Judge Sri Srinivasan on Appellate Decision Making

Judge Sri Srinivasan of the D.C. Circuit is speaking on the nature of appellate decision making,Jenkins_Kirk_300-700x3711 and in particular collective decision making. Judge Srinivasan is focusing on the effect of the fundamental difference between appellate and trial court advocacy – the task of persuading a panel, rather than a single judge.

Judge Srinivasan is saying that appellate decision making is very much a collective endeavor, and the focus of the judges on reaching common ground – and hopefully unanimity – causes a draft opinion to evolve, often into something somewhat different, or perhaps more narrow, than what it initially is.

There’s been a good bit of interesting academic work done on these issues, particularly in recent years, much of it focusing on applying data analytic methods to understanding courts’ work.