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NCJ Number: 48035 Find in a Library
Title: WOMEN ATTORNEYS AND THE JUDICIARY
Journal: DENVER LAW JOURNAL  Volume:52  Issue:4  Dated:(1975)  Pages:881-909
Author(s): J F GILSINAN; L OBERNYER; C A GILSINAN
Corporate Author: University of Denver
College of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 29
Sponsoring Agency: University of Denver
Denver, CO 80204
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: IN VIEW OF THE TRADITIONAL EXPECTATIONS OF WOMEN HELD BY THE JUDICIARY, A FIELD OBSERVATION STUDY OF JUDGE/FEMALE ATTORNEY INTERACTIONS IN THE COURTROOM WAS UNDERTAKEN.
Abstract: THE QUESTION SPECIFICALLY ADDRESSED IS WHETHER JUDGES, BY THEIR WORDS OR ACTIONS DURING COURTROOM PROCEEDINGS, ATTRIBUTE TO WOMEN FULL PROFESSIONAL STANDING AS MEMBERS OF THE BAR. RESEARCH WAS BASED ON APPROXIMATELY 6 MONTHS OF OBSERVATION: 17 OBSERVATIONS OF 15 SEPARATE PROCEEDINGS WERE RECORDED AND ANALYZED. IN TWO CASES, TWO INDEPENDENT OBSERVERS WERE USED. IN 14 CASES, BOTH MALE AND FEMALE ATTORNEYS WERE PRESENT; IN ONE CASE, TWO FEMALE ATTORNEYS WERE INVOLVED. PROCEEDINGS INCLUDED THOSE IN APPELLATE AND TRIAL COURTS AND JUVENILE PROCEEDINGS. EXCERPTS FROM THESE OBSERVATIONS ELUCIDATING JUDICIAL BEHAVIORS TOWARD BOTH MALE AND FEMALE COUNSEL ARE PRESENTED AND DISCUSSED. RESULTS INDICATE THAT JUDGES DO REGULARLY ENGAGE IN CERTAIN KINDS OF BEHAVIORS; HOWEVER, THE BEHAVIORS CATEGORIZED DID NOT GENERALLY RELATE TO THE SEX OF THE ATTORNEY. THUS, JUDGES GENERALLY DID NOT INDICATE BY THEIR WORDS OR ACTIONS THAT FEMALE PRACTITIONERS WERE CONSIDERED IN A SECONDARY ROLE TO THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. BEHAVIOR PATTERNS OBSERVED IN JUDGES APPEAR TO REPRESENT CERTAIN DRAMATURGICAL RITUALS IN KEEPING WITH SOCIETAL EXPECTATIONS OF THE JUDICIAL ROLE. A PRIMARY RITUAL WAS THE RITUAL OF NONINVOLVEMENT WHICH WAS USED TO PORTRAY A STANCE OF THIRD-PARTY DISINTEREST OR IMPARTIALITY. CERTAIN JUDGES DISPLAYED IMPARTIALITY THROUGH A RITUAL OF ACTIVE INTEREST IN WHICH THE JUDGE PERSONALLY INVOLVES HIMSELF WITH THE PARTICIPANTS, BUT REACTS TO ALL PARTICIPANTS IN THE SAME MANNER. THESE PATTERNS APPEAR RITUALISTIC BECAUSE NEITHER THE PARTICULAR INDIVIDUAL NOR HIS OR HER UTTERANCES CHANGED THE JUDGE'S INTERACTION PATTERN. RITUAL CHASTISEMENT IS A THIRD STRATEGY UTILIZED BY JUDGES. HERE A DIFFERENCE IN TREATMENT OF MALE AND FEMALE ATTORNEYS WAS NOTED; WITH JUDGES TENDING TO BE MORE POLITE AND AT TIMES MORE PATERNALISTIC TOWARD THE WOMEN THAN TOWARD THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. INTERVIEWS WITH THE FEMALE ATTORNEYS ALSO INDICATED THAT THEY DID NOT FEEL THEY WERE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ON THE BASIS OF THEIR SEX BY THE JUDGES, ALTHOUGH THEY TOO MENTIONED A TENDENCY FOR JUDGES TO BE MORE POLITE AND 'GENTLEMANLY' TOWARD THEM THAN TOWARD MALE ATTORNEYS. SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH ARE MADE. NOTES ARE INCLUDED. (JAP)
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Attorneys; Behavior patterns; Behavioral science research; Females; Judges; Judicial process; Role perception; Sex discrimination
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=48035

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