Hastings Law Journal


John W. Poulos


Roger Traynor served on the Supreme Court of California for nearly thirty years, including more than five years as Chief Justice of California. He is arguably one of the great judges and legal reformers in the history of the common law. This Article, written by the inaugural Roger Traynor Summer Research Professor at Hastings College of the Law, focuses on Justice Traynor's judicial philosophy as found in twenty-four articles that he wrote between 1956 and 1980.

The Article begins with a brief overview of the major developments in American legal process theory, first reviewing traditional views of the judicial process, then focusing on the more modem (meaning twentieth-century) movement away from those traditional views. Justice Traynor's judicial philosophy and its relevance for our time is then examined in detail. This examination reveals Justice Traynor's view of judging as a creative process. The Article highlights the Justice's interpretation and exploration of the factors and limitations that he believed drive the art of creative judging.

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