Adversarial Legalism The American Way of Law

ISBN-10: 0674012410
ISBN-13: 9780674012417
Edition: 2001
Authors: Robert A. Kagan
List price: $31.00 Buy it from $3.99
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Description: American methods of policy implementation and dispute resolution are more adversarial and legalistic when compared with the systems of other economically advanced countries. Americans more often rely on legal threats and lawsuits. American laws are  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.00
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 9/1/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.254
Language: English

American methods of policy implementation and dispute resolution are more adversarial and legalistic when compared with the systems of other economically advanced countries. Americans more often rely on legal threats and lawsuits. American laws are generally more complicated and prescriptive, adjudication more costly, and penalties more severe. In a thoughtful and cogently argued book, Robert Kagan examines the origins and consequences of this system of "adversarial legalism." Kagan describes the roots of adversarial legalism and the deep connections it has with American political institutions and values. He investigates its social costs as well as the extent to which lawyers perpetuate it. Ranging widely across many legal fields, including criminal law, environmental regulations, tort law, and social insurance programs, he provides comparisons with the legal and regulatory systems of western Europe, Canada, and Japan that point to possible alternatives to the American methods. Kagan notes that while adversarial legalism has many virtues, its costs and unpredictability often alienate citizens from the law and frustrate the quest for justice. This insightful study deepens our understanding of law and its relationship to politics in America and raises valuable questions about the future of the American legal system.

Preface
Adversarial Legalism: Contours, Consequences, Causes
The Concept of Adversarial Legalism
The Two Faces of Adversarial Legalism
The Political Construction of Adversarial Legalism
Criminal Justice
Adversarial Legalism and American Criminal Justice
Deciding Criminal Cases
Civil Justice
Adversarial Legalism and Civil Justice
The Tort Law System
Public Law: Social Justice and Regulation
Adversarial Legalism and the Welfare State
Adversarial Legalism and Regulatory Style
Economic Development, Environmental Protection, and Adversarial Legalism
Conclusion: Can the United States Tame Adversarial Legalism?
Notes
References
Index

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