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Yale Law School will host SCOTUS Justice Sonia Sotomayor LAW ’79 for a virtual conversation on Nov. 4. 

The talk will close out the law school’s two-day-long conference honoring the fortieth anniversary of YLS Professor Judith Resnik’s article entitled “Managerial Judges,” which continues to impact civil procedure today. While Sotomayor will be joining virtually, the conference will be hosted in person at the Law School and will feature speakers across the legal profession. Her appearance will follow a roundtable discussion and three panels. 

“Former students who are now law professors reached out to say they wanted to mark the article I wrote now decades ago,” Resnik wrote to the News. “I am so honored by all who are participating. For anyone caring about justice and equality, I commend reading Justice Sotomayor’s opinions and we all look forward to her commentary tomorrow.” 

Panelists will discuss topics ranging from “The Future of Adjudication” to “Managing Cases, Lawyers, and Problems.” Speakers will include sitting and former federal justices, practicing attorneys and legal professors.

“The timing and discussion will, I hope, bring into focus the challenges of getting into and using courts – state and federal – and the critical role judges play in making access to legal remedies available – or not,” Resnik wrote. 

Other figures slated to speak at the event include California Supreme Court Justice Goodwin Liu and Dean of New York University Law School Troy McKenzie.  

Professor Resnik’s article, ‘Managerial Judges’… reframed the way those of us who study courts and litigation understand, and debate about, the civil justice system,” McKenzie wrote to the News. “This conference is an opportunity to examine how the terms of the debate have shifted since the article was published forty years ago. 

“Managerial Judges” was initially published in Harvard Law Review in 1982. The article discusses the growth of “managerial” styles of adjudication, by which justices increasingly meet with parties in chambers to discuss aspects of cases. The article has been hugely influential in scholarship about the courts. 

After its publication, Resnik went on to teaching posts at NYU, the University of Chicago, Harvard University, and eventually Yale Law School. Resnik has served as the Arthur Liman Professor of Law at Yale Law School since 1997. 

“Professor Resnik’s procedural scholarship has inspired and informed generations of lawyers, students and academics,” said panelist Alex Reinert, Professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University. “It is an honor to be included in an event centered on her seminal work on managerial judging.” 

The event is sponsored by the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund at Yale Law School, which provides students and faculties support and funding to produce research, projects and conferences that “foster intellectual vitality, creative and analytic rigor at the Law School.”

Sotomayor was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2009, becoming the first Latina to serve on the nation’s highest court. 

Ines Chomnalez writes for the University desk covering Yale Law School. She previously wrote for the Arts desk. Ines is a sophomore in Pierson College majoring in History and Cognitive Science.