A school of poetry says the words of judges provide a more vivid record of what we see and feel than the stanzas of Shelley or Wordsworth.
By David Skeel
IN 1928, SEVERAL YEARS AFTER STUDYING JOURNALISM at the University of Missouri and graduating second in his class at New York University's law school, a man named Charles Reznikoff landed a job at Corpus Juris, the legal encyclopedia that many lawyers still turn to when they're trying to make sense of an unfamiliar area of law. Corpus Juris (now known as Corpus Juris Secundum, or CJS) divides American law into numerous categories and provides brief descriptions of the case law for each of the issues covered. Reznikoff was hired to slog through judicial opinions and create bite-sized summaries for the encyclopedia.