines the roles of the professional and the broker in many aeas of ordinary litigation. Arguing that lawyers' behavior must be understood in part as a form of brokerage between the client and the legal system, he suggests that the roles of professionals and brokers be considered as complements rather than alternatives in the justice system, and concludes by recommending that lawyers' monopoly on advocacy in civil litigation be restricted. An engaging, lucidly written study, The Justice Broker will be of special interest to practicing lawyers and legal scholars.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780195345162
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 11/15/1990
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

University of Wisconsin, Madison

Table of Contents

Part IIntroduction
1.Brokers and Professionals: The Roles of Lawyers in Ordinary Litigation3
The Professionalism Perspective5
The Brokerage Perspective12
2.The Data20
The Civil Litigation Research Project20
Data Sources20
Part IICases and Lawyers
3.The World of Ordinary Litigation27
What Are the Cases About?27
What's at Stake in the Ordinary Case?28
Who Goes to Court?34
Summary: The Ordinary Case36
Appendix 3AArea of Law Codes and Groups38
4.Lawyers Who Litigate40
Nature and Style of Practice43
Attitudes Toward Legal Practice46
The Ordinary Litigator: A Sketch49
Brokers and Professionals50
Part IIILawyers and Their Relationships
5.Lawyers and Their Clients55
Finding Lawyers and Taking Cases56
Establishing the Business Relationship57
Allocating Control and Responsibility60
Discussion: Lawyers and Clients66
6.Lawyers and Their "Workgroup"68
The Opposing Counsel69
The Opposing Party71
The Judge72
Discussion: The Lawyer's Working Relationships76
Part IVLitigating Ordinary Cases
7.The Work of the Litigator in Ordinary Cases79
The Activities in Court in Ordinary Litigation80
How Much Time Do Lawyers Devote to Ordinary Cases?85
What Do Lawyers Do in Civil Cases?90
Appendix 7ALevel of Court Activity by Stakes for Individual Event Types106
8.The Impact of Relationships on the Lawyer's Work in Ordinary Civil Litigation108
The Amount of Lawyer Effort108
Relationships and the Content of the Lawyer's Work in Ordinary Litigation121
Appendix 8ADescription of Variables127
Appendix 8BRegression Results for Hourly and Contingent Fee Lawyers133
9.Winning and Losing in Litigation: Does the Lawyer Deliver?135
Success from the Lawyer's Point of View137
Success from the Defendant's Perspective143
Success from the Plaintiff's Perspective146
Appendix 9AMultivariate Analyses158
Part VConclusions
10.Lawyers and Litigation: Images and Implications165
Professionals and Brokers166
The Role of Lawyers in Litigation: The Implications for Change168

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