Posts Tagged ‘new books’


February 2nd, 2012 No comments

lawtalkJames E Clapp, et al. Lawtalk: The Unknown Stories Behind Familiar Legal Expressions. New Haven, Yale University Press, ©2011. KF156 .L39 2011

From the publisher: Law-related words and phrases abound in our everyday language, often without our being aware of their origins or their particular legal significance: boilerplate, jailbait, pound of flesh, rainmaker, the third degree. This insightful and entertaining book reveals the unknown stories behind familiar legal expressions that come from sources as diverse as Shakespeare, vaudeville, and Dr. Seuss. Separate entries for each expression follow no prescribed formula but instead focus on the most interesting, enlightening, and surprising aspects of the words and their evolution. Popular myths and misunderstandings are explored and exploded, and the entries are augmented with historical images and humorous sidebars.

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Five Chiefs

January 17th, 2012 No comments

five chiefsJohn Paul Stevens. Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir. New York: Little, Brown, 2011. KF8745.S78 A3 2011

From the publisher: When he resigned last June, Justice Stevens was the third longest serving Justice in American history (1975-2010)–only Justice William O. Douglas, whom Stevens succeeded, and Stephen Field have served on the Court for a longer time.

In Five Chiefs, Justice Stevens captures the inner workings of the Supreme Court via his personal experiences with the five Chief Justices–Fred Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren Burger, William Rehnquist, and John Roberts–that he interacted with. He reminisces of being a law clerk during Vinson’s tenure; a practicing lawyer for Warren; a circuit judge and junior justice for Burger; a contemporary colleague of Rehnquist; and a colleague of current Chief Justice John Roberts. Along the way, he will discuss his views of some the most significant cases that have been decided by the Court from Vinson, who became Chief Justice in 1946 when Truman was President, to Roberts, who became Chief Justice in 2005.

Packed with interesting anecdotes and stories about the Court, Five Chiefs is an unprecedented and historically significant look at the highest court in the United States.

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Acting Skills for Lawyers

September 9th, 2011 No comments

acting skills for lawyersLaura Mathis. Acting Skills for Lawyers. Chicago, Ill. American Bar Association, 2011. KF8915 .M374 2011.

From the publisher:  Laura Mathis, a working actress with over seventeen years of experience in theatre, film, and television as an actor, director, and writer has developed techniques for applying the skills and training utilized by world-famous stage and screen performers to the legal profession. In this ground-breaking, yet practical book, Laura shares the secrets used by professional actors in their field that can make you become a more skilled and dynamic lawyer, partner, manager, and person.

For the lawyer, research and written communications are only half the battle. In this innovative book you’ll learn how to develop and use stage presence, use an actors voice and gestures, develop different characters for different audiences, deliver effective speeches, adopt the role of talk-show host for depositions, improvise in unprepared situations, incorporate the skills of great storytellers, be the acting coach for your witness, use monologue skills in your closing arguments, and even take the perfect professional photo!

Find Info Like a Pro

August 8th, 2011 No comments

findinfoCarole A Levitt & Mark E Rosch. Find Info Like a Pro. Chicago, ABA Law Practice Management Section, 2010. KF242.A1 L4785 2010

From the publisher: This complete hands-on guide shares the secrets, shortcuts, and realities of conducting investigative and background research using the sources of publicly available information available on the Internet. Written for legal professionals, this comprehensive desk book lists, categorizes, and describes hundreds of free and fee-based Internet sites. The resources and techniques in this book are useful for investigations; depositions; locating missing witnesses, clients, or heirs; and trial preparation, among other research challenges facing legal professionals. In addition, a CD-ROM is included, which features clickable links to all of the sites contained in the book.

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The Law of Life and Death

August 1st, 2011 No comments

the law of life and deathElizabeth Price Foley. The Law of Life and Death. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 2011. KF3827.D4 F65 2011.

From the publisher: Are you alive? What makes you so sure? Most people believe this question has a clear answer—that some law defines our status as living (or not) for all purposes. But they are dead wrong. In this pioneering study, Elizabeth Price Foley examines the many, and surprisingly ambiguous, legal definitions of what counts as human life and death.

Foley reveals that “not being dead” is not necessarily the same as being alive, in the eyes of the law. People, pre-viable fetuses, and post-viable fetuses have different sets of legal rights, which explains the law’s seemingly inconsistent approach to stem cell research, in vitro fertilization, frozen embryos, in utero embryos, contraception, abortion, homicide, and wrongful death.

In a detailed analysis that is sure to be controversial, Foley shows how the need for more organ transplants and the need to conserve health care resources are exerting steady pressure to expand the legal definition of death. As a result, death is being declared faster than ever before. The “right to die,” Foley worries, may be morphing slowly into an obligation to die.

Foley’s balanced, accessible chapters explore the most contentious legal issues of our time—including cryogenics, feticide, abortion, physician-assisted suicide, brain death, vegetative and minimally conscious states, informed consent, and advance directives—across constitutional, contract, tort, property, and criminal law. Ultimately, she suggests, the inconsistencies and ambiguities in U.S. laws governing life and death may be culturally, and perhaps even psychologically, necessary for an enormous and diverse country like ours.

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Justice for Hedgehogs

July 25th, 2011 No comments

justice for hedgehogsRonald Dworkin. Justice for Hedgehogs. Cambridge, Mass. Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2011. BD435 .D85 2011

From the publisher:  The fox knows many things, the Greeks said, but the hedgehog knows one big thing. In his most comprehensive work Ronald Dworkin argues that value in all its forms is one big thing: that what truth is, life means, morality requires, and justice demands are different aspects of the same large question. He develops original theories on a great variety of issues very rarely considered in the same book: moral skepticism, literary, artistic, and historical interpretation, free will, ancient moral theory, being good and living well, liberty, equality, and law among many other topics. What we think about any one of these must stand up, eventually, to any argument we find compelling about the rest.

Skepticism in all its forms—philosophical, cynical, or post-modern—threatens that unity. The Galilean revolution once made the theological world of value safe for science. But the new republic gradually became a new empire: the modern philosophers inflated the methods of physics into a totalitarian theory of everything. They invaded and occupied all the honorifics—reality, truth, fact, ground, meaning, knowledge, and being—and dictated the terms on which other bodies of thought might aspire to them, and skepticism has been the inevitable result. We need a new revolution. We must make the world of science safe for value.

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American Property

July 18th, 2011 No comments

american propertyStuart Banner. American Property: A History of How, Why, and What We Own. Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 2011. KF562 .B36 2011

From the publisher: In America, we are eager to claim ownership: our homes, our ideas, our organs, even our own celebrity. But beneath our nation’s proprietary longing looms a troublesome question: what does it mean to own something? More simply: what is property?

The question is at the heart of many contemporary controversies, including disputes over who owns everything from genetic material to indigenous culture to music and film on the Internet. To decide if and when genes or culture or digits are a kind of property that can be possessed, we must grapple with the nature of property itself. How does it originate? What purposes does it serve? Is it a natural right or one created by law?

Accessible and mercifully free of legal jargon, American Property reveals the perpetual challenge of answering these questions, as new forms of property have emerged in response to technological and cultural change, and as ideas about the appropriate scope of government regulation have shifted. This first comprehensive history of property in the United States is a masterly guided tour through a contested human institution that touches all aspects of our lives and desires.

Stuart Banner shows that property exists to serve a broad set of purposes, constantly in flux, that render the idea of property itself inconstant. Despite our ideals of ownership, property has always been a means toward other ends. What property signifies and what property is, we come to see, has consistently changed to match the world we want to acquire.

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Clarence Darrow

July 11th, 2011 No comments

clarence darrowAndrew Edmund Kersten. Clarence Darrow: American Iconoclast. New York, Hill and Wang, 2011. KF213.D3 K47 2011.

From the publisher: Clarence Darrow is best remembered for his individual cases, whether defending the thrill killers Leopold and Loeb or John Scopes’s right to teach evolution in the classroom. In the first full-length biography of Darrow in decades, the historian Andrew E. Kersten narrates the complete life of America’s most legendary lawyer and the struggle that defined it, the fight for the American traditions of individualism, freedom, and liberty in the face of the country’s inexorable march toward modernity.

Prior biographers have all sought to shoehorn Darrow, born in 1857, into a single political party or cause. But his politics do not define his career or enduring importance. Going well beyond the familiar story of the socially conscious lawyer and drawing upon new archival records, Kersten shows Darrow as early modernity’s greatest iconoclast. What defined Darrow was his response to the rising interference by corporations and government in ordinary working Americans’ lives: he zealously dedicated himself to smashing the structures and systems of social control everywhere he went. During a period of enormous transformations encompassing the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, Darrow fought fiercely to preserve individual choice as an ever more corporate America sought to restrict it.

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New book co-edited by Sydney Howe-Barksdale

July 5th, 2011 No comments

Just received in the library is Treating Young Veterans: Promoting Resilience Through Practice and Advocacy. Co-edited by Widener Law professor Sydney Howe-Barksdale the book also features chapters by Widener Law’s Justin Holbrook and Tom Reed.

The Rights of the People

July 1st, 2011 No comments

the rights of the peopleDavid K Shipler. The Rights of the People: How Our Search for Safety Invades Our Liberties. New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. JC599.U5 S495 2011.

From the publisher: From the best-selling author of The Working Poor, an impassioned, incisive look at the violations of civil liberties in the United States that have accelerated over the past decade—and their direct impact on our lives.

How have our rights to privacy and justice been undermined? What exactly have we lost? Pulitzer Prize–winner David K. Shipler searches for the answers to these questions by examining the historical expansion and contraction of our fundamental rights and, most pointedly, the real-life stories of individual men and women who have suffered. This is the account of what has been taken—and of how much we stand to regain by protesting the departures from the Bill of Rights.

With keen insight and telling detail, Shipler describes how the Supreme Court’s constitutional rulings play out on the streets as Washington, D.C., police officers search for guns in poor African American neighborhoods, how a fruitless search warrant turns the house of a Homeland Security employee upside down, and how the secret surveillance and jailing of an innocent lawyer result from an FBI lab mistake. Each instance—often as shocking as it is compelling—is a clear illustration of the risks posed to individual liberties in our modern society. And, in Shipler’s hands, each serves as a powerful incitement for a retrieval of these precious rights.

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May 30th, 2011 No comments

legalityScott Shapiro. Legality. Harvard University Press, 2011. K230.S525 L44 2011

From the publisher: What is law? This question has preoccupied philosophers from Plato to Thomas Hobbes to H. L. A. Hart. Yet many others find it perplexing. How could we possibly know how to answer such an abstract question? And what would be the point of doing so? In Legality, Scott Shapiro argues that the question is not only meaningful but vitally important. In fact, many of the most pressing puzzles that lawyers confront—including who has legal authority over us and how we should interpret constitutions, statutes, and cases—will remain elusive until this grand philosophical question is resolved.

Shapiro draws on recent work in the philosophy of action to develop an original and compelling answer to this age-old question. Breaking with a long tradition in jurisprudence, he argues that the law cannot be understood simply in terms of rules. Legal systems are best understood as highly complex and sophisticated tools for creating and applying plans. Shifting the focus of jurisprudence in this way—from rules to plans—not only resolves many of the most vexing puzzles about the nature of law but has profound implications for legal practice as well.

Written in clear, jargon-free language, and presupposing no legal or philosophical background, Legality is both a groundbreaking new theory of law and an excellent introduction to and defense of classical jurisprudence.

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Spinning the Law

May 23rd, 2011 No comments

spinningKendall Coffey. Spinning the Law: Trying Cases in the Court of Public Opinion. Prometheus Books, 2010. KF390.5.P8 C64 2010

From the publisher: High-profile courtroom dramas fascinate our nation, especially when they concern the rich and famous. And while the American public has come to realize that the spin factor is a prime ingredient in political tactics and marketing campaigns, many are unaware of the strategies for shaping public opinion when it comes to major courtroom battles. This behind-the-scenes analysis of media strategies presents intriguing and often entertaining insights into what they do not teach in law school or journalism classes.

Kendall Coffey’s many entertaining examples and explanations make this book ideal reading for everyone fascinated by celebrity legal problems but must reading for lawyers, public relations professionals, journalists, and media students.

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Learning Outside the Box

May 16th, 2011 No comments

learningLeah M. Christensen. Learning Outside the Box: A Handbook for Law Students Who Learn Differently. Carolina Academic Press, 2010. KF283 .C48 2011

From the publisher: More law students than ever before come to law school having been diagnosed with a learning disability. The purpose of this book is to provide research-based learning strategies for law students who learn differently. If you are a student who has been diagnosed with a learning disability or if you simply have a unique learning style, you may need to outline differently, read cases differently, and approach law school in a more active, engaged, and efficient manner. This book offers learning strategies grounded in empirical research to help law students who learn differently maximize their academic success.

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Supreme Power

supremepowerJeff Shesol. Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court. W.W. Norton, c2010. KF8742 .S495 2010

From the publisher: In the years before World War II, Franklin Roosevelt’s fiercest, most unyielding opponent was neither a foreign power nor “fear itself.” It was the U.S. Supreme Court.

Beginning in 1935, in a series of devastating decisions, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority left much of FDR’s agenda in ruins. The pillars of the New Deal fell in short succession. It was not just the New Deal, but democracy itself, that stood on trial. In February 1937, Roosevelt struck back with an audacious plan to expand the Court to fifteen justices—and to “pack” the new seats with liberals who shared his belief in a “living” Constitution.

The ensuing fight was a firestorm that engulfed the White House, the Court, Congress, and the nation. The final verdict was a shock. It dealt FDR the biggest setback of his political life, split the Democratic party, and set the stage for a future era of Republican dominance. Yet the battle also transformed America’s political and constitutional landscape, hastening the nation’s march into the modern world.

This brilliant work of history unfolds like a thriller, with vivid characters and unexpected twists. Providing new evidence and fresh insight, Jeff Shesol shows why understanding the Court fight is essential to understanding the presidency, personality, and legacy of FDR—and to understanding America at a crossroads in its history.

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Learned Hand

April 25th, 2011 No comments

learnedGerald Gunther. Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge. Oxford University Press, 2011. KF373.H29 G76 2011

From the publisher:  In Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge, Gerald Gunther provides a complete and intimate account of the professional and personal life of Learned Hand. He conveys the substance and range of Hand’s judicial and intellectual contributions with eloquence and grace. This second edition features photos of Learned Hand throughout his life and career, and includes a foreword by Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Gunther, a former law clerk for Hand, reviewed much of Hand’s published work, opinions, and correspondence. He meticulously describes Hand’s cases, and discusses the judge’s professional and personal life as interconnected with the political and social circumstances of the times in which he lived.

Born in 1872, Hand served on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He clearly crafted and delivered thousands of decisions in a wide range of cases through extensive, conscientious investigation and analysis, while at the same time exercising wisdom and personal detachment. His opinions are still widely quoted today, and will remain as an everlasting tribute to his life and legacy.

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