A dubitante (pronounced d[y]oo-bi-tan-tee) opinion indicates that “the judge doubted a legal point but was unwilling to state that it was wrong.” Judges rarely write dubitante opinions or use the term, and informal polling suggests not many legal scholars are aware of the practice. This short essay endeavors to shed some light on the use of the term dubitante in judicial opinions and spark discussion as to the merits of the dubitante opinion--What is a dubitante opinion? When was the term first used, and how often is the term used? Who uses it and how? What are the consequences of its use?
Jason J. Czarnezki, The Dubitante Opinion, 39 Akron L. Rev. 1 (2006), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/905/.