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Civil Rights and Discrimination

Arts and Entertainment

University of Pittsburgh School of Law Working Paper Series

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Transcending The Debate On Legal Narrative, George H. Taylor Apr 2005

Transcending The Debate On Legal Narrative, George H. Taylor

University of Pittsburgh School of Law Working Paper Series

Use of the narrative form in law and legal analysis remains controversial. Advocates such as Derrick Bell, Richard Delgado, and Kathryn Abrams have argued that narrative in law can elicit particular perspectives and experiences that are reduced or bleached away when incorporated into the formalisms of pure doctrinal studies. By contrast, critics such as Daniel Farber and Suzanna Sherry maintain that narratives can distort if they are not sufficiently based on empirical fact or reason. Narratives, they claim, must be evaluated on the basis of objective standards.

The Article transcends this divide. In particular, it argues that the valuable functions ...