Nothing But the Truth

Author: Steven Lubet
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814751741
Format: PDF
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Lubet's Nothing But The Truth presents a novel and engaging analysis of the role of storytelling in trial advocacy. The best lawyers are storytellers, he explains, who take the raw and disjointed observations of witnesses and transform them into coherent and persuasive narratives. Critics of the adversary system, of course, have little patience for storytelling, regarding trial lawyers as flimflam artists who use sly means and cunning rhetoric to befuddle witnesses and bamboozle juries. Why not simply allow the witnesses to speak their minds, without the distorting influence of lawyers' stratagems and feints? But Lubet demonstrates that the craft of lawyer storytelling is a legitimate technique for determining the truth andnot at all coincidentallyfor providing the best defense for the attorney's client. Storytelling accomplishes three important purposes at trial. It helps to establish a "theory of the case," which is a plausible and reasonable explanation of the underlying events, presented in the light most favorable to the attorney's client. Storytelling also develops the "trial theme," which is the lawyer's way of adding moral force to the desired outcome. Most importantly, storytelling provides a coherent "story frame," which organizes all of the events, transactions, and other surrounding facts into an easily understandable narrative context. As with all powerful tools, storytelling may be misused to ill purposes. Therefore, as Lubet explains, lawyers do not have carte blanche to tell whatever stories they choose. It is a creative process to be sure, but every story must ultimately be based on "nothing but the truth." There is no room for lying. On the other hand, it is obvious that trial lawyers never tell "the whole truth," since life and experience are boundless and therefore not fully describable. No lawyer or court of law can ever get at the whole truth, but the attorney who effectively employs the techniques of storytelling will do the best job of sorting out competing claims and facts, thereby helping the court arrive at a decision that serves the goals of accuracy and justice. To illustrate the various challenges, benefits, and complexities of storytelling, Lubet elaborates the stories of six different trials. Some of the cases are real, including John Brown and Wyatt Earp, while some are fictional, including Atticus Finch and Liberty Valance. In each chapter, the emphasis is on the narrative itself, emphasizing the trial's rich context of facts and personalities. The overall conclusion, as Lubet puts it, is that "purposive storytelling provides a necessary dimension to our adversary system of justice."

ABA Journal

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The ABA Journal serves the legal profession. Qualified recipients are lawyers and judges, law students, law librarians and associate members of the American Bar Association.

Law and Literature Reconsidered

Author: Austin Sarat
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
ISBN: 1849505616
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Once hailed as a promising new way to think about law and as opening a vital conversation about literature the question is whether the law and literature enterprise has lived up to its initial promise. This is a contemporary study of law and literature. It includes contributions by an international group of leading scholars.

How the Left Can Win Arguments and Influence People

Author: John K. Wilson
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814795145
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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If we were to rely on what the pundits and politicians tell us, we would have to conclude that America is a deeply conservative nation. Americans, we hear constantly, detest government, demand lower taxes and the end of welfare, and favor the death penalty, prayer in school, and an absolute faith in the free market. And yet Americans believe deeply in progressive ideas. In fact, progressivism has long been a powerful force in the American psyche. Consider that a mere generation ago the struggle for environmentally sound policies, for women's rights, and for racial equality were fringe movements. Today, open opposition to these core ideals would be political suicide. Drawing on this wellspring of American progressivist tradition, John K. Wilson has penned an informal handbook for the pragmatic progressive. Wilson insists that the left must become more savvy in its rhetoric and stop preaching only to the converted. Progressives need to attack the tangible realities of the corporate welfare state, while explicitly acknowledging that "socialism is," as Wilson writes, "deader than Lenin." Rather than attacking a "right-wing conspiracy," Wilson argues that the left needs one, too. Tracing how well-funded conservative pressure groups have wielded their influence and transformed the national agenda, Wilson outlines a similar approach for the left. Along the way, he exposes the faultlines of our poll- and money-driven form of politics, explodes the myth of "the liberal media," and demands that the left explicitly change its image. Irreverent, practical, and urgently argued, How The Left Can Win Arguments and Influence People charts a way to translate progressive ideals into reality and reassert the core principles of the American left on the national stage.

America s Colony

Author: Pedro A Malavet
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814756808
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Everyone eats, but rarely do we ask why or investigate why we eat what we eat. Why do we love spices, sweets, coffee? How did rice become such a staple food throughout so much of eastern Asia? Everyone Eats examines the social and cultural reasons for our food choices and provides an explanation of the nutritional reasons for why humans eat, resulting in a unique cultural and biological approach to the topic. E. N. Anderson explains the economics of food in the globalization era, food's relationship to religion, medicine, and ethnicity as well as offers suggestions on how to end hunger, starvation, and malnutrition. Everyone Eats feeds our need to understand human ecology by explaining the ways that cultures and political systems structure the edible environment.

Saving Our Children from the First Amendment

Author: Kevin W. Saunders
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814786936
Format: PDF, Docs
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The First Amendment is vital to our political system, our cultural institutions, and our routine social interactions with others. In this provocative book, Kevin Saunders asserts that freedom of expression can be very harmful to our children, making it more likely that they will be the perpetrators or victims of violence, will grow up as racists, or will use alcohol or tobacco. Saving Our Children from the First Amendment examines both the value and cost of free expression in America, demonstrating how an unregulated flow of information can be detrimental to youth. While the great value of the First Amendment is found in its protection of our most important political freedoms, this is far more significant for adults, who can fully grasp and benefit from the freedom of expression, than for children. Constitutional prohibitions on distributing sexual materials to children, Saunders proposes, should be expanded to include violent, vulgar, or profane materials, as well as music that contains hate speech. Saunders offers an insightful meditation on the problem of protecting our children from the negative effects of freedom of expression without curtailing First Amendment rights for adults.

Discrimination by Default

Author: Lu-in Wang
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814795064
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Much as we “select” computer settings by default—reflexively, without thinking, and sometimes without realizing there are other options—we often discriminate by default as well. And just as default computer settings tend to become locked in or entrenched as the standard, discrimination by default creates a situation in which disparate outcomes are expected, accepted, and taken for granted. The killing of Amadou Diallo, racial disparities in medical care, the dominance of Whites and men in certain professions, and even the uneven media attention paid to crimes depending on their victims’ race and class, all might be cases of discrimination by, or as, default. Wang contends that, today, most discrimination occurs by default and not design, making legal prohibitions that focus on those who discriminate out of ill will inadequate to redress the largest share of modern discrimination. She draws on social psychology to detail three ways in which unconscious assumptions can lead to discrimination, showing how they play out in a range of everyday settings. Wang then demonstrates how these dynamics interact in medical care to produce an invisible, self-fulfilling, and self-perpetuating prophecy of racial disparity. She goes on to suggest ways in which institutions and individuals might recognize, interrupt, and override the discriminatory default.

Why Lawsuits are Good for America

Author: Carl T. Bogus
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814737943
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Judging by the frequency with which it makes an appearance in television news shows and late night stand up routines, the frivolous lawsuit has become part and parcel of our national culture. A woman sues McDonald’s because she was scalded when she spilled her coffee. Thousands file lawsuits claiming they were injured by Agent Orange, silicone breast implants, or Bendectin although scientists report these substances do not cause the diseases in question. The United States, conventional wisdom has it, is a hyperlitigious society, propelled by avaricious lawyers, harebrained judges, and runaway juries. Lawsuits waste money and time and, moreover, many are simply groundless. Carl T. Bogus is not so sure. In Why Lawsuits Are Good for America, Bogus argues that common law works far better than commonly understood. Indeed, Bogus contends that while the system can and occasionally does produce “wrong” results, it is very difficult for it to make flatly irrational decisions. Blending history, theory, empirical data, and colorful case studies, Bogus explains why the common law, rather than being outdated, may be more necessary than ever. As Bogus sees it, the common law is an essential adjunct to governmental regulation—essential, in part, because it is not as easily manipulated by big business. Meanwhile, big business has launched an all out war on the common law. “Tort reform”—measures designed to make more difficult for individuals to sue corporations—one of the ten proposals in the Republican Contract With America, and George W. Bush’s first major initiative as Governor of Texas. And much of what we have come to believe about the system comes from a coordinated propaganda effort by big business and its allies. Bogus makes a compelling case for the necessity of safeguarding the system from current assaults. Why Lawsuits Are Good for America provides broad historical overviews of the development of American common law, torts, products liability, as well as fresh and provocative arguments about the role of the system of “disciplined democracy” in the twenty-first century.

Victims in the War on Crime

Author: Markus Dirk Dubber
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 0814771416
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Two phenomena have shaped American criminal law for the past thirty years: the war on crime and the victims' rights movement. As incapacitation has replaced rehabilitation as the dominant ideology of punishment, reflecting a shift from an identification with defendants to an identification with victims, the war on crime has victimized offenders and victims alike. What we need instead, Dubber argues, is a system which adequately recognizes both victims and defendants as persons. Victims in the War on Crime is the first book to provide a critical analysis of the role of victims in the criminal justice system as a whole. It also breaks new ground in focusing not only on the victims of crime, but also on those of the war on victimless crime. After first offering an original critique of the American penal system in the age of the crime war, Dubber undertakes an incisive comparative reading of American criminal law and the law of crime victim compensation, culminating in a wide-ranging revision that takes victims seriously, and offenders as well. Dubber here salvages the project of vindicating victims' rights for its own sake, rather than as a weapon in the war against criminals. Uncovering the legitimate core of the victims' rights movement from underneath existing layers of bellicose rhetoric, he demonstrates how victims' rights can help us build a system of American criminal justice after the frenzy of the war on crime has died down.