The Myth of the Litigious Society

Author: David M. Engel
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226305042
Release Date: 2016-09-16
Genre: Law

While the United States is often called the Land of the Law Suit, in reality Americans hardly sue at all. In fact, when it comes to physical injuries, over 90% of the time, we--as David M. Engel points out in his engaging and provocative book--simply lump it, making no claims against either the injurers or their insurance companies. Bringing to bear an impressive array of research and data, Engel firmly and persuasively demolishes the pervasive myth of the litigious American. But why don t most people sue whey they have been wrongfully physically injured? We have in fact a mystery, what Engel calls The Case of the Missing Plaintiff. The solution his investigation leads us to is as fascinating as it is unexpected. Engel reconstructs how people who suffer injuries actually react to them. When real people experience physical injuries, their lives, thoughts, and emotions are profoundly disrupted and compromised. They often have difficulty thinking clearly and acting decisively. Human nature, our immediate friends and families, and broader social and cultural factors all tend again injury victims making claims. And as often as one might have heard of victim-blaming, self-blame is one of the most common reactions of victims to their injuries. Ultimately Engel shows that the proliferation of law and regulations in our society is not the problem. The real problem is the law s failure to protect those who suffer wrongful injuries. Tort law is usually said to serve three purposes that even those who want to curtail law suits would agree on: to compensate losses suffered by injury victims, to deter unnecessarily risky and harmful behavior, and to correct the moral injustice that results when one person or group injures another. Engel s book clearly and powerfully shows that none of these purposes is being met and concludes his investigation with recommendations for how they might be."

Invitation to Law and Society

Author: Kitty Calavita
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226089980
Release Date: 2010-05-15
Genre: Social Science

Law and Society is a rapidly-growing interdisciplinary field that turns on its head the conventional, idealized view of the “Law” as a magisterial abstraction. Kitty Calavita’s Invitation to Law and Society brilliantly brings to life the ways in which law shapes and manifests itself in the institutions and interactions of human society, while inviting the reader into conversations that introduce the field’s dominant themes and most lively disagreements. Deftly interweaving scholarship with familiar personal examples, Calavita shows how scholars in the discipline are collectively engaged in a subversive exposé of law’s public mythology. While surveying prominent issues and distinctive approaches to the use of the law in everyday life, as well as its potential as a tool for social change, this volume provides a view of law that is more real but just as compelling as its mythic counterpart. In a field of inquiry that has long lacked a sophisticated yet accessible introduction to its ways of thinking, Invitation to Law and Society will serve as an engaging and indispensible guide.

Working Law

Author: Lauren B. Edelman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226400938
Release Date: 2016-11-28
Genre: Social Science

Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, virtually all companies have antidiscrimination policies in place. Although these policies represent some progress, women and minorities remain underrepresented within the workplace as a whole and even more so when you look at high-level positions. They also tend to be less well paid. How is it that discrimination remains so prevalent in the American workplace despite the widespread adoption of policies designed to prevent it? One reason for the limited success of antidiscrimination policies, argues Lauren B. Edelman, is that the law regulating companies is broad and ambiguous, and managers therefore play a critical role in shaping what it means in daily practice. Often, what results are policies and procedures that are largely symbolic and fail to dispel long-standing patterns of discrimination. Even more troubling, these meanings of the law that evolve within companies tend to eventually make their way back into the legal domain, inconspicuously influencing lawyers for both plaintiffs and defendants and even judges. When courts look to the presence of antidiscrimination policies and personnel manuals to infer fair practices and to the presence of diversity training programs without examining whether these policies are effective in combating discrimination and achieving racial and gender diversity, they wind up condoning practices that deviate considerably from the legal ideals.

Law and Society

Author: Matthew Lippman
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 9781506395432
Release Date: 2017-09-13
Genre: Law

“This is a well-rounded book that seems more interesting to students than other books I have used. It provides information on some cutting-edge themes in law and society while staying well grounded in the theories used by law and society practitioners.” —Lydia Brashear Tiede, Associate Professor, University of Houston Law and Society, Second Edition, offers a contemporary, concise overview of the structure and function of legal institutions, along with a lively discussion of both criminal and civil law and their impact on society. Unlike other books on law and society, Matthew Lippman takes an interdisciplinary approach that highlights the relevance of the law throughout our society. Distinctive coverage of diversity, inequality, civil liberties, and globalism is intertwined through an organized theme in a strong narrative. The highly anticipated Second Edition of this practical and invigorating text introduces students to both the influence of law on society and the influence of society on the law. Discussions of the pressing issues facing today’s society include key topics such as the law and inequality, international human rights, privacy and surveillance, and law and social control. Log in at study.sagepub.com/lippmanls2e for additional teaching and learning tools.

Distorting the Law

Author: William Haltom
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226314693
Release Date: 2009-11-15
Genre: Political Science

In recent years, stories of reckless lawyers and greedy citizens have given the legal system, and victims in general, a bad name. Many Americans have come to believe that we live in the land of the litigious, where frivolous lawsuits and absurdly high settlements reign. Scholars have argued for years that this common view of the depraved ruin of our civil legal system is a myth, but their research and statistics rarely make the news. William Haltom and Michael McCann here persuasively show how popularized distorted understandings of tort litigation (or tort tales) have been perpetuated by the mass media and reform proponents. Distorting the Law lays bare how media coverage has sensationalized lawsuits and sympathetically portrayed corporate interests, supporting big business and reinforcing negative stereotypes of law practices. Based on extensive interviews, nearly two decades of newspaper coverage, and in-depth studies of the McDonald's coffee case and tobacco litigation, Distorting the Law offers a compelling analysis of the presumed litigation crisis, the campaign for tort law reform, and the crucial role the media play in this process.

Rights of Inclusion

Author: David M. Engel
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226208338
Release Date: 2003-06-15
Genre: Law

Examines how civil rights legislation impacts the lives of ordinary Americans, drawing on the experiences of sixty interviewees that have been victims of discrimination to discuss how civil rights impacted their lives.

Consensual Violence

Author: Jill D. Weinberg
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520964723
Release Date: 2016-05-31
Genre: Social Science

In this novel approach to understanding consent, Jill D. Weinberg presents two case studies of activities in which participants engage in violent acts: competitive mixed martial arts (MMA) and sexual sadism and masochism (BDSM). Participants in both cases assent to injury and thereby engage in a form of social decriminalization, using the language of consent to render their actions legally and socially tolerable. Yet, these activities are treated differently under criminal battery law: sports, including MMA, are generally absolved from the charge of criminal battery, whereas BDSM often represents a violation of criminal battery law. Using interviews and ethnographic observation, Weinberg argues that where law authorizes a person’s consent to an activity, as in MMA, consent is not meaningfully constructed or regulated by the participants themselves. In contrast, where law prohibits a person’s consent to an activity, as in BDSM, participants actively construct and regulate consent. A synthesis of criminal law and ethnography, Consensual Violence is a fascinating account of how consent is framed among participants engaged in violent acts and lays the groundwork for a sociological understanding of the process of decriminalization.

Raised Right

Author: Jeffrey R. Dudas
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9781503601734
Release Date: 2017-03-21
Genre: Law

How has the modern conservative movement thrived in spite of the lack of harmony among its constituent members? What, and who, holds together its large corporate interests, small-government libertarians, social and racial traditionalists, and evangelical Christians? Raised Right pursues these questions through a cultural study of three iconic conservative figures: National Review editor William F. Buckley, Jr., President Ronald Reagan, and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Examining their papers, writings, and rhetoric, Jeffrey R. Dudas identifies what he terms a "paternal rights discourse"—the arguments about fatherhood and rights that permeate their personal lives and political visions. For each, paternal discipline was crucial to producing autonomous citizens worthy and capable of self-governance. This paternalist logic is the cohesive agent for an entire conservative movement, uniting its celebration of "founding fathers," past and present, constitutional and biological. Yet this discourse produces a paradox: When do authoritative fathers transfer their rights to these well-raised citizens? This duality propels conservative politics forward with unruly results. The mythology of these American fathers gives conservatives something, and someone, to believe in—and therein lies its timeless appeal.

Diversity in Practice

Author: Spencer Headworth
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107123656
Release Date: 2016-03-31
Genre: Business & Economics

Leading scholars look beyond the rhetoric of diversity to reveal the ongoing obstacles to professional success for traditionally disadvantaged groups.

Making Rights Real

Author: Charles R. Epp
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226211664
Release Date: 2010-02-15
Genre: Political Science

It’s a common complaint: the United States is overrun by rules and procedures that shackle professional judgment, have no valid purpose, and serve only to appease courts and lawyers. Charles R. Epp argues, however, that few Americans would want to return to an era without these legalistic policies, which in the 1970s helped bring recalcitrant bureaucracies into line with a growing national commitment to civil rights and individual dignity. Focusing on three disparate policy areas—workplace sexual harassment, playground safety, and police brutality in both the United States and the United Kingdom—Epp explains how activists and professionals used legal liability, lawsuit-generated publicity, and innovative managerial ideas to pursue the implementation of new rights. Together, these strategies resulted in frameworks designed to make institutions accountable through intricate rules, employee training, and managerial oversight. Explaining how these practices became ubiquitous across bureaucratic organizations, Epp casts today’s legalistic state in an entirely new light.

The Failure of Corporate Law

Author: Kent Greenfield
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226306988
Release Date: 2008-09-15
Genre: Political Science

When used in conjunction with corporations, the term “public” is misleading. Anyone can purchase shares of stock, but public corporations themselves are uninhibited by a sense of societal obligation or strict public oversight. In fact, managers of most large firms are prohibited by law from taking into account the interests of the public in decision making, if doing so hurts shareholders. But this has not always been the case, as until the beginning of the twentieth century, public corporations were deemed to have important civic responsibilities. With The Failure of Corporate Law, Kent Greenfield hopes to return corporate law to a system in which the public has a greater say in how firms are governed. Greenfield maintains that the laws controlling firms should be much more protective of the public interest and of the corporation’s various stakeholders, such as employees. Only when the law of corporations is evaluated as a branch of public law—as with constitutional law or environmental law—will it be clear what types of changes can be made in corporate governance to improve the common good. Greenfield proposes changes in corporate governance that would enable corporations to meet the progressive goal of creating wealth for society as a whole rather than merely for shareholders and executives.

The Changing Legal World of Adolescence

Author: Franklin E. Zimring
Publisher: Quid Pro Books
ISBN: 9781610272186
Release Date: 2013-12-19
Genre: Social Science

This work attempts to explain changes in the legal conception of adolescence as a stage of life and as a transition to adulthood. The intended audience includes lawyers and others—such as parents, professionals, and kids—puzzled by trends labeled "children's liberation" and "the revolution in juvenile justice." Much cited and long recognized as an authority, it is considered a classic of law & society. Changes in legal conceptions of youth are interesting in their own right. They are also a useful way of examining important social, political, and economic changes. It is said that legal studies, "properly pursued, lead to a fuller understanding of the larger world of which the law and its institutions are a part." That is no less true when looking at "children" and "juveniles" through a legal lens. The law often compartmentalizes underage persons with bright lines and legal fictions such as "parens patriae" to allow leeway for them that would not be tolerable for adults. The law creates huge divides based on status and age. The standards against which to judge the exit from adolescence are concrete and measurable: a single chronological age. And an adult is anyone the state legislature says is adult. But life is not that simple, and the price we pay for sustaining such illusions is considerable. Adolescence is both a period in itself and a transition. This book takes seriously that status and the idea of transition, and attempts to explain the legal responses and concepts relevant to this important stage of life. The 2014 digital edition includes a new preface by the author and such quality formatting features as active Contents, linked chapter notes, original tables from the print edition, and a fully-linked and paginated Index, to allow continuity with the print edition, citation and referencing, and the convenience of readers.

Mass Torts in a World of Settlement

Author: Richard A. Nagareda
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226567624
Release Date: 2008-09-15
Genre: Law

The traditional definition of torts involves bizarre, idiosyncratic events where a single plaintiff with a physical impairment sues the specific defendant he believes to have wrongfully caused that malady. Yet public attention has focused increasingly on mass personal-injury lawsuits over asbestos, cigarettes, guns, the diet drug fen-phen, breast implants, and, most recently, Vioxx. Richard A. Nagareda’s Mass Torts in a World of Settlement is the first attempt to analyze the lawyer’s role in this world of high-stakes, multibillion-dollar litigation. These mass settlements, Nagareda argues, have transformed the legal system so acutely that rival teams of lawyers operate as sophisticated governing powers rather than litigators. His controversial solution is the replacement of the existing tort system with a private administrative framework to address both current and future claims. This book is a must-read for concerned citizens, policymakers, lawyers, investors, and executives grappling with the changing face of mass torts.

Law 101

Author: Jay Feinman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199341702
Release Date: 2014-08-01
Genre: Law

In each of the first three editions of the bestselling Law 101, Jay Feinman gave readers an upbeat and vivid examination of the American legal system. Since the third edition was published in 2010, much has happened: several key Supreme Court cases have been decided, we've seen sensational criminal trials, and the legal system has had to account for the latest developments in Internet law. This fully updated fourth edition of Law 101 accounts for all this and more, as Feinman once again provides a clear introduction to American law. The book covers all the main subjects taught in the first year of law school, and discusses every facet of the American legal tradition, including constitutional law, the litigation process, and criminal, property, and contracts law. To accomplish this, Feinman brings in the most noteworthy, infamous, and often outrageous examples and cases. We learn about the case involving scalding coffee that cost McDonald's half a million dollars, the murder trial in Victorian London that gave us the legal definition of insanity, and the epochal decision of Marbury vs. Madison that gave the Supreme Court the power to declare state and federal law unconstitutional. A key to learning about the law is learning legal vocabulary, and Feinman helps by clarifying terms like "due process" and "equal protection," as well as by drawing distinctions between terms like "murder" and "manslaughter." Above all, though, is that Feinman reveals to readers of all kinds that despite its complexities and quirks, the law is can be understood by everyone. Perfect for students contemplating law school, journalists covering legislature, or even casual fans of "court-television" shows, Law 101 is a clear and accessible introduction to the American legal system. New to this edition: Featured analysis of: -the Obamacare case -Citizens United -the DOMA decision -the Trayvon Martin case As well as recent legal developments pertaining to: -online contracting -mortgages -police investigations -criminal sentencing

Family Law Stories

Author: Carol Sanger
Publisher:
ISBN: STANFORD:36105134436620
Release Date: 2008
Genre: Law

This new Law Stories title presents the back stories historical, procedural, personal and political of eleven significant family law cases. The essays, written by leading family law scholars, cover four main areas: marriage (Reynolds, Loving, Goodridge), parenting and custody (Troxel), separation and divorce (McGuire and O Brien) and the definition of family (Moore v. East Cleveland). Other essays investigate well known state and federal cases on such topics as child kidnapping, the intentional infliction of emotional distress, the Indian Child Welfare Act and frozen embryos.