Prejudice, Politics, and Proof

In the last fifteen years there has been a great resurgence of interest in fundamental theoretical analysis of the nature of factual proof in litigation. Many serious scholars, both in the law school world and outside it, have turned their energies in this direction. William L. Twining, Quain Professor of Jurisprudence at University College London, has been a major figure in this growing movement. He recently published a painstaking and scholarly study of Bentham’s and Wigmore’s theories of evidence, inference, and proof in adjudication. This book is part of Twining’s broader, long-term effort to develop a general theoretical framework for the analysis of evidence and proof.

Professor Kenneth W. Graham, Jr., recently published a vile review of this book in the Michigan Law Review. Graham’s attack on Twining’s effort is not the usual trashing sometimes found in law reviews. He does not claim that Twining’s book is poor scholarship. Graham does make it plain that he does not like either Twining or his book and he does his damnedest to make his readers share his sentiments. Graham is entitled to dislike any book or person he pleases, but the polemics in his review are both thoughtless and offensive.