Document Type


Publication Date



This Essay is about mutual funds. Because of that, it may put many to sleep long before we get to the heart of the matter. I encourage you right now to stay awake, or at least keep one eye propped open. For embedded in this story about mutual funds, rent seeking, the challenge of separating the good and the bad, and the even greater challenge of respecting autonomy in an environment where so many choices seem to be bad ones, is the story of a judge. That judge is the Honorable Richard A. Posner, aka RAP, Dick, Professor Posner, the one to be feared, the one to be revered, the one who inspires, the one who causes many to perspire, and the one who somehow gets it right even when he is wrong (and he is sometimes wrong). It is a story of how he judges. It is a story of curiosity and truth seeking. It is a story of respecting process and precedent while not being overly constrained by convention or rules. It is also a story of constantly seeing things anew, even when that requires letting go of views that seemed true when first embraced. It is a story of positionality and insight, and law and humanity, and the perfection of embracing imperfection. It is a story of using stories to help others see, and the power and limits of such methods.


Judges | Law | Legislation | Securities Law


Originally appearing in the University of Chicago Law Review, 86 U. Chi. L. Rev. 1077. Reprinted with permission from the University of Chicago Law School.