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Revamping the American Justice System

December 06, 2018

A new series of essays in The Regulatory Review features leading legal scholars and practitioners writing about the future of the United States legal system. The essays respond to the ideas set forth in a recent book, Rebooting Justice: More Technology, Fewer Lawyers, and the Future of Law, co-authored by Third Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Stephanos Bibas, a former Penn Law professor, and Benjamin Barton, the Helen and Charles Lockett Distinguished Professor of Law at The University of Tennessee Knoxville College of Law.

In their book, Judge Bibas and Professor Barton argue that both the criminal and civil justice systems require updates to make them fairer and more broadly accessible. “Society needs triage,” they argue in their opening essay in The Regulatory Review series. “The government should focus its limited funding on felony defense and similar matters to make lawyers meaningful in practice. … By contrast, courts should handle minor criminal matters in a way that does not require lawyers at all, for the state or for the defendant,” they write.

The Regulatory Review series features seven essays by other scholars and practitioners, each responding to Judge Bibas and Professor Barton’s argument. Among these commentators are four members of the Penn Law faculty: Cary Coglianese, the Edward B. Shils Professor of Law and director of the Penn Program on Regulation; Paul Heaton, a senior fellow and the academic director of the Quattrone Center for the Fair Administration of Justice; John Hollway, associate dean and executive director of the Quattrone Center; and Catherine T. Struve, professor of law.

Rebooting Justice raises a timely question about whether the current system of regulating the legal profession may impede equal access to justice,” notes Sarah Madigan, L’19, the Editor-in-Chief of The Regulatory Review.  “We are pleased to feature such a rich variety of perspectives on this vital issue and to consider ways to improve the U.S. legal system.”

The Review’s series, entitled “Revamping the American Justice System,” also includes commentary from faculty at the Georgetown Law School, Harvard Law School, and the University of Virginia. Learn more and read the series in The Regulatory Review.