Legal principles

(Walter Olson online writings by topic)

For regularly updated commentaries on this subject as well as outside links, see my site, launched July 1999.


This is a catch-all category for pieces on a variety of legal topics, from constitutional law and due process to jurisprudence and the state of the law schools, that do not fit into such categories as litigation, legal ethics, civil liberties, criminal law, family law, discrimination law and employment law.

"Title IX's Invisible Ink" ("implied private rights of action" at the Supreme Court), Reason, August/September 1999.

"Lawyers, Gums and Rummies" (why lawyers are so unpopular), Reason, July 1999.

"Mine and Thine", review of Property and Liberty by Richard Pipes, Wall Street Journal, May 6, 1999.

"The Law on Trial", review of Beyond all Reason by Daniel Farber and Suzanna Sherry, Wall Street Journal, October 14, 1997 (identity politics, critical race theory, feminism etc. in the law schools).

"Retro Style" (evils of retroactive application of law), Reason, August/September 1997.

"Don't Steal This Book", review of Property Matters by James DeLong, Wall Street Journal, April 2, 1997 (property rights).

"Dworkin's morality: rule by Supremes", review of Ronald Dworkin, Freedom's Law, Baltimore Sun, May 5, 1996.

Theory-Addled Lawyers, review of The Lost Lawyer by Anthony Kronman, Across the Board, February 1994 (ascendancy of theory in legal academia).

"Good Standing?" (taxpayer or citizen standing), City Journal, Autumn 1993.

"Suing Ourselves to Death" (legal formalism; excerpt from The Litigation Explosion), Washington Post, April 28, 1991.

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