“In Search of Fairminded Jurists”On February 7, 2011 by Schnader
Bruce Merenstein authored a post for The Legal Intelligencer Blog titled “In Search of Fairminded Jurists,” which was published on February 7. Many principles of law revolve around the concept of a “reasonable person.” Of course, negligence law often applies a “reasonable person” standard to determine whether a defendant breached a duty owed to a plaintiff. Similarly, in determining whether summary judgment or judgment notwithstanding the verdict should be entered for a defendant, courts typically ask whether the evidence is sufficient for a reasonable jury to return a verdict in favor of the plaintiff. In some circumstances, however, the focus is not on the reasonable person or a reasonable jury, but on a reasonable jurist. In those situations, courts must engage in the strange task of determining whether fellow judges have reached a decision that no reasonable judge could reach. The blog post discusses this issue.