masthead

Featured Acquisitions - July 2016

 

Book JacketPhoto  

Convicting the Innocent: Death Row and America’s Broken System of Justice by Stanley Cohen
New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing, 2016
Basement HV8699.U5 C64 2016

"A landmark in the fight against the death penalty. Extensively researched and brilliantly written." Martin Garbus, criminal defense attorney

Every day, innocent men across America are thrown into prison, betrayed by a faulty justice system, and robbed of their lives--either by decades-long sentences or the death penalty itself. Injustice tarnishes our legal process from start to finish. From the racial discrimination and violence used by backwards law enforcement officers, to a prison culture that breeds inmate conflict, there is opportunity for error at every turn. Award-winning journalist Stanley Cohen chronicles over one hundred of these cases, from the 1973 case of the first ever death row exoneree, David Keaton, to multiple cases as of 2015 that resulted from the corrupt practices of NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella (with nearly seventy Brooklyn cases under review for wrongful conviction). In the wake of these unjust convictions, grassroots organizations, families, and pro bono lawyers have battled this rampant wrongdoing. Cohen reveals how eyewitness error, jailhouse snitch testimony, racism, junk science, prosecutorial misconduct, and incompetent counsel have populated America's prisons with the innocent. Readers embark on journeys with men who were arrested, convicted, sentenced to life in prison or death, dragged through the appeals system, and finally set free based on their actual innocence. Although these stories end with vindication, there are those that have ended with unjustified execution. Convicting the Innocent is sure to fuel controversy over a justice system that has delivered the ultimate punishment nearly one thousand times since 1976, though it cannot guarantee accurate convictions.


Book JacketPhoto  

Independence and Legitimacy in the Institutional System of the European Union edited by Dominique Ritleng
Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016
Basement KJE5041 .I534 2016

As EU non-majoritarian bodies such as the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the European Central Bank grow in political influence, many have identified the pressing need to keep these bodies accountable to the repositories of the EU's democratic legitimacy. This collection of essays sheds light on the inherent tension between independence and legitimacy in the EU's institutional system and explores the options of reconciling the two. Featuring analysis from both legal and political perspectives, the volume assesses whether, to what extent, and how it is possible to control the various EU independent bodies and make them answerable for what they do, while at the same time upholding their independence.


Book JacketPhoto  

The Inside Counsel Revolution: Resolving the Partner-Guardian Tension by Ben W. Heineman, Jr.
Chicago, Illinois: American Bar Association, 2016
Balcony KF1425 .H45 2016

In the past 25 years, there has been a revolution in the legal profession. General Counsel and other inside lawyers have risen in quality, responsibility, power and status. Once second class citizens in corporations and the legal profession, they have become core members of top corporate management, equaling in importance the Chief Financial Officer and the finance function. Benjamin W. Heineman, Jr. has led that revolution in his nearly 20 years as the top lawyer at GE. In this analytic and prescriptive book, he describes the essence of that transformation and the modern role of inside counsel: the key functions, relationships, issues, problems and dilemmas, and argues for the role of inside counsel as lawyer-statesman, motivated not just by the desire for income but by broader values of integrity and corporate citizenship.


Book JacketPhoto  

Constitutional Morality and the Rise of Quasi-Law by Bruce P. Frohnen and George W. Carey
Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2016
Balcony KF4550 .F76 2016

Americans are increasingly ruled by an unwritten constitution consisting of executive orders, signing statements, and other forms of quasi-law that lack the predictability and consistency essential for the legal system to function properly. As a result, the U.S. Constitution no longer means what it says to the people it is supposed to govern, and the government no longer acts according to the rule of law. These developments can be traced back to a change in “constitutional morality,” Bruce Frohnen and George Carey argue in this challenging book. The principle of separation of powers among co-equal branches of government formed the cornerstone of America’s original constitutional morality. But toward the end of the nineteenth century, Progressives began to attack this bedrock principle, believing that it impeded government from “doing the people’s business.” The regime of mixed powers, delegation, and expansive legal interpretation they instituted rejected the ideals of limited government that had given birth to the Constitution. Instead, Progressives promoted a governmental model rooted in French revolutionary claims. They replaced a Constitution designed to mediate among society’s different geographic and socioeconomic groups with a body of quasi-laws commanding the democratic reformation of society. Pursuit of this Progressive vision has become ingrained in American legal and political culture – at the cost, according to Frohnen and Carey, of the constitutional safeguards that preserve the rule of law.


Book JacketPhoto  

The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right by Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016
Balcony KF8748 .G69 2016

A fresh and revelatory look at the Warren Burger Supreme Court finds that it was not a "moderate" or transitional court, as often portrayed, but a conservative one that still defines the constitutional landscape we live in today. When Richard Nixon campaigned for the presidency in 1968 he promised to change the Supreme Court. With four appointments to the court, including Warren E. Burger as the chief justice, he did just that. In 1969, the Burger Court succeeded the famously liberal Warren Court, which had significantly expanded civil liberties and was despised by conservatives across the country. The Burger Court is often described as a "transitional" court between the liberal Warren Court and the Rehnquist and Roberts Courts, a court where little of importance happened. But as Michael J. Graetz and Linda Greenhouse show, the Burger Court veered well to the right in such areas as criminal law, race, and corporate power. Even while declaring a right to abortion in Roe v. Wade , it drew the line at government funding for poor women. The authors excavate the roots of the most significant Burger Court decisions and show how their legacy affects us today. The most comprehensive evaluation of the Burger Supreme Court ever written for a general audience, The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right draws on the personal papers of the justices as well as other archives to reveal how the Court shaped its major decisions. It will surprise even legal scholars and historians with its insights into a period that has received too little attention from either.


Book JacketPhoto  

Discourse, Identity and Social Change in the Marriage Equality Debates by Karen Tracy
New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2016
Balcony KF8870 .T73 2016

Karen Tracy examines the identity-work of judges and attorneys in state supreme courts as they debated the legality of existing marriage laws. Exchanges in state appellate courts are juxtaposed with the talk that occurred between citizens and elected officials in legislative hearings considering whether to revise state marriage laws. The book's analysis spans ten years, beginning with the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of sodomy laws in 2003 and ending in 2013 when the U.S. Supreme Court declared the federal government's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional, and it particularly focuses on how social change was accomplished through and reflected in these law-making and law-interpreting discourses. Focal materials are the eight cases about same-sex marriage and civil unions that were argued in state supreme courts between 2005 and 2009, and six of a larger number of hearings that occurred in state judicial committees considering bills regarding who should be able to marry. Tracy concludes with analysis of the 2011 Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on DOMA, comparing it to the initial 1996 hearing and to the 2013 Supreme Court oral argument about it. The book shows that social change occurred as the public discourse that treated sexual orientation as a "lifestyle" was replaced with a public discourse of gays and lesbians as a legitimate category of citizen.


Book JacketPhoto  

Selling Hope, Selling Risk: Corporations, Wall Street, and the Dilemmas of Investor Protection by Donald C. Langevoort
New York: Oxford University Press, 2016
Basement HG4524 .L36 2016

In the midst of globalization, technological change, and economic anxiety, we have deep doubts about how well the task of investor protection is being performed. In the U.S., the focus is on the Securities and Exchange Commission. Part of the explanation is economic and political: the failure to know the right balance between investor protection and capital formation, and the resulting battle among interest groups over their preferred solutions. In Selling Hope, Selling Risk, author Donald C. Langevoort argues that regulation is also frustrated at nearly every turn by human nature, as exhibited both on the buy-side (investors) and sell-side (corporate executives, bankers, stockbrokers). There is plenty of savvy and guile, but also ample hope, fear, ego, overconfidence, social contagion and the like that persistently filter and distort the messages regulators try to send. This book is the first sustained effort to link the key initiatives of securities regulation with our burgeoning awareness in the social sciences of how people and organizations really behave in economic settings. It examines why corporate fraud occurs and how best to deter it and compensate its victims; the search for an edge via insider trading; the disclosure apparatus and its gatekeepers; sales efforts and manipulation in Ponzi schemes, internet scams, private offerings and crowdfunding; and how this all helps explain the recent global financial crisis. It ends by turning these insights back on the task of regulation itself, and the strategies (and frustrations) of making regulation work in a financial world that is at once increasingly sophisticated yet deeply human and incurably flawed.


Book JacketPhoto  

Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud by David Dayen
New York: New Press, 2016
Balcony and Online KF697.F6 D39 2016

In the depths of the Great Recession, a cancer nurse, a car dealership worker, and an insurance fraud specialist helped uncover the largest consumer crime in American history--a scandal that implicated dozens of major executives on Wall Street. They called it foreclosure fraud: millions of families were kicked out of their homes based on false evidence by mortgage companies that had no legal right to foreclose. Lisa Epstein, Michael Redman, and Lynn Szymoniak did not work in government or law enforcement. They had no history of anticorporate activism. Instead they were all foreclosure victims, and while struggling with their shame and isolation they committed a revolutionary act: closely reading their mortgage documents, discovering the deceit behind them, and building a movement to expose it. Fiscal Times columnist David Dayen recounts how these ordinary Floridians challenged the most powerful institutions in America armed only with the truth--and for a brief moment they brought the corrupt financial industry to its knees.


Book JacketPhoto  

The Fall of the Priests and the Rise of the Lawyers by Philip R. Wood
Oxford, UK; Portland, Oregon: Hart, 2016
Balcony and Online K240 .W66 2016

This fast-paced, inspiring and original work proposes that, if religions fade, then secular law provides a much more comprehensive moral regime to govern our lives. Backed by potent and haunting images, it argues that the rule of law is the one universal framework that everyone believes in and that the law is now the most important ideology we have for our survival. The author explores the decline of religions and the huge growth of law and makes predictions for the future of law and lawyers. The book maintains that even though societies may decide they can do without religions, they cannot do without law. The book helpfully summarizes both the teachings of all the main religions and the central tenets of the law - governing everything from human relationships to money, banks and corporations. It shows that, without these legal constructs, some of them arcane, our societies would grind to a halt. These innovative summaries make complex ideas seem simple and provide the keys to understanding both the law and religion globally. The book concludes with the author's personal code for a modern way of living to promote the survival of humankind into the future. Vividly written by one of the most important lawyers of our generation, this magisterial and exciting work offers a powerful vision of the role of law in centuries to come and its impact on how we stay alive.