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Research Canons

Books and articles that are essential to a new academic in various areas of legal inquiry as suggested by contributors to PrawfsBlawg.


  1. Stephen B. Burbank, The Rules Enabling Act of 1934, 130 U. Pa. L. Rev. 1015 (1982) (suggested by Howard Wasserman and Howard Erichson).
  2. Abram Chayes, The Role of the Judge in Public Law Litigation, 89 Harv. L. Rev. 1281 (1976) (might deserve mention only because they preceded Managerial Judging; suggested by David Zaring). 
  3. David P. Currie, Thoughts on Directed Verdicts and Summary Judgment,  45 U. Chic. L. Rev. 72 (1977) (suggested by Howard Wasserman). 
  4. Colin Diver, The Judge as Political Powerbroker: Superintending Structural Change in Public Institutions, 65 Va. L. Rev. 43 (1979) (might deserve mention only because they preceded Managerial Judging; suggested by David Zaring). 
  5. John Hart Ely, The Irrepressible Myth of Erie, 87 Harv. L. Rev. 693 (1974) (suggested by Howard Wasserman and Howard Erichson).
  6. Owen M. Fiss, Against Settlement, 93 Yale L.J. 1075 (1984) (suggested by Howard Erichson and Dan Markel).
  7. John H. Langbein, The German Advantage in Civil Procedure, 52 Univ. Chic. L. Rev. 823 (1985) (suggested by Howard Erichson).
  8. Martin B. Louis, Federal Summary Judgment: A Critical Analysis, 83 Yale L.J. 745 (1974) (suggested by Howard Wasserman). 
  9. Judith Resnik, Managerial Judges, 96 Harv. L. Rev. 374 (1982) (on the changing role of judges under the Federal Rules in the 1980s/1990s; suggested by Howard Wasserman and Howard Erichson). David Rosenberg, The Causal Connection in Mass Exposure Cases: A 'Public Law' Vision of the Tort System, 97 Harv. L. Rev. 849 (1984) (suggested by Dan Markel).
  10. Stephen N. Subrin, How Equity Conquered Common Law, 135 Univ. Penn. L. Rev. (1987) (suggested by Howard Erichson). 


  1. Federal Judicial Center, Manual for Complex Litigation (4th ed. 2004) (indispensable, but can a regularly updated book (it's up to M.C.L.4th) be canonical? Key articles on class actions include Coffee, Class Wars and Shapiro, The Class as Party and Client. Maybe at some point the ALI's new project on aggregate litigation will become part of the canon, but it's still early in the process; suggested by Howard Erichson). 
  2. Robert M. Cover & Owen M. Fiss, The Structure of Procedure, (1979) (suggested by Steve Vladeck).