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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

Constitutional Failure

by Sotirios Barber, University Press of Kansas, 2014

Americans err in thinking that while their politics may be ailing, their Constitution is fine. Sick politics is a sure sign of constitutional failure. This is Sotirios Barber's message in Constitutional Failure. Public attitudes fostered by a consumer culture, constitution worship, the lack of a trusted leadership community, and academic historicism and value skepticism—these, this book tells us in clear and bracing terms, are at the root of our political dysfunction.

Barber characterizes the Constitution as a plan of government—a set of means to public purposes like national security and prosperity. He argues that if the government is failing, it's fair to conclude that the plan is failing and that laws that are supposed to serve as means can't in reason continue to bind when they no longer work. He argues further that constitutional success depends ultimately on a stratum of diverse and self-critical citizens, who see each other as moral equals and parts of one national community. These citizens, with the politicians among them, would be good-faith contestants regarding the meaning of the common good and the most effective means to secure it. In this way—showing how the success of a constitutional democracy is more a matter of political attitudes than of institutional performance—Barber's book upends the conventional understanding of constitutional failure. In Barber's analysis, the apparent stability of formal constitutional institutions—usually interpreted as evidence of constitutional health—may actually indicate the defining element of constitutional failure: a mentally inert citizenry no longer capable of constitutional reflection and reform.

At once concise and thorough in its analysis of the concept of constitutional failure and its accounts of a "healthy politics," the corrosive impact of Madisonian checks and balances (as a substitute for trust-worthy leadership), and the outlook for meaningful reform, this book offers a carefully reasoned and provocative assessment of the viability of constitutional governance in the United States.

Family Law in America

by Sanford N. Katz, Oxford University Press, 2014

For many years family law was viewed as a study of the regulation of clearly defined relationships of husband and wife and parent and child. However, by the close of the twentieth century, basic questions about who should be officially designated a family member and by what procedure were being raised both in the legislature and in litigation. In addition, conventional models that had defined domestic relations such as marriage, divorce, and adoption were either being expanded to include contemporary patterns of living arrangements and the current reality, or new models were being constructed.

In Family Law in America, Professor Sanford N. Katz examines the present state of family law in America. Themes include the tension between individual autonomy and governmental regulation in all aspects of family law, the extent to which relationships established before marriage are being regulated, and how marriage is being redefined to take into account equality of the sexes, and the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in some jurisdictions. It demonstrates how the definition of marriage as a partnership in which the individual spouse's rights are recognized has resulted in protection of the vulnerable spouse. It also examines fault and no-fault divorce procedures and the extent to which these procedures reflect social realities. This volume describes state intervention into the parent and child relationship and how this is reflected in the reexamination of the privacy of the family unit. It concludes with a discussion of the conventional model of adoption of children and how new assisted reproductive technologies are having an impact on family formation, particularly adoption, to take into account new family forms.

eQuality: The Struggle for Web Accessibility by Persons with Cognitive Disabilities

by Peter Blanck, Cambridge University Press, 2014

Never before have the civil rights of people with disabilities aligned so well with developments in information and communication technology. The center of the technology revolution is the Internet's World Wide Web, which fosters unprecedented opportunities for engagement in democratic society. The Americans with Disabilities Act likewise is helping to ensure equal participation in society by people with disabilities. Globally, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities further affirms that persons with disabilities are entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of fundamental personal freedoms. This book is about the lived struggle for disability rights, with a focus on Web equality for people with cognitive disabilities, such as intellectual disabilities, autism, and print-related disabilities. The principles derived from the right to the Web – freedom of speech and individual dignity –are bound to lead toward full and meaningful involvement in society for persons with cognitive and other disabilities.

Litigating Religious Land Use Cases

by Daniel P. Dalton, ABA Publishing, 2014

This book discusses how to litigate such a religious land use case on behalf of a religious entity pursuant to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (“RLUIPA”)  and the First Amendment.  While the First Amendment dates to the founding days of the United States, RLUIPA is a much more recent federal law that can serve as an effective tool in protecting the property interests of religious organizations.

From the history to the filing to settling, Mr. Dalton covers the essentials on how religious entities should navigate the path of aproval of a religious use, or in the event the use is denied and the community violates the law, litigate land use claims on behalf of religious entities throughout the United States.

Popular Governance of Post-Conflict Reconstruction: The Role of International Law

by Matthew Saul, Cambridge University Press, 2014

Under what conditions does a post-conflict government have authority? What challenges to its legitimacy does it face? To what standards can it be held accountable? Via case studies of Sierra Leone and Afghanistan and detailed accounts of extant international law, Matthew Saul explores the international legal framework which regulates popular governance of post-conflict reconstruction.

The Debt Collector's Handbook: Collecting Debts, Finding Assets, Enforcing Judgments, and Beating Your Creditors

by David J. Cook, ABA Publishing, 2014

Winning your case in court is only half the battle. It's a fact that some people hide their assets to avoid paying debts and judgments. This truly unique book will show you how to find and reach that hidden money.

Author David J. Cook is a veteran collections attorney who has been chasing down debtors for over 39 years. This colorfully written book will teach you the basics of civil remedies, real estate, finance, and sleuthing. The author outlines for you the power of the bluff and the outer parameters of threat, when a threat becomes extortion, and when you need to walk away from a situation.

Mirandized Statements: Successfully Navigating the Legal and Psychological Issues

by Eric York Drogin and Richard Rogers, ABA Publishing, 2014

Recent legal and psychological studies have revealed startling information about Miranda warnings and waivers. Adults and juvenile arrestees alike are failing to understand their rights, sometimes because of complex and obscure language, and sometimes because of the combined effects of mental illness, intellectual disability, and deficient education—all overrepresented in criminal defendants.

Defense counsel and prosecutors are often surprised to learn of significant variations in the length and vocabulary levels of Miranda advisements—and the extent to which problems can be magnified by faulty translation into other languages. Even when adult or juvenile arrestees possess the ability to understand what warnings and waivers are saying, they may be prey to dangerously erroneous assumptions, which in turn may lead to profoundly poor waiver decisions.  Alternatively, defendants may suffer from their version of “confessors’ remorse” and attempt to thwart justice by non-credible claims of invalid Miranda waivers.

Attorneys on both sides of the bar must become conversant with Miranda issues as well as mental health experts. Regarding the latter, do mental health experts for either side truly grasp the issues?  Are their forensic conclusions supportable by the totality of the circumstances? Are their opinions measured and balanced? Confessions and other self-incriminating statements stand to have an overwhelming impact on criminal proceedings.  This book takes the reader through a step-by-step examination of the full range of practical considerations in these cases. 

Immigration Relief: Legal Assistance for Noncitizen Crime Victims

by Elizabeth Anne Campbell, Rachel DeLia Settlage, and Veronica Thronson, ABA Publishing, 2014

This essential resource synthesizes, explains, and guides the reader through all of the crucial components of this area of the law. Its careful organization, thorough explanations, and clear presentation demystify the daunting array of immigration statutes, cases, regulations, practice manuals, and policy memoranda that govern the adjudication of applications for immigration relief for immigrant victims of crime.