This page links to and briefly describes my most important papers on electronic legal publishing and law and communication. The papers are presented in three formats: full texts of "preprints" and "postprints" designed for publication or re-publication on the Web, transcripts of presentations made at academic conferences, and abstracts of articles still available only in print. Citations to other articles, essays, comments, book reviews and editorials not available here may be found in the Scholarship section of my Profile.
- Yesterday Once More: Skeptics, Scribes and the Demise of Law Reviews [full text]
"The striking similarity between the present controversy over electronic self-publishing and the long-settled battle over commercial printing suggests prima facie that the arguments against my proposal in Last Writes? are overdrawn."
This paper responds to a series of commentaries appearing in a Special Issue of the Akron Law Review on my Web-posted article Last Writes?: Re-assessing the Law Review in the Age of Cyberspace [originally published online, March 6, 1997; later reprinted in 30 Akron Law Review 267 (1996)].
- Last Writes?: Re-assessing the Law Review in the Age of Cyberspace [full text]
"The next decade could witness the end of the law review as we know it...."
This paper examines the precarious position of the law review in an Internet environment [originally published online, February 5, 1996 - reprinted in 71 New York University Law Review 615 (1996)].
- Taking Writes Seriously: The Future(?) of the Law Review [conference paper]
"Esther Dyson, Chair of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a leading commentator on Internet culture, recently observed that 'Most ideas go through a cycle. The first time people hear an idea, they don't even pay enough attention to disagree....The second time they say 'that's really stupid. If that were true we'd know it already.' The third time they seem to get it vaguely and say 'Hmm, you know...'. The fourth time they say, 'Oh yeah. everybody knows that. That's boring."
This paper explores the reactions to my 1996 Web-posted article Last Writes? Re-assessing the Law Review in the Age of Cyberspace (later reprinted in the NYU Law Review).
- Making Sense of Metaphors: Visuality, Aurality and the Reconfiguration of American Legal Discourse [full text]
"...the partial displacement of one...family of modal metaphors (indirectly appealing to the eye) by another (indirectly appealing to the ear)...would seem to both reflect and portend major paradigmatic changes in American law and society."
This paper examines the contemporary shift from visually-oriented to aurally-oriented figures of speech in American legal language [originally published in 16 Cardozo Law Review 229 (1994)].
- Coming to Our Senses: Communication and Legal Expression in Performance Cultures [full text]
"...by gaining a greater appreciation of communication and legal expression in cultures not dominated by writing, we may indirectly familiarize ourselves with (and prepare ourselves for) some of the forms which learning and law are likely to take once our own age of writing has passed."
This paper examines how law in "performance cultures" (societies with little or no experience with writing) is communicated and constituted by means of the senses [originally published in 41 Emory Law Journal 873 (1992)].
- De-scribing Law: Performance in the Constitution of Legality [conference paper]
"...a new postmodern legal epistemology is developing which embraces values highly compatible with performance..."
This paper discusses the historical centrality and contemporary resurgence of performance - "restored behavior" - in the creation and perpetuation of law and legal values [delivered at the 1996 Performance Studies Conference, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, March 1996].
- The Re-vision of Law: The Pictorial Turn in American Legal Culture [conference paper]
"...putting greater reliance on the pictorial, far from undermining justice, may actually assist it."
This paper discusses the increasing presence and significance of imagery and "imagistic" discourse in contemporary American legal culture [delivered at the Annual Meeting of the College Art Association, Boston, MA, February 1996].
- Re-membering Law: Legal Gesture in the Past, Present and Future [conference paper]
"In theory, gestural interfaces could allow us to indicate our agreement to a contract or other transaction by something as simple, as fast, as direct and as intuitive as a particular motion of the hand."
This paper surveys the history of legal gesture and speculates on its future application in virtual environments [delivered at the workshop on 'Gesture at the User Interface', 1995 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI-95), Denver, CO, May 1995)].
- Making Motions: The Embodiment of Law in Gesture [abstract]
"...gesture has been an integral part of the Western legal tradition for more than 5000 years."
This paper considers the general functions of legal gesture as a modality and suggests that appreciating these functions can provide new insights into gesture's survival on the margins of contemporary legal culture, into its checkered history, and even into its future in a new technological age [published in 6 Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 51 (1995)].