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February 27, 2022

"Anglophone Analytic Legal Philosophy"

This paper might be of interest to some readers; the abstract:

This essay examines Anglophone analytic legal philosophy in comparison to Professor Aldo Schiavello's account of Italian (and also, more broadly, non-Anglophone) analytic legal philosophy (in the same volume). The focus, in particular, is on legal positivism in H.L.A. Hart, Norberto Bobbio, and Alf Ross, and some of their striking shared commitments--especially, to methodological positivism (the idea that general jurisprudence can describe what the law is, without taking any position on what it ought to be). Methodological positivism is defended against a variety of objections raised by Schiavello.

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 27, 2022 in Jurisprudence | Permalink

February 24, 2022

Law professors on academic freedom

Paul Butler and David Cole (both Georgetown) disagree about its application, while Anita Allen (Penn) rejects the AAUP understanding.  My own views here:  Download Why Academic Freedom PDF published version

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 24, 2022 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

February 22, 2022

"Highest need" students to attend Yale Law tuition-free

The announcement doesn't specify what constitutes the eligible level of need, but indicates that 45-50 students (out of about 600 in the law school) will get the scholarships to cover all their tuition.  So that's a significant investment! 

UPDATE:  My colleague Ryan Doerfler calls my attention to this informative piece, with further details:

The plan, according to The Wall Street Journal, includes scholarships worth roughly $72,000 to cover tuition, fees and health insurance for students from families with incomes below the federal poverty line, which is currently $27,750 for a family of four....

Yale said about 8 percent to 10 percent of its currently enrolled law students are eligible for the award, known as the Hurst Horizon Scholarship, according to the newspaper.

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 22, 2022 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

February 18, 2022

Chicago Tribune article on the case of UIC lawprof Jason Kilborn

Here, which correctly notes that the allegations against him were bogus.  Professor Kilborn has also filed an amended complaint in his lawsuit:  Download Kilborn Amended Complaint

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 18, 2022 in Faculty News, Of Academic Interest | Permalink

February 17, 2022

In Memoriam: Walter E. Dellinger III (1941-2022)

A longtime member of the Duke faculty, Professor Dellinger also had a distinguished career in government service and private practice.  The NYT obituary is here and the Duke memorial notice is here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 17, 2022 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

Citation counts vary by field, 2016-2020 edition

Here's an updated version of a post from last summer, now using the Sisk data for the period 2016-2020.

An important fact about interpreting citation data is that citation rates vary quite a bit by field.  One can see all the subject-specific citation lists for the latest Sisk study (2016-2020) here

Of the ten most-cited faculty in the U.S. in the last Sisk study, eight worked at least partly in constitutional law.  Indeed, constitutional law is the most high-citation field, although corporate, law & economics, criminal law & procedure, law & technology, and intellectual property also get cited a lot.  By contrast, tax, evidence, and health law, among others, are low-citation fields.   300 cites in a five-year period will get you into the top five in tax, but not anywhere close to the top 20 in constitutional law (maybe the top 50?).

Here's the fields ranked from highest to lowest citations based on the sum of the cites for the scholar ranked first, fifth and tenth in each area (those totals follow in parentheses).

1.  Constitutional Law (4,880 citations)

2.  Law & Economics (3,350 citations)

3.  Intellectual Property (2,900 citations)

4.  Corporate Law & Securities Regulation (2,440 citations)

5.  Criminal Law & Procedure (2,290 citations)

6.  Law & Technology (2,040 citations)

7.  Law & Social Science (1,980 citations)

8.  Administrative and/or Environmental Law (1,910 citations)

9.  International Law & Security (1,900 citations)

10. Critical Theories of Law (1,870 citations)

11.  Election Law (1,570 citations)

12.  Civil Procedure (1,510 citations)

13.  Law & Philosophy (1,490 citations)

14.  Antitrust (1,460 citations)

15.  Commercial Law (1,380 citations)

15.  Legal History (1,380 citations)

17.  Legislation/Statutory Interpretation (1,350 citations)

18.  Property (1,210 citations)

19.  Immigration Law (1,140 citations)

20.  Labor and/or Employment Law (1,110 citations)

21.  Family Law (1,070 citations)

22.  Legal Ethics/Legal Profession (970 citations)

23.  Torts and Insurance Law (940 citations)

24.  Tax (880 citations)

25.  Health Law (860 citations)

26.  Evidence (630 citations)

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 17, 2022 in Rankings | Permalink

February 16, 2022

In Memoriam: Yale Kamisar (1929-2022)


Professor Kamisar, a leading figure in criminal procedure who spent most of his career at the University of Michigan Law School, was known as "the father of Miranda," as Justice Ginsburg noted in her tribute to Kamisar upon his retirement.  I will add links to memorial notices when they appear.

UPDATE:  The NYT obituary is here.

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 16, 2022 in Memorial Notices | Permalink

February 15, 2022

SSRN removes article after receiving "cease and desist" letter claiming the article defamed one of the people mentioned in it

Professor Ann Lipton (Tulane) explains:

Previously, I announced that my paper, Capital Discrimination, would be forthcoming in the Houston Law Review, and had just been posted publicly to SSRN.  As I explained in that post, the paper explores the problem of gender discrimination against women as business owners and capital providers, and proposes changes to both statutory law and common law fiduciary duties in order to address gender-based oppression in business.


The paper itself describes several business law cases from different jurisdictions, including Shawe v. Elting, a matter very familiar to business lawyers, and which involved an acrimonious dispute in the Delaware courts.  Just before Christmas, an attorney representing Philip Shawe sent this cease and desist letter to SSRN, demanding that the paper be removed from that site as defamatory. 


On New Year’s Day, SSRN removed the paper in response to Shawe’s letter.  After that, Houston Law Review could no longer assure me that the article would run in its journal, and stated that they would not preclude me from submitting the paper for publication elsewhere.   

The court opinion in Shawe v. Elting does not present, shall we say, a flattering portrayal of Mr. Shawe.  But Mr. Shawe's counsel, in the cease and desist letter, takes the view that Professor Lipton's characterization of Mr. Shawe as having engaged in sex- and gender-based misconduct in his trade (based on the fact described by the court) is defamation per se.  (The court does not find that Mr. Shawe engaged in sex- or gender-based discrimination, since that was not the legal issue before the court.)  Tulane's legal counsel takes the position that Professor Lipton's characterizations are non-actionable "opinions."

There are two legal issues here:  first, some commentators have asserted that Section 230 protects SSRN from liability even if Professor Lipton's article is defamatory; and second, and most importantly, there is the question of whether or not Professor Lipton's characterization of Mr. Shawe's conduct as sex- or gender-based "misconduct" is a non-actionable opinion.  I am inclined to think it is, but would be glad to hear from defamation, as well as Section 230 experts, on both these issues.  Submit your comment only once, comments are moderated, and may take awhile to appear.



Posted by Brian Leiter on February 15, 2022 | Permalink | Comments (2)

February 10, 2022

"Justice Kennedy, free speech fabulist"

David Pozen (Columbia) comments.

Posted by Brian Leiter on February 10, 2022 in Of Academic Interest | Permalink

10 Most-Cited Legal Ethics/Legal Profession Faculty in the U.S., 2016-2020

(An alert reader pointed out I had missed this category in my earlier postings of most-cited lists.)

Based on the latest Sisk data, here are the ten most-cited law faculty working in legal ethics/legal profession/professional responsibility in the U.S. for the period 2016-2020 (inclusive) (remember that the data was collected in late May/early June of 2021, and that the pre-2021 database did expand a bit since then).  Numbers are rounded to the nearest ten.    Faculty for whom roughly 75% or more of their citations (based on a sample) are in this area are listed; others with less than 75% of their citations in this field (but still a plurality) are listed in the category of "other highly cited scholars who work partly in this area."

Legal ethics/legal profession





Age in 2021


David Luban

Georgetown University




Bruce Green

Fordham University




Peter Joy

Washington University, St. Louis




David Wilkins

Harvard University




W. Bradley Wendel

Cornell University




Russell Pearce

Fordham University




Charles Geyh

Indiana University, Bloomington




William Henderson, Jr.

Indiana University, Bloomington




Abbe Smith

Georgetown University




Stephen Gillers

New York University




Other highly-cited scholars who work partly in this area


Scott Cummings

University of California, Los Angeles




Peter Margulies

Roger Williams University




Richard Painter

University of Minnesota




Charles Silver

University of Texas, Austin




Cassandra Burke Robertson

Case Western Reserve University




Posted by Brian Leiter on February 10, 2022 in Rankings | Permalink