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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

July Acquisitions

Selective Listing of Recent Acquisitions

Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality

by Jo Becker, Penguin Group, 2014

A tour de force of groundbreaking reportage by Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Jo Becker, Forcing the Spring is the definitive account of five remarkable years in American civil rights history: when the United States experienced a tectonic shift on the issue of marriage equality. Beginning with the historical legal challenge of California’s ban on same-sex marriage, Becker expands the scope to encompass all aspects of this momentous struggle, offering a gripping behind-the-scenes narrative told with the lightning pace of the greatest legal thrillers.

For nearly five years, Becker was given free rein in the legal and political war rooms where the strategy of marriage equality was plotted. She takes us inside the remarkable campaign that rebranded a movement; into the Oval Office where the president and his advisors debated how to respond to a fast-changing political landscape; into the chambers of the federal judges who decided that today’s bans on same-sex marriage were no more constitutional than the previous century’s bans on interracial marriage; and into the mindsets of the Supreme Court judges who decided the California case and will likely soon decide the issue for the country at large. From the state-by state efforts to win marriage equality at the ballot box to the landmark Supreme Court case that struck down a law that banned legally married gay and lesbian couples from receiving federal benefits, Becker weaves together the political and legal forces that reshaped a nation.

Citizens Divided: Campaign Finance Reform and the Constitution

by Robert C. Post, Harvard University Press, 2014

The Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down a federal prohibition on independent corporate campaign expenditures, is one of the most controversial opinions in recent memory. Defenders of the First Amendment greeted the ruling with enthusiasm, while advocates of electoral reform recoiled in disbelief. Robert Post offers a new constitutional theory that seeks to reconcile these sharply divided camps.

Post interprets constitutional conflict over campaign finance reform as an argument between those who believe self-government requires democratic participation in the formation of public opinion and those who believe that self-government requires a functioning system of representation. The former emphasize the value of free speech, while the latter emphasize the integrity of the electoral process. Each position has deep roots in American constitutional history. Post argues that both positions aim to nurture self-government, which in contemporary life can flourish only if elections are structured to create public confidence that elected officials are attentive to public opinion. Post spells out the many implications of this simple but profound insight. Critiquing the First Amendment reasoning of the Court in Citizens United, he also shows that the Court did not clearly grasp the constitutional dimensions of corporate speech.

Blending history, constitutional law, and political theory, Citizens Divided explains how a Supreme Court case of far-reaching consequence might have been decided differently, in a manner that would have preserved both First Amendment rights and electoral integrity.

The Language of Murder Cases: Intentionality, Predisposition, and Voluntariness

by Roger W. Shuy, Oxford University Press, 2014

The Language of Murder Cases describes fifteen court cases for which Roger W. Shuy served as an expert language witness. Investigations and trials in murder cases are guided by the important legal terms describing the mental states of defendants: intentionality, predisposition, and voluntariness. Unfortunately, statutes and dictionaries can provide only loose definitions, largely because mental states are virtually impossible to define. The meaning of these terms, therefore, must be adduced either by inferences and assumptions, or by any available language evidence-often the best window into a speaker's mind. Fortunately, this window of evidence exists primarily in electronically recorded undercover conversations, police interviews, and legal hearings and trials, all of which are subject to linguistic analysis before and during trial.

In this book, Shuy explains how vague legal terminology can be clarified by analysis of the language used by suspects, defendants, law enforcement officers, and attorneys. He examines speech events, schemas, agendas, speech acts, conversational strategies, as well as smaller language units such as syntax, lexicon, and phonology, and discusses how these can play a major role in deciding murder cases. In his analysis, Shuy draws on his personal experience testifying at fifteen fascinating murder trials, focusing on the role that language played in each. He concludes with a summary of how his analyses were regarded by the juries as they struggled with the equally vague concept of reasonable doubt.

Swimming in Deep Water: Lawyers, Judges, and Our Troubled Legal Profession

by William Domnarski, ABA Publishing, 2014

Bill Domnarski has been writing about the law and lawyers for decades, and now offers a thought-provoking book that pulls no punches, especially when it comes to judges, successful trial lawyers, and large firm lawyers. If you're looking for a brutal, raw and honest commentary on judges, lawyers, and the law, this book will make you laugh, but also provide valuable perspective and insight on the legal profession.

Family Law Reimagined

by Jill Elaine Hasday, Harvard University Press, 2014

One of the law's most important and far-reaching roles is to govern family life and family members. Family law decides who counts as kin, how family relationships are created and dissolved, and what legal rights and responsibilities come with marriage, parenthood, sibling ties, and other family bonds. Yet despite its significance, the field remains remarkably understudied and poorly understood both within and outside the legal community.

Family Law Reimagined is the first book to evaluate the canonical narratives, examples, and ideas that legal decisionmakers repeatedly invoke to explain family law and its governing principles. These stories contend that family law is exclusively local, that it repudiates market principles, that it has eradicated the imprint of common law doctrines which subordinated married women, that it is dominated by contract rules permitting individuals to structure their relationships as they choose, and that it consistently prioritizes children's interests over parents' rights. In this book, Jill Elaine Hasday reveals how family law's canon misdescribes the reality of family law, misdirects attention away from the actual problems that family law confronts, and misshapes the policies that legal authorities pursue. She demonstrates how much of the "common sense" that decisionmakers expound about family law actually makes little sense.

Family Law Reimagined uncovers and critiques the family law canon and outlines a path to reform. Challenging conventional answers and asking questions that judges and lawmakers routinely overlook, it calls on us to reimagine family law.

Preparing Witnesses: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Their Clients

by Daniel Small, ABA Publishing, 2014

There are many different witness situations, from government interviews to formal jury trials. Yet all are founded in surprisingly common themes and raise the same fundamental preparation issues. Written by ABA best-selling author and seasoned litigator Dan Small, this easy-to-read guide discusses the methods for developing a systematic witness preparation process. With reference to the similarities that exist in real-world depositions, this guide offers strategies to help make witnesses comfortable and effective in the courtroom, ultimately turning them from possible liabilities into assets to the case. This book is an invaluable aid in refining skills for delivering witness testimony with an impact.

Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution

by Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz, Holt, Henry & Company, 2014

From Citizens United to its momentous rulings regarding Obamacare and gay marriage, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has profoundly affected American life. Yet the court remains a mysterious institution, and the motivations of the nine men and women who serve for life are often obscure. Now, in Uncertain Justice, Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz show the surprising extent to which the Roberts Court is revising the meaning of our Constitution.

This essential book arrives at a make-or-break moment for the nation and the court. Political gridlock, cultural change, and technological progress mean that the court’s decisions on key topics—including free speech, privacy, voting rights, and presidential power—could be uniquely durable. Acutely aware of their opportunity, the justices are rewriting critical aspects of constitutional law and redrawing the ground rules of American government. Tribe—one of the country’s leading constitutional lawyers—and Matz dig deeply into the court’s recent rulings, stepping beyond tired debates over judicial “activism” to draw out hidden meanings and silent battles. The undercurrents they reveal suggest a strikingly different vision for the future of our country, one that is sure to be hotly debated.

The Copyright Book: A Practical Guide

by William S. Strong, MIT Press, 2014

Through five editions since 1981, this book has offered the most comprehensive accessible guide available to all aspects of copyright law. Now, with the sixth edition,The Copyright Book has been thoroughly updated to cover copyright for the Internet age, discussing a range of developments in the law since 2000.

The only book written for nonlawyers that covers the entire field of copyright law, it is essential reading for authors, artists, creative people in every medium, the companies that hire them, users of copyrighted material, and anyone with an interest in copyright law from a policy perspective. New material includes greatly expanded coverage of infringement and fair use, with detailed discussion of recent decisions, including the Grateful Dead, Google, and HathiTrust cases. The new edition considers such topics as open access, the defeat of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), file sharing, e-reserves, the status of "orphan works," and the latest developments under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

The sixth edition also brings up to date The Copyright Book's plain English explanation of such fundamental topics as authorship and ownership; transfers and licenses of copyright; copyright notice; registration of copyright (including the new online registration and "preregistration" systems); the scope of rights included in copyright, and exceptions to those rights; "moral rights"; compulsory licenses; tax treatment of copyright; and international aspects of copyright law. As copyright issues grow ever more complicated, The Copyright Book becomes ever more indispensable.