Document Type

Article

Comments

Field Theory and Judicial Logic, 59 Yale Law Journal 238 (1950)

Abstract

ANYONE who has read the statement of facts in a large number of
briefs of appellants and appellees is likely to conclude that any resemblances
between opposing accounts of the same facts are purely
fortuitous and unintentional. The impression that opposing lawyers
seldom agree on the facts is strengthened if one listens to opposing
counsel in almost any trial. Now, as a matter of simple logic, two inconsistent
statements cannot both be true. At least one must be
false. And it is always possible that both are false, as, for example,
when the plaintiff's attorney says the defendant speeded into the
zone of the accident at sixty miles an hour and the defendant's counsel
insists his client was jogging along at twenty miles an hour, while, in
fact, he was moving at forty miles an hour. Thus, a logician may conclude
that either (1) at least half of our practicing lawyers utter falsehoods
whenever they open their mouths or fountain pens, or (2) that a
substantial majority of practicing lawyers utter falsehoods on a substantial
number of such occasions. If we define a liar as a person who
frequently utters such falsehoods,' it would seem to follow logically
that most lawyers are liars.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1950

Keywords

trial, lawyer, evidence, judicial logic

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