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50 Ohio St. L.J. 1237 (1989)


In the inaugural essay of this series, Judge Coffin described this unique effort of the editors of the Ohio State Law Journal as an opportunity for judges to engage in "reflective self-examination" in a time of "remorselessly increasing pressures" on the judicial way of life as it has existed since the founding of the Republic. When any institution—public or private—is experiencing great stress and, consequently, is in danger of undergoing cataclysmic change, the quality of its relationships with the other institutions with which it regularly interacts can determine its ability to deal effectively with the pressures. If those other institutions are supportive, stress can be eased; change can be more orderly and, most importantly, the essential traditions of the besieged institution can remain intact.

In the following paragraphs, I shall explore what appear to me to be the key features of the relationship between the bench and the academic community. I shall also identify several areas where, in my view, misunderstandings need to be laid to rest, pitfalls avoided, and, more importantly, the potential for improvement enhanced.


Reprinted with permission of Ohio State Law Journal.

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