How Justice Scalia's Writing Style Affected American Jurisprudence - Audio/Video

2016 National Lawyers Convention

In addition to being a brilliant legal thinker, Justice Scalia was widely regarded as a masterful legal writer, perhaps the best of his generation. His gifted prose and frequent use of humor and sarcasm made Justice Scalia's opinions -- whether majority or dissent -- must-reads for lawyers, judges, professors, and law students alike. Commentators from across the philosophical spectrum admired Justice Scalia's writing skill. Just a year before his passing, for example, the New Republic, dubbed Scalia “the foremost living practitioner of performative legal prose." This panel discussion will examine the impact Justice Scalia's writing had on American jurisprudence. Aside from the force of his arguments, what impact did his writing style have on the opinions written by his colleagues on the Supreme Court and judges on lower courts, the briefs filed by practicing lawyers, and even the way law students learned the law? Our panelists will bring a variety of perspectives to this question: former clerk, judge, professors, and critics.

This panel was held on November 17, 2016, during the 2016 National Lawyers Convention in Washington, DC.

Litigation: How Justice Scalia's Writing Style Affected American Jurisprudence
11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.   
East & State Rooms

  • Prof. Brian T. Fitzpatrick, Professor of Law, Vanderbilt Law School
  • Prof. Toni M. Massaro, Regents' Professor, Milton O. Riepe Chair in Constitutional Law and Dean Emerita, University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law
  • Mr. Kannon Shanmugam, Partner, Williams & Connolly LLP
  • Hon. Jeffrey S. Sutton, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • Moderator: Hon. Joan L. Larsen, Michigan Supreme Court
  • Introduction: Hon. Rachel Brand, Member, Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and Senior Advisor to the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center, United States Chamber of Commerce

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC