Faculty Notes Joanna L. Grossman, Sidney and Walter Siben Distinguished Professor of Family Law and Hofstra Research Fellow

Published on March 12, 2015 | by LawNews

Prof. Joanna Grossman Publishes Review of Family Law Reimagined in Texas Law Review

Joanna L. Grossman, the Sidney and Walter Siben Distinguished Professor of Family Law, published “Family Law’s Loose Canon” in 93 Texas Law Review 681 (2015).

This essay reviews a new book by Jill Hasday, Family Law Reimagined (Harvard University Press 2014), which argues that the family law canon — “the dominant narratives, stories, examples, and ideas that judges, lawmakers, and (to a less crucial extent) commentators repeatedly invoke to describe and explain family law and its governing principles” — can do more harm than good by misdescribing, overgeneralizing and providing an easy substitute for normative policy analysis.

In the review, Professor Grossman considers the power and pitfalls of the family law canon, agreeing with Hasday that it can sometimes thwart meaningful discussion and analysis, but suggesting  that even a flawed canon can aid the development of family law.  After all, the review concludes, even a loose “canon” sometimes hits its target.

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