Professor Toby Heytens Recognized by The Green Bag for Long-Form Legal Article

Toby Heytens

In his award-winning article, Heytens drew on an examination of the local rules and informal reassignment practices of every federal circuit and district in the United States, as well as an original dataset of 668 decisions.

April 30, 2015

University of Virginia School of Law professor Toby Heytens has been recognized once again for exemplary writing by The Green Bag, a quarterly journal devoted to accessible legal scholarship.

Heyten's 2014 Stanford Law Review article, " Reassignment ," was one of two long-form articles published in 2014 that were chosen for republication in The Green Bag's 2015 Almanac & Reader.

Heytens' article represents the first scholarly examination of judicial reassignment — a practice by which a reviewing court returns a case to a lower court for further proceedings while also directing that those proceedings be conducted by a different trial court judge. The piece examines how the process happens, who orders it, and how it is ordered. More broadly, the article uses reassignment as a means to explore the various ways that appellate courts might seek to control trial court judges and influence outcomes. ( More)

Heytens, an expert in federal courts and procedure, said the article was fun to write, "although it almost killed me." The article drew on an examination of the local rules and informal reassignment practices of every federal circuit and district in the United States, as well as an original dataset of 668 decisions in which reassignment was ordered.

"I'd told myself that I'd never do anything that involved gathering original data or counting anything, so I obviously ended up writing an article that involved both of them," Heytens said.

In 2005, Heytens was the principal author of an amicus filing in FAIR v. Rumsfeld, one of two briefs recognized in The Green Bag's inaugural almanac of exemplary writing. Other past honorees of The Green Bag's awards include UVA Law professors Frederick Schauer and G. Edward White. ( More)

The Green Bag is a quarterly journal devoted to "short, readable, useful and sometimes entertaining" legal scholarship. The 2014 honorees were selected by the journal's board of advisers on good legal writing, which includes members of judiciaries, private law firms, the news media and academia.

 

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