Professor of Law
When we think of justice in a legal system, we usually think of a fair result. But justice also requires a fair process—how we arrive at an outcome can be as important as the outcome itself. Because the procedures we use also affect the outcomes we obtain, studying legal procedure is integral to understanding the American legal system.
The goal of procedure is easily stated: to ensure the just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution of every case. Attaining this goal is the challenge. Nowhere is the challenge greater than in the area of mass disputes, where cost prevents the parties and courts from resolving cases one by one, and available solutions such as class actions pose their own problems.
My teaching and scholarship focus on the ways that judges and lawyers can improve our system of civil justice, especially in mass disputes, while remaining faithful to the millennium-old legal tradition of which we are the present caretakers. Notre Dame has been a wonderful place to engage in this inquiry. My colleagues and my students are extraordinarily bright and gifted, and they understand the importance of law in pursuing the common good.