You’re Probably Wrong about How Judges Think

Me, too, for that matter.  That’s what Judge Posner‘s blurb on the jacket of his book, How Judges Think, seems to say.  It seems to me that most commentators tend to agree that judges are often inscrutable on the bench, but many who advise on legal writing seem to assume they know what the judges want.  Do we?  Says Judge Posner:

[M]ost judges are cagey, even coy, in discussing what they do. They tend to parrot an official line about the judicial process (how rule-bound it is), and often to believe it, though it does not describe their actual practices. . . This book parts the curtain a bit.

You can read the full text of Judge Posner’s comment at the (new) legal writer.

You can also keep up with Judge Posner’s thoughts at his blog.

One Comment

  • Ray Ward

    I’m now about halfway through Judge Posner’s book. I wonder whether “What Makes Judges Tick” might have been an apt title. It has stuff about how judges decide cases, but it also has stuff about what matters to judges on the job — e.g. what sorts of carrots and sticks there are for an Article III judge. All of this is worthwhile for lawyers; the more we empathize with judges, the better we’ll know how to persuade them effectively.