Oct. 29, 1998
Vol. 18, No. 3

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    Center studies to shed light on legal system

    A new research center, called the Center on Civil Justice, has been created at the University's Law School to study how law is practiced in the United States, Dean of the Law School Douglas Baird announced recently.

    "The new center will shed light on the legal system and develop a realistic picture of human behavior when it comes to law," said Cass Sunstein, the center's founder and the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor at the Law School.

    The center will focus on what civil courts and administrative courts actually do, Sunstein said. "For instance, we might ask which cases receive the highest damage awards and why?"

    Sunstein has done extensive research in areas related to the center's work, including punitive damage awards, economic awards in sexual harassment and libel cases, cost-benefit analysis, environmental protection, social norms and their relation to law, and behavioral economics.

    The Center on Civil Justice will draw from the interests and expertise of interested faculty in the Law School and the University, including Lisa Bernstein, Dan Kahan, Randall Picker, and Eric Posner, Tracey Meares and others.