Professor Chestek Examines the National Health Care Reform Litigation from a Storytelling Perspective
Professor Ken Chestek made a presentation to the Third Applied Legal Storytelling Conference at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law on Sunday, July 10. His presentation, entitled “The National Health Care Reform Litigation: A Case Study of Story in Action,” focused on the numerous lawsuits filed over the past year challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Some of these cases ended with findings by different trial courts that the law was unconstitutional, but others found the law constitutional, despite the fact that the facts and the law are identical in each case. Professor Chestek says, “The mainstream media attributes the different results to differing political mindsets of the judges, but I think there is more to it than that: the plaintiffs chose to tell different stories. Only one story was successful; the rest failed.”
Professor Chestek is the current President of the Legal Writing Institute, an organization of more than 2,700 legal writing professionals in the United States and around the world. He joined the Legal Analysis, Research and Communication (LARC) team at the IU School of Law – Indianapolis in the Summer of 2003 after working as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan. He graduated cum laude from University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he was Editor in Chief of the Law Review.
He has extensive practice experience and has worked as the managing attorney for Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin's Erie office and as a partner in both his own firm (Chestek and Bax) and at Agresti & Agresti, in Erie, Pennsylvania. While in practice, he also served for 18 years as Chief Civil Counsel to Erie County, Pennsylvania.
He has published and given lectures on a wide variety of subjects, including persuasion, teaching methods, tax exemption policy, hospitals and the uses of computers in law offices.