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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.


Selective Listing of Recent Acquisitions

Missouri Law and the American Conscience: Historical Rights and Wrongs

by Kenneth H. Winn, University of Missouri Press, 2016

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Until recently, many of Missouri’s legal records were inaccessible and the existence of many influential, historic cases was unknown. The ten essays in this volume showcase Missouri as both maker and microcosm of American history. Some of the topics are famous: Dred Scott’s slave freedom suit, Virginia Minor’s women’s suffrage case, Curt Flood’s suit against professional baseball, and the Nancy Cruzan “right to die” case. Other essays cover court cases concerning the uneasy incorporation of ethnic and cultural populations into the United States; political loyalty tests during the Civil War; the alleviation of cruelty to poor and criminally institutionalized children; the barring of women to serve on juries decades after they could vote; and the creation of the “Missouri Court Plan,” a national model for judicial selection.

The World According to Star Wars

by Cass R. Sunstein, HarperCollins, 2016

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There’s Santa Claus, Shakespeare, Mickey Mouse, the Bible, and then there’s Star Wars. Nothing quite compares to sitting down with a young child and hearing the sound of John Williams’s score as those beloved golden letters fill the screen. In this fun, erudite, and often moving book, Cass R. Sunstein explores the lessons of Star Wars as they relate to childhood, fathers, the Dark Side, rebellion, and redemption. As it turns out, Star Wars also has a lot to teach us about constitutional law, economics, and political uprisings.

n rich detail, Sunstein tells the story of the films’ wildly unanticipated success and explores why some things succeed while others fail. Ultimately, Sunstein argues, Star Wars is about freedom of choice and our never-ending ability to make the right decision when the chips are down. Written with buoyant prose and considerable heart, The World According to Star Wars shines a bright new light on the most beloved story of our time.

Research Handbook on Electronic Commerce Law

edited by J. A. Rothchild, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2016

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The steady growth of internet commerce over the past twenty years has given rise to a host of new legal issues in a broad range of fields. This authoritative Research Handbook comprises chapters by leading scholars which will provide a solid foundation for newcomers to the subject and also offer exciting new insights that will further the understanding of e-commerce experts. Key topics covered include: contracting, payments, intellectual property, extraterritorial enforcement, alternative dispute resolution, social media, consumer protection, network neutrality, online gambling, domain name governance, and privacy.

Ending Zero Tolerance: The Crisis of Absolute School Discipline

by Derek W. Black, New York University Press, 2016

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In the era of zero tolerance, we are flooded with stories about schools issuing draconian punishments for relatively innocent behavior. One student was suspended for chewing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun. Another was expelled for cursing on social media from home. Suspension and expulsion rates have doubled over the past three decades as zero tolerance policies have become the normal response to a host of minor infractions that extend well beyond just drugs and weapons. Students from all demographic groups have suffered, but minority and special needs students have suffered the most. On average, middle and high schools suspend one out of four African American students at least once a year.

The effects of these policies are devastating. Just one suspension in the ninth grade doubles the likelihood that a student will drop out. Fifty percent of students who drop out are subsequently unemployed. Eighty percent of prisoners are high school drop outs. The risks associated with suspension and expulsion are so high that, as a practical matter, they amount to educational death penalties, not behavioral correction tools. Most important, punitive discipline policies undermine the quality of education that innocent bystanders receive as well—the exact opposite of what schools intend.

Ending Zero Tolerance answers the calls of grassroots communities pressing for integration and increased education funding with a complete rethinking of school discipline. Derek Black, a former attorney with the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, weaves stories about individual students, lessons from social science, and the outcomes of courts cases to unearth a shockingly irrational system of punishment. While schools and legislatures have proven unable and unwilling to amend their failing policies, Ending Zero Tolerance argues for constitutional protections to check abuses in school discipline and lays out theories by which courts should re-engage to enforce students’ rights and support broader reforms.

Representing Parents in Child Welfare Cases: Advice and Guidance for Family Defenders

by Martin Guggenheim and Vivek Subramanian Sankaran, ABA Publications, 2016

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Representing parents in child welfare cases can be a lonely job. Natural biases against an accused parent can create substantial obstacles. This book is a practical step-by-step guide for attorneys representing parents accused of parental unfitness due to abuse or neglect. Leading experts provide insights into every aspect of the legal process, from the initial interview with the parent(s), through court hearings, to issues attendant to the Child Abuse and Neglect Registry System.

The Great Yazoo Lands Sale: The Case of Fletcher v. Peck

by Charles F. Hobson, University Press of Kansas, 2016

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In 1795, the Georgia legislature sold the state’s western lands (present-day Alabama and Mississippi) to four private land companies. A year later, amid revelations of bribery, a newly elected legislature revoked the sale. This book tells the story of how the great Yazoo lands sale gave rise to the 1810 case in which the Supreme Court, under Chief Justice John Marshall, for the first time ruled the action of a state to be in violation of the Constitution, specifically the contract clause.

Truly a landmark case, Fletcher v. Peck established judicial review of state legislative proceedings, provided a gloss on the contract clause, and established the preeminent role of the Supreme Court in private law matters. Beneath the case’s dry legal proceedings lay a tangle of speculating mania, corruption, and political rivalry, which Charles Hobson unravels with narrative aplomb. As the scene shifts from the frontier to the courtroom, and from Georgia to New England, the cast of characters includes sharp dealers like Robert Morris, hot-headed politicians like James Jackson, and able counsel like John Quincy Adams, along with, of course, John Marshall himself. The improbably dramatic tale opens a window on land transactions, Indian relations, and the politics of the early nation, thereby revealing how the controversy over the Yazoo lands sale reflected a deeper crisis over the meaning of republicanism. Hobson, a leading scholar of the Marshall Court, lays out the details of the litigation with great clarity even as he presents a longer view of the implications and consequences of Fletcher v. Peck.

Building Rainmakers: The Definitive Guide to Business

by David King Keller, ABA Publications, 2016

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Every law firm needs a business development strategy—rainmakers are the breadwinners for firms and the heart and soul of recruiting and maintaining clients. But how are rainmakers created? How do you turn a smart law school graduate into a marketing maven? And how does law firm management ensure that members of the firm are learning the art and science of being a rainmaker? 

Building Rainmakers is a complete encyclopedia of business development training techniques, indispensable advice for law firm management, partners, and associates looking to successfully bring in clients. Tips and tools are distilled from interviews with more than thirty leaders and innovators in rainmaking and business development training, including associates, partners, and mentors from Baker McKenzie, Stinson Leonard Street, Duane Morris, Nixon Peabody, and the LawVision Group. 

A clear and precise business development mentoring path can give law firm leaders confidence that the firm is creating and deploying rainmakers. Building Rainmakers provides not only business development techniques that can help your law firm train and coach very talented attorneys into very successful rainmakers, but also the metrics necessary to make sure it’s happening and measure its progress.

The Death of Treaty Supremacy: An Invisible Constitutional Change

by David L. Sloss, Oxford University Press, 2016

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This book provides the first detailed history of the Constitution's treaty supremacy rule. It describes a process of invisible constitutional change. The traditional supremacy rule provided that all treaties supersede conflicting state laws; it precluded state governments from violating U.S. treaty obligations. Before 1945, treaty supremacy and self-execution were independent doctrines. Supremacy governed the relationship between treaties and state law. Self-execution governed the division of power over treaty implementation between Congress and the President. In 1945, the U.S. ratified the UN Charter, which obligates nations to promote human rights "for all without distinction as to race." In 1950, a California court applied the Charter's human rights provisions and the traditional treaty supremacy rule to invalidate a state law that discriminated against Japanese nationals. The implications were shocking: the decision implied that the United States had effectively abrogated Jim Crow laws throughout the South by ratifying the UN Charter. In response, conservatives mobilized support for a constitutional amendment, known as the Bricker Amendment, to abolish the treaty supremacy rule. The amendment never passed, but Bricker's supporters achieved their goals through de facto constitutional change. The de facto Bricker Amendment created a novel exception to the treaty supremacy rule for non-self-executing (NSE) treaties. The exception permits state governments to violate NSE treaties without authorization from the federal political branches. The death of treaty supremacy has significant implications for U.S. foreign policy and for U.S. compliance with its treaty obligations.