Judicial Behavior Workshop: Lawrence Baum (Ohio State, Political Science)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Law School, Room D

Note to participants in the November 16th Workshop from Larry Baum:

       In this workshop I’ll discuss ideas and findings about judicial specialization, drawing on a book that was published earlier this year, Specializing the Courts.  In the book I speak of two dimensions of specialization, based on the extent to which particular judges concentrate on narrow sets of cases and the extent to which certain sets of cases are concentrated among a small number of judges.  I describe the degree of specialization along both dimensions that exists in court systems in the U.S., but the book is primarily concerned with analysis of the causes and effects of specialization.

       I’ve attached the table of contents for the book to provide a sense of what the book covers.  I’ve also included two chapters from the book.  Chapter 4 is one of the chapters that focuses on specialization in a particular field, in this case criminal cases.  The material in that chapter will provide a sense of the findings that are the basis for my conclusions about causes and effects of judicial specialization.

       I’ve also included chapter 7, which contains the book’s conclusions.  The chapter builds on theoretical material in chapter 2 of the book, so some of the material in the conclusions will not have the full context that would be useful for readers.  But I thought that chapter 7 would be more interesting than chapter 2, since it summarizes the results of the first broad inquiry into the causes and effects of judicial specialization in the U.S.  If the theoretical frameworks for those conclusions (or the book’s inquiries into other fields of judicial activity) are of interest, of course, we can talk about them at the workshop.