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LEST Program Activities 2007-2008

The following is a list of the activities and programs of the LEST program during the 2007-08 academic year:





The 2008 Koford Lecture


Co-sponsored by

Legal Studies Program


Department of Economics



Lewis A. Kornhauser

New York University School of Law



"Modeling Courts"


3:30 p.m. on April 16, 2008 in Purnell 118



This annual lecture is named in honor of our long-time friend and former Director of Legal Studies, the late Kenneth J. Koford.  The lecture series is co-sponsored by the Legal Studies Program and the Department of Economics in the Lerner College of Business & Economics.


We are please to announce that our speaker this year is Lewis A. Kornhauser, Alfred B. Engelberg Professor of Law and the Director of the Institute for Law and Society at New York University School of Law, where he has taught since 1982.  Professor Kornhauser was awarded a B.A. and M.A. (Mathematics) from Brown University (1972), a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (1976), and a Ph.D. (Economics) from the University of California, Berkeley (1980).  He has taught as a visitor at Stanford University, Duke University, and the University of California, Berkeley.  Previously, he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Stanford, California.


In his research, Dr. Kornhauser has applied microeconomic analysis to a wide range of subjects, including fundamental aspects of jurisprudence that are not typically examined from this perspective. His publications include articles about corporate takeovers, divorce, and methods of assigning monetary values to human lives. In this lecture, Dr. Kornhauser will discuss the various models of adjudication advanced by social scientists. Rational choice models of adjudication have largely imported the sequential choice model developed for the study of Congress to the study of courts.  Kornhauser argues that a more fruitful approach would develop a model that captures the institutional features of courts.  He will focus on three "challenges" to the standard models in judicial politics: (1) the role of litigant, and to a lesser extent, judicial, selection (as opposed to no selection); (2) the use of "case space" rather than "policy space" as the basic domain for the study of courts; and (3) supplementing agency models in which judges have heterogeneous preferences with team models in which judges share an objective function.


To see Dr. Kornhauser's resume, click here







LEST Faculty Forum


Wednesday March 19 at 3:30 pm

in Purnell 118


"The Emerging Death Penalty Jurisprudence of the Roberts Court"


Ken Haas


Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice

University of Delaware







Ken Haas received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Rutgers University. He is Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at the University of Delaware. His articles have appeared in law reviews, social science journals, and scholarly anthologies. His scholarly work has been cited in many law review articles and by the United States Supreme Court. In this lecture, Dr. Haas will discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's most controversial death penalty decisions since the 2005 confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice and the selection of Samuel Alito to replace the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor in early 2006. He will argue that the mainstream press (and even a good many legal scholars) have underestimated the extent to which these changes in the composition of the Court have changed the substance and tone of the Court's capital punishment jurisprudence. Dr. Haas will conclude by previewing the major death penalty cases yet to be decided this year including two that have the potential to change the legal landscape in a truly significant way.






Fall 2007


Professor Stephanos Bibas

University of Pennsylvania Law School






“Originalism and Formalism in Criminal Procedure:

The Triumph of Justice Scalia, the Unlikely Friend of Criminal Defendants?”


Friday, November 30, 2007

3:30-5:00 p.m.

Gore Hall, Room 104


Stephanos Bibas is Professor of Law at Penn Law School. He is a graduate of Columbia University (B.A.), Oxford University (M.A.), and Yale Law School (J.D.).  Before joining the Penn Law faculty, Bibas was a research fellow at Yale Law School and taught at the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago Law School.  He is a former prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and was a law clerk for Judge Patrick Higginbotham of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Justice Anthony Kennedy of the United States Supreme Court. Bibas is the author of numerous articles, including: “Plea Bargaining Outside the Shadow of Trial,” Harvard Law Review (2004) and “The Rehnquist Court’s Fifth Amendment Incrementalism,” George Washington Law Review (2006).  In his research, Professor Bibas explores three major themes: how procedural rules written for jury trials play out in the real world of guilty pleas; the interests, powers, and incentives that drive the attorneys and other major players in criminal cases; and the divorce of efficiency from morality in criminal procedure.  His lecture will present themes from his recent article in Georgetown Law Review.  To read the article, click here

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