Fried and HLS alumni win legal writing award

Professor Charles Fried

Professor Charles Fried

An article written by Harvard Law School Professor Charles Fried was named an exemplar of good legal writing by The Green Bag, a quarterly journal devoted to readable, concise, and entertaining legal scholarship. A number of Harvard Law School alumni were also included on Green Bag’s 2012 list of “Exemplary Legal Writing.” Their work will appear in the “2013 Almanac & Reader.”

Fried, a noted constitutional law scholar, former U.S. solicitor general and former justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, was recognized for his article On Judgment,” 15 Lewis & Clark Law Review 1025 (2012). The text of the article was based on the Anthony Kennedy Lecture, which Fried delivered at Lewis & Clark Law School on Sept. 23, 2010.

In On Judgment,” Fried offers a perspective on the United State Supreme Court and originalism. He writes: “The rise of originalism has brought with it an almost obsessive concern with history. Originalism seeks to substitute keenness of intellect for prudent judgment because the first is thought to be objective. The second is thought to be subjective, thereby subjecting us to the rule, not of laws, but of men. Yet the wise judge recognizes that the search for security and objectivity in history is a will-o’-the wisp. Wisdom, not historical rigor, is the touchstone of good judgment.”

Read Fried’s article here (PDF).

Green Bag’s list, which recognizes outstanding legal writing in the categories of opinions for the court, concurrences and dissents, books, short articles, long articles, news and editorials, and miscellany, was compiled from a list of nominees based on the votes of the journal’s Board of Advisers. The board includes distinguished members of the state and federal judiciaries, private law firms, the news media and academia.

University Professor at New York University School of Law Arthur Miller ’58, a civil procedure scholar and longtime Harvard Law School professor, was also honored under the long article category for “McIntyre in Context: A Very Personal Perspective,” 63 South Carolina Law Review 465 (2012).

In the concurrences, dissents category, former HLS dean and current Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan ’86 was recognized for her dissent in Williams v. Illinois 132 S.Ct. 2221 (2012) and Neil Gorsuch ’91, judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals, 10th Circuit, was honored for his dissent in U.S. v. Rosales-Garcia, 667 F.3d 1348 (10th Cir. 2012).

Under the book category, David Dorsen ’59 won for his book “Henry Friendly, Greatest Judge of His Era” (Harvard University Press 2012). In November, Dorsen participated in a panel discussion at HLS on the legal legacy of Friendly.

The Green Bag is a quarterly periodical produced in part by George Mason University School of Law. Also published once annually is the Green Bag’s “Almanac & Reader” intended to showcase the years best legal writing. The journal, inspired by the original Green Bag produced between 1889 and 1914, was re-established in 1997, billing itself as “an entertaining journal of law.”