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For a complete list of acquisitions for a particular week, please select a link from the list below. Full monthly listings can be found in the Acquisitions List Archive.

MU Law Acquisitions Lists

October Acquisitions

Selective Listing of Recent Acquisitions

Evidence Matters: Science, Proof, and Truth in the Law

by Susan Haack, Cambridge University Press, 2014

Is truth in the law just plain truth – or something sui generis? Is a trial a search for truth? Do adversarial procedures and exclusionary rules of evidence enable, or impede, the accurate determination of factual issues? Can degrees of proof be identified with mathematical probabilities? What role can statistical evidence properly play? How can courts best handle the scientific testimony on which cases sometimes turn? How are they to distinguish reliable scientific testimony from unreliable hokum?

The dozen interdisciplinary essays collected here explore a whole nexus of such questions about science, proof, and truth in the law. With her characteristic clarity and verve, in these essays Haack brings her original and distinctive work in theory of knowledge and philosophy of science to bear on real-life legal issues. She includes detailed analyses of a wide variety of cases and lucid summaries of relevant scientific work, of the many roles of the scientific peer-review system, and of relevant legal developments.

Judging Statutes

by Robert Katzmann, Oxford University Press, 2014

In an ideal world, the laws of Congress - known as federal statutes - would always be clearly worded and easily understood by the judges tasked with interpreting them. But many laws feature ambiguous or even contradictory wording. How, then, should judges divine their meaning? Should they stick only to the text? To what degree, if any, should they consult aids beyond the statutes themselves? Are the purposes of lawmakers in writing law relevant?

Some judges, such as Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, believe courts should look to the language of the statute and virtually nothing else. Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit respectfully disagrees. In Judging Statutes, Katzmann, who is a trained political scientist as well as a judge, argues that our constitutional system charges Congress with enacting laws; therefore, how Congress makes its purposes known through both the laws themselves and reliable accompanying materials should be respected. He looks at how the American government works, including how laws come to be and how various agencies construe legislation. He then explains the judicial process of interpreting and applying these laws through the demonstration of two interpretative approaches, purposivism (focusing on the purpose of a law) and textualism (focusing solely on the text of the written law). Katzmann draws from his experience to show how this process plays out in the real world, and concludes with some suggestions to promote understanding between the courts and Congress.

When courts interpret the laws of Congress, they should be mindful of how Congress actually functions, how lawmakers signal the meaning of statutes, and what those legislators expect of courts construing their laws. The legislative record behind a law is in truth part of its foundation, and therefore merits consideration.

God vs. the Gavel: The Perils of Extreme Religious Liberty

by Marci A. Hamilton, Cambridge University Press, 2014

Clergy sex abuse, polygamy, children dying from faith healing, companies that refuse to do business with same-sex couples, and residential neighborhoods forced to host homeless shelters – what do all of these have in common? They are all examples of religious believers harming others and demanding religious liberty regardless of the harm. This book unmasks those responsible, explains how this new set of rights is not derived from the First Amendment, and argues for a return to common-sense religious liberty.

In straightforward, readable prose, God vs. the Gavel: The Perils of Extreme Religious Liberty sets the record straight about the United States' move toward extreme religious liberty. More than half of this thoroughly revised second edition is new content, featuring a new introduction and epilogue and contemporary stories. All Americans need to read this book, before they or their friends and family are harmed by religious believers exercising their newfound rights.

Kafka's Law: "The Trial" and American Criminal Justice

by Robert P. Burns, University of Chicago Press, 2014

The Trial is actually closer to reality than fantasy as far as the client’s perception of the system. It’s supposed to be a fantastic allegory, but it’s reality. It’s very important that lawyers read it and understand this.” Justice Anthony Kennedy famously offered this assessment of the Kafkaesque character of the American criminal justice system in 1993. While Kafka’s vision of the “Law” in The Trial appears at first glance to be the antithesis of modern American legal practice, might the characteristics of this strange and arbitrary system allow us to identify features of our own system that show signs of becoming similarly nightmarish?
           
With Kafka’s Law, Robert P. Burns shows how The Trial provides an uncanny lens through which to consider flaws in the American criminal justice system today. Burns begins with the story, at once funny and grim, of Josef K., caught in the Law’s grip and then crushed by it. Laying out the features of the Law that eventually destroy K., Burns argues that the American criminal justice system has taken on many of these same features. In the overwhelming majority of contemporary cases, police interrogation is followed by a plea bargain, in which the court’s only function is to set a largely predetermined sentence for an individual already presumed guilty. Like Kafka’s nightmarish vision, much of American criminal law and procedure has become unknowable, ubiquitous, and bureaucratic. It, too, has come to rely on deception in dealing with suspects and jurors, to limit the role of defense, and to increasingly dispense justice without the protection of formal procedures. But, while Kennedy may be correct in his grim assessment, a remedy is available in the tradition of trial by jury, and Burns concludes by convincingly arguing for its return to a more central place in American criminal justice.

Internet Legal Research on a Budget: Free and Low-Cost Resources for Lawyers

by Carole A. Levitt and Judy K. Davis, ABA Publishing, 2014

With cost-conscious clients scrutinizing legal bills, lawyers cannot afford to depend on expensive legal research databases, especially when reliable free resources are available. Internet Legal Research on a Budget will help you quickly find the best free or low-cost resources online and use them for your research needs. The authors share the top websites, apps, blogs, Twitter feeds, and crowdsourced resources that will save you time, money, and frustration during the research process.

A Ministry of Presence: Chaplaincy, Spiritual Care, and the Law

by Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, University of Chicago Press, 2014

Most people in the United States today no longer live their lives under the guidance of local institutionalized religious leadership, such as rabbis, ministers, and priests; rather, liberals and conservatives alike have taken charge of their own religious or spiritual practices. This shift, along with other social and cultural changes, has opened up a perhaps surprising space for chaplains—spiritual professionals who usually work with the endorsement of a religious community but do that work away from its immediate hierarchy, ministering in a secular institution, such as a prison, the military, or an airport, to an ever-changing group of clients of widely varying faiths and beliefs.

In A Ministry of Presence, Winnifred Fallers Sullivan explores how chaplaincy works in the United States—and in particular how it sits uneasily at the intersection of law and religion, spiritual care, and government regulation. Responsible for ministering to the wandering souls of the globalized economy, the chaplain works with a clientele often unmarked by a specific religious identity, and does so on behalf of a secular institution, like a hospital. Sullivan's examination of the sometimes heroic but often deeply ambiguous work yields fascinating insights into contemporary spiritual life, the politics of religious freedom, and the never-ending negotiation of religion's place in American institutional life.

Investment Treaty Arbitration as Public International Law: Procedural Aspects and Implications

by Eric De Brabandere, Cambridge University Press, 2014

Investment treaty arbitration is fast becoming one of the most common methods of dispute settlement in international law. Despite having ancient roots, tensions remain between the private interests in international investment relations and the public international law features of the arbitral procedure. This book, which presents an account of investment treaty arbitration as a part of public international law - as opposed to commercial law - provides an important contribution to the literature on this subject. Eric De Brabandere examines the procedural implications of conceiving of investment treaty arbitration in such a way, with regard to issues such as the principles of confidentiality and privacy, and remedies. The author demonstrates how the public international law character of investment treaty arbitration derives from, and has impacted upon, the dispute settlement procedure.

The Practitioner's Guide to Trials Before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

edited by Erika Harmon Arner and Joseph E. Palys, ABA Publishing, 2014

Organized for ease of use, the book's practice-focused information includes a quick reference for PTAB statutes and rules, building patent trials into your litigation strategy, a detailed description of a PTAB trial from petition preparation to appeals to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and clear references to supporting laws, rules, and regulations

Perhaps the most useful feature is a chapter on "Practical Tools" that compiles, in one place, all of the statutes, rules, and PTAB guidance covering PTAB trials, organized by topic. A busy practitioner can look up a topic, such as discovery, claim construction, or joinder, and have all of the collected guidance in one place. Practical Tools are organized using a simple, standard framework including CFR citations; PTO comments during rulemaking; PTAB orders and decisions; references to the PTAB trial practice guide; and informal guidance such as PTAB training presentations.