Emma Beaumont-Smith is a first year at Barnard and she is interested in political science and human rights, and would like to eventually go to law school. Reading Whalen for our class and inspired by Gail's exercise, Emma found that the repeated inclusion of the defendant's employment of local inhabitants influenced her to feel more sympathetic towards the defendant. Mentioning the factory's employees (and then inferencing their dependency on those factory jobs) made her feel responsible for the fate of those dependent third parties, even though they are not directly involved in the action. This emotional bias is important because the repetition of these extraneous facts makes them appear more significant, and in considering the emotional weight of these facts and their relationship to the potential injunction, sways readers to be more sympathetic towards the defendant. This also has ramifications for the use of the balance of equities method: when emotional biases work in favor of the defendant, the entire method seems more fair, and the case becomes about more than whether or not the defendant is guilty.
Gail Marie Bruce is a Senior at Columbia University's School of General Studies and she is majoring in English and Comparative Literature with interests in attending Law School. Her prior exposure includes philosophy of law and human rights. In her current Environmental Law course taught by Prof. Dana Neacsu, during a case reading of Whalen, v. The Union Bag and Paper Co., 208 N.Y. 1 (NY, 1913), an idea crossed her mind over the interplay of internal biases that arise during analyzing cases. With support from Prof. Neacsu, she created a presentation detailing how to detect biases within rulings and legal procedures; creating exercises for the students in the class to apply the techniques she developed through different academic readings.