Distorting the Law

Politics, Media, and the Litigation Crisis
Author: William Haltom,Michael McCann
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226314693
Category: Political Science
Page: 332
View: 9109
DOWNLOAD NOW »
In recent years, stories of reckless lawyers and greedy citizens have given the legal system, and victims in general, a bad name. Many Americans have come to believe that we live in the land of the litigious, where frivolous lawsuits and absurdly high settlements reign. Scholars have argued for years that this common view of the depraved ruin of our civil legal system is a myth, but their research and statistics rarely make the news. William Haltom and Michael McCann here persuasively show how popularized distorted understandings of tort litigation (or tort tales) have been perpetuated by the mass media and reform proponents. Distorting the Law lays bare how media coverage has sensationalized lawsuits and sympathetically portrayed corporate interests, supporting big business and reinforcing negative stereotypes of law practices. Based on extensive interviews, nearly two decades of newspaper coverage, and in-depth studies of the McDonald's coffee case and tobacco litigation, Distorting the Law offers a compelling analysis of the presumed litigation crisis, the campaign for tort law reform, and the crucial role the media play in this process.

Urban Lawyers

The New Social Structure of the Bar
Author: John P. Heinz
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226325408
Category: Law
Page: 376
View: 5712
DOWNLOAD NOW »
Over the past several decades, the number of lawyers in large cities has doubled, women have entered the bar at an unprecedented rate, and the scale of firms has greatly expanded. This immense growth has transformed the nature and social structure of the legal profession. In the most comprehensive analysis of the urban bar to date, Urban Lawyers presents a compelling portrait of how these changes continue to shape the field of law today. Drawing on extensive interviews with Chicago lawyers, the authors demonstrate how developments in the profession have affected virtually every aspect of the work and careers of urban lawyers-their relationships with clients, job tenure and satisfaction, income, social and political values, networks of professional connections, and patterns of participation in the broader community. Yet despite the dramatic changes, much remains the same. Stratification of income and power based on gender, race, and religious background, for instance, still maintains inequality within the bar. The authors of Urban Lawyers conclude that organizational priorities will likely determine the future direction of the legal profession. And with this landmark study as their guide, readers will be able to make their own informed predictions.

Electing Judges

The Surprising Effects of Campaigning on Judicial Legitimacy
Author: James L. Gibson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226291103
Category: Political Science
Page: 240
View: 9554
DOWNLOAD NOW »
In Electing Judges, leading judicial politics scholar James L. Gibson responds tothe growing chorus of critics who fear that the politics of running for office undermine judicial independence and even the rule of law. While many people have opinions on the topic, few have supported them with actual empirical evidence. Gibson rectifies this situation, offering the most systematic and comprehensive study to date of the impact of campaigns on public perceptions of fairness, impartiality, and the legitimacy of elected state courts—and his findings are both counterintuitive and controversial. Gibson finds that ordinary Americans do not conclude from campaign promises that judges are incapable of making impartial decisions. Instead, he shows, they understand the process of deciding cases to be an exercise in policy making, rather than of simply applying laws to individual cases—and consequently think it’s important for candidates to reveal where they stand on important issues. Negative advertising also turns out to have a limited effect on perceptions of judicial legitimacy, though the same cannot be said for widely hated campaign contributions. Taking both the good and bad into consideration, Gibson argues persuasively that elections are ultimately beneficial in boosting the institutional legitimacy of courts, despite the slight negative effects of some campaign activities. Electing Judges will initiate a lively debate inside both the halls of justice and the academy.

Attacking Judges

How Campaign Advertising Influences State Supreme Court Elections
Author: Melinda Gann Hall
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804793093
Category: Law
Page: 264
View: 7990
DOWNLOAD NOW »
Nasty, below-the-belt campaigns, mudslinging, and character attacks. These tactics have become part and parcel of today's election politics in America, and judicial elections are no exception. Attacking Judges takes a close look at the effects of televised advertising, including harsh attacks, on state supreme court elections. Author Melinda Gann Hall investigates whether these divisive elections have damaging consequences for representative democracy. To do this, Hall focuses on two key aspects of those elections: the vote shares of justices seeking reelection and the propensity of state electorates to vote. In doing so, Attacking Judges explores vital dimensions of the conventional wisdom that campaign politics has deleterious consequences for judges, voters, and state judiciaries. Countering the prevailing wisdom with empirically based conclusions, Hall uncovers surprising and important insights, including new revelations on how attack ads influence public engagement with judicial elections and their relative effectiveness in various types of state elections. Attacking Judges is a testament to the power of institutions in American politics and the value of empirical political science research in helping to inform some of the most significant debates on the public agenda. This book's results smartly contest and eradicate many of the fears judicial reformers have about the damaging effects of campaign negativity in modern state supreme court elections.

Working Law

Courts, Corporations, and Symbolic Civil Rights
Author: Lauren B. Edelman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022640093X
Category: Social Science
Page: 312
View: 2975
DOWNLOAD NOW »
Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, virtually all companies have antidiscrimination policies in place. Although these policies represent some progress, women and minorities remain underrepresented within the workplace as a whole and even more so when you look at high-level positions. They also tend to be less well paid. How is it that discrimination remains so prevalent in the American workplace despite the widespread adoption of policies designed to prevent it? One reason for the limited success of antidiscrimination policies, argues Lauren B. Edelman, is that the law regulating companies is broad and ambiguous, and managers therefore play a critical role in shaping what it means in daily practice. Often, what results are policies and procedures that are largely symbolic and fail to dispel long-standing patterns of discrimination. Even more troubling, these meanings of the law that evolve within companies tend to eventually make their way back into the legal domain, inconspicuously influencing lawyers for both plaintiffs and defendants and even judges. When courts look to the presence of antidiscrimination policies and personnel manuals to infer fair practices and to the presence of diversity training programs without examining whether these policies are effective in combating discrimination and achieving racial and gender diversity, they wind up condoning practices that deviate considerably from the legal ideals.

Why We Hate


Author: Jack Levin,Gordana Rabrenovic
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1615926488
Category: Social Science
Page: N.A
View: 1920
DOWNLOAD NOW »
... an excellent and timely analysis of the roots of hatred, bigotry, and violence among nations and within societies. It draws skillfully from recent conflicts and offers valuable inights in dealing more effectively with the terrorist threats we face today. - United States Senator Edward M. KennedyHate is something that has always been with us. The difference today is that we recognize it and are attempting to understand it. What this book is primarily about, however, is hope - the hope that we can learn from the remarkable work of individuals and communities that have confronted hate and done something about it. -Michael Dukakis, Former Governor of Massachusetts, and Former Presidential CandidateProvocative and well-written, this book is recommended for all public and academic libraries. -Library JournalLevin and Rabrenovic have put together a well-written, well-researched and disturbing study of the violence in human nature. Rarely have I seen research that assembles so many recent examples of atrocities and religious, cultural and ethnic animosity in one book. As a student of the sociological foundation of violence and the burgeoning world of terrorism and nation-based hatred, I found the book a compelling read and research tool. As a member of the human species, I was glad to see examples of communities who have risen above the violence. The book lends a reader the possibility of hope. -Gary Fields, Wall Street Journal crime, terrorism and homeland security reporterExpressions of hate are an almost daily feature of the evening news, from the mayhem unleashed by suicide bombers in Israel to the unimaginable destruction of the Twin Towers. And since September 11, Americans have repeatedly asked themselves, Why do they hate us? In this in-depth look at the most troubling aspect of human nature, a prominent, nationally recognized criminologist, who is a leader in his field, and a respected sociologist seek to explain why hate exists and offer practical methods for creating a more peaceable society.Are we born with a propensity to hate, or is it something we learn? Does educating people necessarily reduce hate? Looking at biological, psychological, and cultural factors, Drs. Levin and Rabrenovic investigate the evidence for hate as an inborn trait, as learned behavior, and as a reaction to envy, frustration, or the need for belonging, control, and authority.These highly regarded authors will reveal their new original findings on hate among Americans as well as the media''s role in contributing to hate. They will also consider the phenomena of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism before and after September 11, in addition to anti-Muslim sentiments in the wake of the Twin Towers attack. Also discussed are domestic terrorism and organized hate in the form of white supremacist and civilian militia groups. Finally, in surveying the many trouble spots around the world where hate is manifest, they describe a series of inspiring situations that show surprising cooperation between ethnic groups who have transcended hate, and the authors explain how they achieved it.Both enlightening and insightful, this momentous and timely work offers hope that civilized human beings can come to grips with an age-old problem.Jack Levin, Ph.D. (Boston, MA), is the Brudnick Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern University, as well as the director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict. He is the author of many critically acclaimed books on criminology, including Hate Crimes Revisited (with J. McDevitt) and The Violence of Hate, and is frequently quoted in the national media. He often appears on national television, including The Today Show, Oprah, The O''Reilly Factor, Larry King Live, 20/20, 48 Hours, and many other programs.Gordana Rabrenovic, Ph.D. (Boston, MA), is associate professor of sociology at Northeastern University and the associate director of the Brudnick Center on Violence and Conflict. She is the author of numerous

Adversarial Legalism

The American Way of Law
Author: Robert A. KAGAN,Robert A Kagan
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674039278
Category: Law
Page: 352
View: 6118
DOWNLOAD NOW »
American methods of policy implementation and dispute resolution are more adversarial and legalistic when compared with the systems of other economically advanced countries. Americans more often rely on legal threats and lawsuits. American laws are generally more complicated and prescriptive, adjudication more costly, and penalties more severe. In a thoughtful and cogently argued book, Robert Kagan examines the origins and consequences of this system of "adversarial legalism." Kagan describes the roots of adversarial legalism and the deep connections it has with American political institutions and values. He investigates its social costs as well as the extent to which lawyers perpetuate it. Ranging widely across many legal fields, including criminal law, environmental regulations, tort law, and social insurance programs, he provides comparisons with the legal and regulatory systems of western Europe, Canada, and Japan that point to possible alternatives to the American methods. Kagan notes that while adversarial legalism has many virtues, its costs and unpredictability often alienate citizens from the law and frustrate the quest for justice. This insightful study deepens our understanding of law and its relationship to politics in America and raises valuable questions about the future of the American legal system.

Rights on Trial

How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality
Author: Ellen Berrey,Robert L. Nelson,Laura Beth Nielsen
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022646685X
Category: Law
Page: 320
View: 6306
DOWNLOAD NOW »
Gerry Handley faced years of blatant race-based harassment before he filed a complaint against his employer: racist jokes, signs reading “KKK” in his work area, and even questions from coworkers as to whether he had sex with his daughter as slaves supposedly did. He had an unusually strong case, with copious documentation and coworkers’ support, and he settled for $50,000, even winning back his job. But victory came at a high cost. Legal fees cut into Mr. Handley’s winnings, and tensions surrounding the lawsuit poisoned the workplace. A year later, he lost his job due to downsizing by his company. Mr. Handley exemplifies the burden plaintiffs bear in contemporary civil rights litigation. In the decades since the civil rights movement, we’ve made progress, but not nearly as much as it might seem. On the surface, America’s commitment to equal opportunity in the workplace has never been clearer. Virtually every company has antidiscrimination policies in place, and there are laws designed to protect these rights across a range of marginalized groups. But, as Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson, and Laura Beth Nielsen compellingly show, this progressive vision of the law falls far short in practice. When aggrieved individuals turn to the law, the adversarial character of litigation imposes considerable personal and financial costs that make plaintiffs feel like they’ve lost regardless of the outcome of the case. Employer defendants also are dissatisfied with the system, often feeling “held up” by what they see as frivolous cases. And even when the case is resolved in the plaintiff’s favor, the conditions that gave rise to the lawsuit rarely change. In fact, the contemporary approach to workplace discrimination law perversely comes to reinforce the very hierarchies that antidiscrimination laws were created to redress. Based on rich interviews with plaintiffs, attorneys, and representatives of defendants and an original national dataset on case outcomes, Rights on Trial reveals the fundamental flaws of workplace discrimination law and offers practical recommendations for how we might better respond to persistent patterns of discrimination.

Undocumented Fears

Immigration and the Politics of Divide and Conquer in Hazleton, Pennsylvania
Author: Jamie Longazel
Publisher: Temple University Press
ISBN: 1439912688
Category: Political Science
Page: 225
View: 632
DOWNLOAD NOW »
"This book is about the politics surrounding Hazleton, Pennsylvania's 2006 passage of the Illegal Immigration Relief Act (IIRA), a local ordinance that laid out penalties for renting to or hiring undocumented immigrants and declared English the city's official language"--Preface.

Invitation to Law and Society, Second Edition

An Introduction to the Study of Real Law
Author: Kitty Calavita
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022629661X
Category: Social Science
Page: 240
View: 918
DOWNLOAD NOW »
Law and society is a rapidly growing field that turns the conventional view of law as mythical abstraction on its head. Kitty Calavita brilliantly brings to life the ways in which law is found not only in statutes and courtrooms but in our institutions and interactions, while inviting readers into conversations that introduce the field’s dominant themes and most lively disagreements. Deftly interweaving scholarship with familiar examples, Calavita shows how scholars in the discipline are collectively engaged in a subversive exposé of law’s public mythology. While surveying prominent issues and distinctive approaches to both law as it is written and actual legal practices, as well as the law’s potential as a tool for social change, this volume provides a view of law that is more real but just as compelling as its mythic counterpart. With this second edition of Invitation to Law and Society, Calavita brings up to date what is arguably the leading introduction to this exciting, evolving field of inquiry and adds a new chapter on the growing law and cultural studies movement.

Specializing the Courts


Author: Lawrence Baum
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226039552
Category: Law
Page: 281
View: 1902
DOWNLOAD NOW »
Most Americans think that judges should be, and are, generalists who decide a wide array of cases. Nonetheless, we now have specialized courts in many key policy areas. Specializing the Courts provides the first comprehensive analysis of this growing trend toward specialization in the federal and state court systems. Lawrence Baum incisively explores the scope, causes, and consequences of judicial specialization in four areas that include most specialized courts: foreign policy and national security, criminal law, economic issues involving the government, and economic issues in the private sector. Baum examines the process by which court systems in the United States have become increasingly specialized and the motives that have led to the growth of specialization. He also considers the effects of judicial specialization on the work of the courts by demonstrating that under certain conditions, specialization can and does have fundamental effects on the policies that courts make. For this reason, the movement toward greater specialization constitutes a major change in the judiciary.

Compensating Asbestos Victims

Law and the Dark Side of Industrialization
Author: Andrea Boggio
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317162935
Category: Law
Page: 302
View: 9781
DOWNLOAD NOW »
This book traces the emergence and transformations of asbestos compensation to explore the wider issue of to what extent legal systems have converged in the era of globalization. Examining the mechanism by which asbestos compensation is delivered in Belgium, England, Italy and the United States, as well as the cultural forces and actors which contribute to its emergence and transformations, the book advances our understanding of how law operates within cultural norms, routines, and institutional relations of capitalist societies. With material gathered from 50 interviews and from primary and secondary sources, the author considers law as a cultural phenomenon, national styles of legal culture and the convergence and divergence of legal cultures, and law as a form of institutionalized power.

The Coddling of the American Mind

How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure
Author: Greg Lukianoff,Jonathan Haidt
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 0735224900
Category: Social Science
Page: 352
View: 2789
DOWNLOAD NOW »
Something is going wrong on many college campuses in the last few years. Rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide are rising. Speakers are shouted down. Students and professors say they are walking on eggshells and afraid to speak honestly. How did this happen? First Amendment expert Greg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt show how the new problems on campus have their origins in three terrible ideas that have become increasingly woven into American childhood and education: what doesn’t kill you makes you weaker; always trust your feelings; and life is a battle between good people and evil people. These three Great Untruths are incompatible with basic psychological principles, as well as ancient wisdom from many cultures. They interfere with healthy development. Anyone who embraces these untruths—and the resulting culture of safetyism—is less likely to become an autonomous adult able to navigate the bumpy road of life. Lukianoff and Haidt investigate the many social trends that have intersected to produce these untruths. They situate the conflicts on campus in the context of America’s rapidly rising political polarization, including a rise in hate crimes and off-campus provocation. They explore changes in childhood including the rise of fearful parenting, the decline of unsupervised play, and the new world of social media that has engulfed teenagers in the last decade. This is a book for anyone who is confused by what is happening on college campuses today, or has children, or is concerned about the growing inability of Americans to live, work, and cooperate across party lines.

Law and Social Movements


Author: Michael McCann
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1351560743
Category: Law
Page: 662
View: 5324
DOWNLOAD NOW »
The work of both socio-legal scholars and specialists working in social movements research continues to contribute to our understanding of how law relates to and informs the politics of social movements. In the 1990s, an important line of new research, most of it initiated by those working in the law and society tradition, began to bridge the gaps between these two areas of scholarship. This work includes new approaches to group ?legal mobilization? politics; analysis of the judicial impact on social reform struggles; studies of individual legal mobilization in civil disputing and an almost entirely new area of research in ?cause lawyering?. It brings together the best of this research introduced by a detailed essay by the editor.

More Guns, Less Crime

Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, Third Edition
Author: John R. Lott
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226493671
Category: Social Science
Page: 472
View: 8300
DOWNLOAD NOW »
On its initial publication in 1998, John R. Lott’s More Guns, Less Crime drew both lavish praise and heated criticism. More than a decade later, it continues to play a key role in ongoing arguments over gun-control laws: despite all the attacks by gun-control advocates, no one has ever been able to refute Lott’s simple, startling conclusion that more guns mean less crime. Relying on the most rigorously comprehensive data analysis ever conducted on crime statistics and right-to-carry laws, the book directly challenges common perceptions about the relationship of guns, crime, and violence. For this third edition, Lott draws on an additional ten years of data—including provocative analysis of the effects of gun bans in Chicago and Washington, D.C—that brings the book fully up to date and further bolsters its central contention.

Rights at Work

Pay Equity Reform and the Politics of Legal Mobilization
Author: Michael W. McCann
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226555720
Category: Law
Page: 358
View: 8090
DOWNLOAD NOW »
What role has litigation played in the struggle for equal pay between women and men? In Rights at Work, Michael W. McCann explains how wage discrimination battles have raised public legal consciousness and helped reform activists mobilize working women in the pay equity movement over the past two decades. Rights at Work explores the political strategies in more than a dozen pay equity struggles since the late 1970s, including battles of state employees in Washington and Connecticut, as well as city employees in San Jose and Los Angeles. Relying on interviews with over 140 union and feminist activists, McCann shows that, even when the courts failed to correct wage discrimination, litigation and other forms of legal advocacy provided reformers with the legal discourse—the understanding of legal rights and their constraints—for defining and advancing their cause. Rights at Work offers new insight into the relation between law and social change—the ways in which grass roots social movements work within legal rights traditions to promote progressive reform.

The Book Review Digest

Annual cumulation
Author: N.A
Publisher: N.A
ISBN: N.A
Category: Bibliography
Page: N.A
View: 4270
DOWNLOAD NOW »


Governing Through Crime

How the War on Crime Transformed American Democracy and Created a Culture of Fear
Author: Jonathan Simon
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195181085
Category: History
Page: 330
View: 7810
DOWNLOAD NOW »
Across America today gated communities sprawl out from urban centers, employers enforce mandatory drug testing, and schools screen students with metal detectors. Social problems ranging from welfare dependency to educational inequality have been reconceptualized as crimes, with an attendant focus on assigning fault and imposing consequences. Even before the recent terrorist attacks, non-citizen residents had become subject to an increasingly harsh regime of detention and deportation, and prospective employees subjected to background checks. How and when did our everyday world become dominated by fear, every citizen treated as a potential criminal?In this startlingly original work, Jonathan Simon traces this pattern back to the collapse of the New Deal approach to governing during the 1960s when declining confidence in expert-guided government policies sent political leaders searching for new models of governance. The War on Crime offered a ready solution to their problem: politicians set agendas by drawing analogies to crime and redefined the ideal citizen as a crime victim, one whose vulnerabilities opened the door to overweening government intervention. By the 1980s, this transformation of the core powers of government had spilled over into the institutions that govern daily life. Soon our schools, our families, our workplaces, and our residential communities were being governed through crime.This powerful work concludes with a call for passive citizens to become engaged partners in the management of risk and the treatment of social ills. Only by coming together to produce security, can we free ourselves from a logic of domination by others, and from the fear that currently rules our everyday life.

Just Words, Second Edition

Law, Language, and Power
Author: John M. Conley,William M. O'Barr
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226114880
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Page: 210
View: 6615
DOWNLOAD NOW »
Previous edition, 1st, published in 1998.

Reason in Law


Author: Lief Carter,Tom Burke
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317344685
Category: Law
Page: 208
View: 7106
DOWNLOAD NOW »
Arguing that good legal reasoning remains the best device by which we can ensure that judicial impartiality, the rule of law, and social trust and peace are preserved, Thomas F. Burke and Lief H. Carter present an accessible and lively text that analyzes the politics of the judicial process. Looking at the larger social and institutional contexts that affect the rule of law - including religious beliefs and media coverage of the courts - Reason in Law uses cases ripped from the headlines to illustrate its theory in real-world practice.