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Article
Legal Pluralism in an American Community: Perspectives on a Civil Trial Court
Law & Social Inquiry: Journal of the American Bar Foundation
  • David M. Engel, University at Buffalo School of Law
Document Type
Article
Publication Date
7-1-1980
Disciplines
Abstract

This article explores the role of a local trial court in terms of the plurality of legal systems‐both formal and informal‐found in the community in which the court operates. The concept of legal pluralism in American society is examined, and a comparison is made between the study of plural normative systems and the study of disputes and dispute processing. Two examples of legal pluralism drawn from an empirical study of a mid western community are presented: the first exploring oral contractual agreements among farmers and the second examining formal and informal norms concerning divorce. The application of this form of analysis is found to reveal important distinctions between the manifest and latent functions that the trial court performs in its community setting.

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Citation Information
David M. Engel. "Legal Pluralism in an American Community: Perspectives on a Civil Trial Court" Law & Social Inquiry: Journal of the American Bar Foundation Vol. 5 (1980) p. 425 - 454
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/david-m-engel/31/