Format of Original
Law & Social Inquiry
Original Item ID
Scholars of legal mobilization have long explored how litigation is used as a resource for social and political change. While most studies focus on the actions of private groups, this article considers law enforcement as a form of legal mobilization. Employing a case study of recent pharmaceutical litigation, this article examines how prosecutors have mobilized the law to reshape corporate responsibilities in the prescription drug industry. Prosecutors' litigation campaigns have forced changes in organizational practices, expanded the scope of the conflict over pharmaceutical industry actions, and established new legal norms that have spread throughout the political system. This form of prosecutor-led legal mobilization has occurred in other contexts as well, including gun control and mortgage lending. In addition to indicating how lawyers within the state can engage in a form of cause lawyering, the government litigation explored in this article illustrates both the instrumental and constitutive power of the law.
Nolette, Paul, "Law Enforcement as Legal Mobilization: Reforming the Pharmaceutical Industry Through Government Litigation" (2015). Political Science Faculty Research and Publications. 18.