Distorting the Law

Author: William Haltom
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226314693
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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.

Studies in Law Politics and Society

Author: Austin Sarat
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
ISBN: 1848559313
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Rights and rights talk have a long and storied history and have occupied a crucial place in the ideology of liberal legalism. With the development of Critical Legal Studies in the 1970s and 80s, rights were subject to extensive critique. This work takes stock of the field, charts its progress and points the way for its future development.

The Blackwell Companion to Law and Society

Author: Austin Sarat
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 047069291X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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The Blackwell Companion to Law and Society is an authoritative study of the relationship between law and social interaction. Thirty-two original essays by an international group of expert scholars examine a wide range of critical questions. Authors represent various theoretical, methodological, and political commitments, creating the first truly global overview of the field. Examines the relationship between law and social interactions in thirty-three original essay by international experts in the field. Reflects the world-wide significance of North American law and society scholarship. Addresses classical areas and new themes in law and society research, including: the gap between law on the books and law in action; the complexity of institutional processes; the significance of new media; and the intersections of law and identity. Engages the exciting work now being done in England, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, South Africa, Israel, as well as "Third World" scholarship.

Law Society and History

Author: Robert W. Gordon
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139498126
Format: PDF
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This book assembles essays on legal sociology and legal history by an international group of distinguished scholars. All of them have been influenced by the eminent and prolific legal historian, legal sociologist and scholar of comparative law, Lawrence M. Friedman. Not just a Festschrift of essays by colleagues and disciples, this volume presents a sustained examination and application of Friedman's ideas and methods. Together, the essays in this volume show the powerful ripple effects of Friedman's work on American and comparative legal sociology, American and comparative legal history and the general sociology of law and legal change.

The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government

Author: Donald P. Haider-Markel
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 0191611964
Format: PDF, ePub
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The Oxford Handbook of State and Local Government is an historic undertaking. It contains a wide range of essays that define the important questions in the field, evaluate where we are in answering them, and set the direction and terms of discourse for future work. The Handbook will have a substantial influence in defining the field for years to come. The chapters critically assess both the key works of state and local politics literature and the ways in which the sub-field has developed. It covers the main areas of study in subnational politics by exploring the central contributions to the comparative study of institutions, behavior, and policy in the American context. Each chapter outlines an agenda for future research.

The First Civil Right

Author: Naomi Murakawa
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199380724
Format: PDF
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The explosive rise in the U.S. incarceration rate in the second half of the twentieth century, and the racial transformation of the prison population from mostly white at mid-century to sixty-five percent black and Latino in the present day, is a trend that cannot easily be ignored. Many believe that this shift began with the "tough on crime" policies advocated by Republicans and southern Democrats beginning in the late 1960s, which sought longer prison sentences, more frequent use of the death penalty, and the explicit or implicit targeting of politically marginalized people. In The First Civil Right, Naomi Murakawa inverts the conventional wisdom by arguing that the expansion of the federal carceral state-a system that disproportionately imprisons blacks and Latinos-was, in fact, rooted in the civil-rights liberalism of the 1940s and early 1960s, not in the period after. Murakawa traces the development of the modern American prison system through several presidencies, both Republican and Democrat. Responding to calls to end the lawlessness and violence against blacks at the state and local levels, the Truman administration expanded the scope of what was previously a weak federal system. Later administrations from Johnson to Clinton expanded the federal presence even more. Ironically, these steps laid the groundwork for the creation of the vast penal archipelago that now exists in the United States. What began as a liberal initiative to curb the mob violence and police brutality that had deprived racial minorities of their 'first civil right-physical safety-eventually evolved into the federal correctional system that now deprives them, in unjustly large numbers, of another important right: freedom. The First Civil Right is a groundbreaking analysis of root of the conflicts that lie at the intersection of race and the legal system in America.

Corporate Manslaughter and Regulatory Reform

Author: P. Almond
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 1137296275
Format: PDF, Mobi
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This book provides an account of the international emergence of corporate manslaughter offences to criminalise deaths in the workplace during the last twenty years, identifying the limitations of health and safety regulation that have prompted this development.

All Judges Are Political Except When They Are Not

Author: Keith Bybee
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804753111
Format: PDF, Mobi
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We live in an age where one person's judicial "activist" legislating from the bench is another's impartial arbiter fairly interpreting the law. After the Supreme Court ended the 2000 Presidential election with its decision in Bush v. Gore, many critics claimed that the justices had simply voted their political preferences. But Justice Clarence Thomas, among many others, disagreed and insisted that the Court had acted according to legal principle, stating: "I plead with you, that, whatever you do, don't try to apply the rules of the political world to this institution; they do not apply." The legitimacy of our courts rests on their capacity to give broadly acceptable answers to controversial questions. Yet Americans are divided in their beliefs about whether our courts operate on unbiased legal principle or political interest. Comparing law to the practice of common courtesy, Keith Bybee explains how our courts not only survive under these suspicions of hypocrisy, but actually depend on them. Law, like courtesy, furnishes a means of getting along. It frames disputes in collectively acceptable ways, and it is a habitual practice, drummed into the minds of citizens by popular culture and formal institutions. The rule of law, thus, is neither particularly fair nor free of paradoxical tensions, but it endures. Although pervasive public skepticism raises fears of judicial crisis and institutional collapse, such skepticism is also an expression of how our legal system ordinarily functions.