Saturday, June 16, 2012

Judge Posner on Judicial Pragmatism at How Appealing

How Appealing's 20 Questions by Howard J. Bashman of How Appealing to Judge Richard A. Posner, December 1, 2003 -- we cite here only Question 5 and have added the material in brackets:
"[Bashman] 5. You have for many years described your judicial philosophy as one of "judicial pragmatism." For those readers of this interview who have not previously encountered your description of what that means, would you please explain the term and how your approach to judging works in practice.

[Posner] ... The essence of judicial pragmatism, or at least my version of it, is recognition that difficult cases--and they are legion in our system--cannot be resolved at the appellate level by a distinctive process of reasoning called "legal reasoning," emphasizing careful parsing of text and scrupulous adherence to precedent and an analytical method that resembles deductive logic. Those methods do not resolve difficult legal cases, but merely conceal the true springs of decision in such a case, which involve a careful examination of the practical consequences of a decision for or against the appellant. The pragmatist emphasizes the continuity of facts and law, and the importance of common sense, experience, values, and yes, ideology in resolving cases when the conventional materials of judicial decision making--authoritative texts, precedent, deduction, and so forth--run out, as they so frequently do. This is not to deny the virtues, which are thoroughly pragmatic, of logic, fidelity to text, and adherence to precedent, techniques that can resolve most cases--only not the most challenging ones. The pretense that they can is particularly threadbare in the Supreme Court, which decides a very high percentage of cases that are in fact indeterminate from the standpoint of orthodox legal analytics. In any split decision by the Supreme Court, to say that one side is "right" and the other "wrong" is usually a naïve reaction."
See Posner's Law, Pragmatism, and Democracy at Google Books.

For the other 19 questions, see How Appealing.

Patent Trolling Madness Hits a Snag in Chicago's Judge Posner in Apple v. Motorola Case

Bravo, Judge Posner!

Dennis Crouch at the Patent Law Blog (Patently-O) headlines Judge Posner: No Damages Despite Infringement in a patent infringement case brought by Apple against Motorola in which Judge Richard Posner is sitting by designation as the trial judge.

Crouch writes:
"Posner canceled the jury trial scheduled for this week and instead opined that the case is moot because there are no damages and therefore, “neither party can establish a right of relief.”"
The reason, as written at FOSS Patents, was that:
"[T]he parties' Daubert motions (motions against unreasonable damages claims) were wildly successful"
Read the order here. An opinion is forthcoming.

We have long thought that Posner should be on the U.S. Supreme Court, but maybe it is important to have him out there "in the field" where he is doing his part to put a stop to the patent trolling madness that is destroying sane patent law.

Philip Elmer-DeWitt in Judge bars Apple from turning court into reality distortion field wrote:
"If you're following the smartphone patent wars and have never run into Judge Richard A. Posner before, you're in for a treat."
FOSS Patents previously wrote about Posner, as follows:
"In January I already wrote about Judge Posner's reputation. He's the most-cited U.S. legal scholar of the 20th century. What makes his Daubert ruling particularly interesting is that legal economics are his favorite subject."
Late Addendum from the Verge reports to the effect that Posner will let parties argue for injunctive relief, but surely only in order to protect his initial order on the damages side in the case of an eventual appeal.

We hope that the judges and Justices in the United States and around the world are following this case to see how to properly handle patent matters in court in the current patent trolling world.

Google Spreadsheet Gadgets Reviewed: e.g. the Organization Chart Gadget for Business Management Structures or even Website Design

Helen Bradley at the PCWorld Business Center has a review of 7 Great Google Spreadsheet Gadgets e.g. as she writes, the Organization Chart gadget:

"can create a hierarchical chart showing the design for your website or the management structure of your business":

Crossposted at Gadget Pundit.

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