Featured New Books - May 2013

scene of the crime

The scene of the mass crime : history, film, and international tribunals

The Scene of the Mass Crime takes up the unwritten history of the peculiar yet highly visible form of war crimes trials. These trials are the first and continuing site of the interface of law, history and film. From Nuremberg to the contemporary trials in Cambodia, film, in particular, has been crucial both as evidence of atrocity and as the means of publicizing the proceedings. But what does film bring to justice? Can law successfully address war crimes, atrocities, genocide? What do the trials actually show? What form of justice is done, and how does it relate to ordinary courts and proceedings? What lessons can be drawn from this history for the very topical political issue of filming civil and criminal trials? This book takes up the diversity and complexity of these idiosyncratic and, in strict terms, generally extra-legal medial situations. Drawing on a fascinating diversity of public trials and filmic responses, from the Trial of the Gang of Four to the Gacaca local courts of Rwanda to the filmic symbolism of 9-11, from Soviet era show trials to Nazi People's Courts leading international scholars address the theatrical, political, filmic and symbolic importance of show trials in making history, legitimating regimes and, most surprising of all, in attempting to heal trauma through law and through film. These essays will be of considerable interest to those working on international criminal law, transitional justice, genocide studies, and the relationship between law and film.

rebels at the bar

Rebels at the bar : the fascinating, forgotten stories of America's first women lawyers

In Rebels at the Bar, prize-winning legal historian Jill Norgren recounts the life stories of a small group of nineteenth century women who were among the first female attorneys in the United States. Beginning in the late 1860s, these determined rebels pursued the radical ambition of entering the then all-male profession of law. They were motivated by a love of learning. They believed in fair play and equal opportunity. They desired recognition as professionals and the ability to earn a good living.
Through a biographical approach, Norgren presents the common struggles of eight women first to train and to qualify as attorneys, then to practice their hard-won professional privilege. Their story is one of nerve, frustration, and courage. This first generation practiced civil and criminal law, solo and in partnership. The women wrote extensively and lobbied on the major issues of the day, but the professional opportunities open to them had limits. They never had the opportunity to wear the black robes of a judge. They were refused entry into the lucrative practices of corporate and railroad law.Although male lawyers filled legislatures and the Foreign Service, presidents refused to appoint these early women lawyers to diplomatic offices and the public refused to elect them to legislatures.
Rebels at the Bar expands our understanding of both women’s rights and the history of the legal profession in the nineteenth century. It focuses on the female renegades who trained in law and then, like men, fought considerable odds to create successful professional lives. In this engaging and beautifully written book, Norgren shares her subjects’ faith in the art of the possible. In so doing, she ensures their place in history.

Simpler : the future of government

In his new book, Simpler: The Future of Government (Simon & Schuster, 2013), bestselling author and academic Cass Sunstein shares his lessons as head of the “most powerful White House office you’ve never heard of.” As administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Sunstein worked with others to initiate a program of simple, data-driven regulation designed to increase efficiency and flexibility of government. In Simpler, he illustrates how simplifying regulation saves money, improves health and lengthens lives—and why this is just the beginning.

Privatising war : private military and security companies under public international law

A growing number of states use private military and security companies (PMSCs) for a variety of tasks, which were traditionally fulfilled by soldiers. This book provides a comprehensive analysis of the law that applies to PMSCs active in situations of armed conflict, focusing on international humanitarian law. It examines the limits in international law on how states may use private actors, taking the debate beyond the question of whether PMSCs are mercenaries. The authors delve into issues such as how PMSCs are bound by humanitarian law, whether their staff are civilians or combatants, and how the use of force in self-defence relates to direct participation in hostilities, a key issue for an industry that operates by exploiting the right to use force in self-defence. Throughout, the authors identify how existing legal obligations, including under state and individual criminal responsibility should play a role in the regulation of the industry.

baseball trust

The baseball trust : a history of baseball's antitrust exemption

In The Baseball Trust, legal historian Stuart Banner illuminates the series of court rulings that resulted in one of the most curious features of our legal system-baseball's exemption from antitrust law. A serious baseball fan, Banner provides a thoroughly entertaining history of the game as seen through the prism of an extraordinary series of courtroom battles, ranging from 1890 to the present. The book looks at such pivotal cases as the 1922 Supreme Court case which held that federal antitrust laws did not apply to baseball; the 1972 Flood v. Kuhn decision that declared that baseball is exempt even from state antitrust laws; and several cases from the 1950s, one involving boxing and the other football, that made clear that the exemption is only for baseball, not for sports in general. Banner reveals that for all the well-documented foibles of major league owners, baseball has consistently received and followed antitrust advice from leading lawyers, shrewd legal advice that eventually won for baseball a protected legal status enjoyed by no other industry in America.

As Banner tells this fascinating story, he also provides an important reminder of the path-dependent nature of the American legal system. At each step, judges and legislators made decisions that were perfectly sensible when considered one at a time, but that in total yielded an outcome-baseball's exemption from antitrust law-that makes no sense at all.

building your ladder

Building your ladder : an associate's guide to success beyond partnership

Once upon a time, you could do solid work as an associate, achieve some notable successes, bill a respectable number of hours, and reasonably expect to make partner in five to seven years. "Making partner" meant job security, and new partners had a grace period of several years to ramp up, learn how to build a practice, and find ways to add value as a co-owner of the firm.

Those days are over. Grappling with the market downturn, a fragile economy, reduced demand for legal services, and tighter client control over legal spending, law firms are promoting fewer associates to partnership and looking more closely at the performance of existing partners, particularly in the junior ranks. As a new partner in today's legal world, you can no longer ramp up at a leisurely pace. In a relatively short time, you need to prove you can produce and manage business, manage people, and add value to the firm in other ways as well.

Meeting these new challenges requires skills and talents beyond those typically needed to succeed as an associate. Despite the significant differences in expectations, however, most firms provide surprisingly little guidance to associates about the skills they will need in order to succeed as partners. Because partner-level skills take years to develop, it's critical that as an associate, you look ahead to your ultimate goals. If owning your own practice and having control over your career are among them, this book can help you chart your course and build your ladder to ultimate success.

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