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."

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.

The Law and Society Reader II

Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781479878734
Release Date: 2014-05-09
Genre: Law

Law and society scholars challenge the common belief that law is simply a neutral tool by which society sets standards and resolves disputes. Decades of research shows how much the nature of communities, organizations, and the people inhabiting them affect how law works. Just as much, law shapes beliefs, behaviors, and wider social structures, but the connections are much more nuanced—and surprising—than many expect. Law and Society Reader II provides readers an accessible overview to the breadth of recent developments in this research tradition, bringing to life the developments in this dynamic field. Following up a first Law and Society Reader published in 1995, editors Erik W. Larson and Patrick D. Schmidt have compiled excerpts of 43 illuminating articles published since 1993 in The Law & Society Review, the flagship journal of the Law and Society Association. By its organization and approach, this volume enables readers to join in discussing the key ideas of law and society research. The selections highlight the core insights and developments in this research tradition, making these works indispensable for those exploring the field and ideal for classroom use. Across six concisely-introduced sections, this volume analyzes inequality, lawyering, the relation between law and organizations, and the place of law in relation to other social institutions.

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.

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.

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.

The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty

Author: Micah Schwartzman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780190262549
Release Date: 2015-12-11
Genre: Law

What are the rights of religious institutions? Should those rights extend to for-profit corporations? Houses of worship have claimed they should be free from anti-discrimination laws in hiring and firing ministers and other employees. Faith-based institutions, including hospitals and universities, have sought exemptions from requirements to provide contraception. Now, in a surprising development, large for-profit corporations have succeeded in asserting rights to religious free exercise. The Rise of Corporate Religious Liberty explores this "corporate" turn in law and religion. Drawing on a broad range perspectives, this book examines the idea of "freedom of the church," the rights of for-profit corporations, and the implications of the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby for debates on anti-discrimination law, same-sex marriage, health care, and religious freedom.

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.

American Juvenile Justice

Author: Franklin E. Zimring
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199725366
Release Date: 2005-10-06
Genre: Law

American Juvenile Justice is a definitive volume for courses on the criminology and policy analysis of adolescence. The focus is on the principles and policy of a separate and distinct system of juvenile justice. The book opens with an introduction of the creation of adolescence, presenting a justification for the category of the juvenile or a period of partial responsibility before full adulthood. Subsequent sections include empirical investigations of the nature of youth criminality and legal policy toward youth crime. At the heart of the book is an argument for a penal policy that recognizes diminished responsibility and a youth policy that emphasizes the benefits of letting the maturing process continue with minimal interruption. The book concludes with applications of the core concerns to five specific problem areas in current juvenile justice: teen pregnancy, transfer to criminal court, minority overrepresentation, juvenile gun use, and youth homicide.

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.

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.

Crook County

Author: Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804799201
Release Date: 2016-05-24
Genre: Law

Winner of the 2017 Eduardo Bonilla-Silva Outstanding Book Award, sponsored by the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Finalist for the C. Wright Mills Book Award, sponsored by the Society for the Study of Social Problems. Winner of the 2017 Oliver Cromwell Cox Book Award, sponsored by the American Sociological Association's Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities. Winnier of the 2017 Mary Douglas Prize for Best Book, sponsored by the American Sociological Association's Sociology of Culture Section. Honorable Mention in the 2017 Book Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Race, Class, and Gender. NAACP Image Award Nominee for an Outstanding Literary Work from a debut author. Winner of the 2017 Prose Award for Excellence in Social Sciences and the 2017 Prose Category Award for Law and Legal Studies, sponsored by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division, Association of American Publishers. Silver Medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards (Current Events/Social Issues category). Americans are slowly waking up to the dire effects of racial profiling, police brutality, and mass incarceration, especially in disadvantaged neighborhoods and communities of color. The criminal courts are the crucial gateway between police action on the street and the processing of primarily black and Latino defendants into jails and prisons. And yet the courts, often portrayed as sacred, impartial institutions, have remained shrouded in secrecy, with the majority of Americans kept in the dark about how they function internally. Crook County bursts open the courthouse doors and enters the hallways, courtrooms, judges' chambers, and attorneys' offices to reveal a world of punishment determined by race, not offense. Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve spent ten years working in and investigating the largest criminal courthouse in the country, Chicago–Cook County, and based on over 1,000 hours of observation, she takes readers inside our so-called halls of justice to witness the types of everyday racial abuses that fester within the courts, often in plain sight. We watch white courtroom professionals classify and deliberate on the fates of mostly black and Latino defendants while racial abuse and due process violations are encouraged and even seen as justified. Judges fall asleep on the bench. Prosecutors hang out like frat boys in the judges' chambers while the fates of defendants hang in the balance. Public defenders make choices about which defendants they will try to "save" and which they will sacrifice. Sheriff's officers cruelly mock and abuse defendants' family members. Crook County's powerful and at times devastating narratives reveal startling truths about a legal culture steeped in racial abuse. Defendants find themselves thrust into a pernicious legal world where courtroom actors live and breathe racism while simultaneously committing themselves to a colorblind ideal. Gonzalez Van Cleve urges all citizens to take a closer look at the way we do justice in America and to hold our arbiters of justice accountable to the highest standards of equality.

Toxic Torts

Author: Carl F. Cranor
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107151963
Release Date: 2016-05-25
Genre: Law

US tort law, cloaked behind increased judicial review of science, is changing before our eyes yet we cannot see it. While Supreme Court decisions have altered how courts review scientific testimony, the complexity of both science and legal procedures mask the resulting social consequences. Yet these consequences are too important to remain hidden. Mistaken court reviews of scientific evidence can decrease citizen access to the law, decrease incentives for firms to test their products, lower deterrence for harmful products, and decrease the possibility of justice for citizens injured by toxic substances. Even if courts review evidence well, increases in litigation costs and attorney screening of clients can impede access to the law. Newly revised and expanded, Toxic Torts, 2nd edition introduces these issues, reveals the relationships that can deny citizens just restitution for harms suffered, and shows how justice can be improved in toxic tort cases.

The Regulated Economy

Author: Claudia Goldin
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226301346
Release Date: 2008-04-15
Genre: Political Science

How has the United States government grown? What political and economic factors have given rise to its regulation of the economy? These eight case studies explore the late-nineteenth- and early twentieth-century origins of government intervention in the United States economy, focusing on the political influence of special interest groups in the development of economic regulation. The Regulated Economy examines how constituent groups emerged and demanded government action to solve perceived economic problems, such as exorbitant railroad and utility rates, bank failure, falling agricultural prices, the immigration of low-skilled workers, workplace injury, and the financing of government. The contributors look at how preexisting policies, institutions, and market structures shaped regulatory activity; the origins of regulatory movements at the state and local levels; the effects of consensus-building on the timing and content of legislation; and how well government policies reflect constituency interests. A wide-ranging historical view of the way interest group demands and political bargaining have influenced the growth of economic regulation in the United States, this book is important reading for economists, political scientists, and public policy experts.

Animals Biopolitics Law

Author: Irus Braverman
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781317374046
Release Date: 2015-12-22
Genre: Law

Typically, the legal investigation of nonhuman life, and of animal life in particular, is conducted through the discourse of animal rights. Within this discourse, legal rights are extended to certain nonhuman animals through the same liberal framework that has afforded human rights before it. Animals, Biopolitics, Law envisions the possibility of lively legalities that move beyond the humanist perspective. Drawing on an array of expertise—from law, geography, and anthropology, through animal studies and posthumanism, to science and technology studies—this interdisciplinary collection asks what, in legal terms, it means to be human and nonhuman, what it means to govern and to be governed, and what are the ethical and political concerns that emerge in the project of governing not only human but also more-than-human life.