Marc Galanter


Imagine some friendly visitors to America-from Europe or Asia or even from Mars-who are seeking to comprehend the American legal system. Our Martian visitors would have seen A Civil Action and The Runaway Jury at the Red Canal multiplex and surely they have seen syndicated episodes of the ubiquitous Law and Order. Upon arrival they turn on the TV news in their hotel room and scan the newspaper slipped under the door and find both saturated with accounts of square-jawed wife murderers, egomaniacal corporate executives, and freakish entertainers on trial. Unsurprisingly, our visitors readily conclude that the trial is the central pivot of the American legal process.



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