Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Matter of Perspective

I came across an really thought provoking book last night as I was wandering around the internet: The Legal Analyst - A Toolkit for Thinking about the Law by Ward Farnsworth. I've only read to the second chapter so far but what I've read really helps me to conceptualize things. One great point is to view the law through the perspectives of ex ante and ex post. The ex post perspective involves looking back at a disaster or other event after it has occurred and deciding what to do about it or how to clean it up. The second perspective, ex ante, involves looking forward and asking what effects the decision about this case will have in the future —on parties who are entering similar situations and haven’t yet decided what to do, and whose choices may be influenced by the consequences the law says will follow from them.

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