This seminar explores the professional role of judges, both state and federal, in our American legal system. It invites analysis of the distinctive features of our judiciary, its multiple roles in legal determinations under stare decisis, in statutory interpretation, in fact finding (both at trial and in other contexts), in the many interactions with the direct democracy of the American jury, in administration and case management, and in contacts with the legislative and executive branches. LIMITED WRITING REQUIREMENT OPTION: A limited number of students may be permitted to satisfy the upper-class writing requirement with the approval of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. ** A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar, or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, will be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.