Discussion: Rock-Paper-Scissors—The Courtroom Version

Rock-paper-scissors is a simple game played all over the world. No matter which of the three elements you choose in any round—rock, paper, or scissors—one is a clear winner with power over the other two elements. Rock smashes scissors, scissors cut paper, and paper covers rock.

For this courtroom version of rock-paper-scissors, you will be deciding which element wins. Write each of the following five titles on a slip of paper (they are the names of personnel who play important roles in the efficiency of court proceedings):

  • Judge
  • Lawyer
  • Litigant
  • Court clerk/manager
  • Court administrator

Close your eyes and randomly pick two slips of paper bearing different titles. Based on Chapter 8 of Judicial Process in America, and the “Legal Staff and Court Staff in the United States Judiciary” document from the module resources, consider the powers and duties of each of the two court participants named on the slips of paper chosen. Decide which of the two titles that you picked wins that round—that is, decide which of the two roles has power over the other and the ability to stop, stymie, interfere with, or delay the work of a person in the other role. For example, if you pick “judge” and “litigant,” you might decide that the judge wins because the judge can deny the litigant’s requests for a delay of a hearing date.

In your initial post, identify which two titles you selected, state who you decided was the winner, and explain why.

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