cont . . .
The Matthew Fogg Symposia are not an exhaustive examination of stare decisis. Instead we
begin with a popular understanding of the doctrine – that it requires courts to follow
appropriate precedent. Our question is whether that adherence is reasonably assured given
1. considerable discretion vested in federal trial judges through the “plausibility pleading”
requirements of Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly and Ashcroft v. Iqbal;
2. dynamics of judicial self-discipline; and
3. impediments to effectively challenging apparent judicial motives and / or bias, including
limitations on lawyer free speech rights.
In other words, “Can America’s administration of justice remain adequately stable,
predictable, efficient, and welfare-enhancing given the foregoing factors?”
Our symposia assemble public interest advocates, legal practitioners, and law professors
who have considered and perhaps addressed in writing one (1) of more of the above listed
factors. In gathering, we not only witness their analyses of those factors in the context of stare
decisis, but observe how the overall exchange impacts the analysis of each participant. The
result should be an unprecedented – pardon our pun – mix of scholarship and practical
Keeping civic minded people in tune with our symposia (including but not limited to lawyers,
jurists, legal scholars, and good government advocates) will be public interest lawyers from
NGOs in the civil rights, judicial reform, and whistleblower advocacy fields. These
accomplished lawyers will share work of our featured legal scholars in lay terms; relate the
underlying principles to real life cases; and propose appropriate reform efforts. Their
presentations are to include real life litigants and / or non-lawyer advocates.
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