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 Second Edition

Author: Kitty Calavita
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226296616
Release Date: 2016-04-11
Genre: Social Science

Law and society is a rapidly growing field that turns the conventional view of law as mythical abstraction on its head. Kitty Calavita brilliantly brings to life the ways in which law is found not only in statutes and courtrooms but in our institutions and interactions, while inviting readers into conversations that introduce the field’s dominant themes and most lively disagreements. Deftly interweaving scholarship with familiar 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 both law as it is written and actual legal practices, as well as the law’s 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. With this second edition of Invitation to Law and Society, Calavita brings up to date what is arguably the leading introduction to this exciting, evolving field of inquiry and adds a new chapter on the growing law and cultural studies movement.

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.

Lawyers Lawsuits and Legal Rights

Author: Thomas F. Burke
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520938372
Release Date: 2002-10-29
Genre: Political Science

Lawsuits over coffee burns, playground injuries, even bad teaching: litigation "horror stories" create the impression that Americans are greedy, quarrelsome, and sue-happy. The truth, as this book makes clear, is quite different. What Thomas Burke describes in Lawyers, Lawsuits, and Legal Rights is a nation not of litigious citizens, but of litigious policies—laws that promote the use of litigation in resolving disputes and implementing public policies. This book is a cogent account of how such policies have come to shape public life and everyday practices in the United States. As litigious policies have proliferated, so have struggles to limit litigation—and these struggles offer insight into the nation's court-centered public policy style. Burke focuses on three cases: the effort to block the Americans with Disabilities Act; an attempt to reduce accident litigation by creating a no-fault auto insurance system in California; and the enactment of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Act. These cases suggest that litigious policies are deeply rooted in the American constitutional tradition. Burke shows how the diffuse, divided structure of American government, together with the anti-statist ethos of American political culture, creates incentives for political actors to use the courts to address their concerns. The first clear and comprehensive account of the national politics of litigation, his work provides a new way to understand and address the "litigiousness" of American society.

Feminist Judgments Rewritten Tax Opinions

Author: Bridget J. Crawford
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781316510209
Release Date: 2017-12-28
Genre: Law

Feminist scholars rewrite major tax decisions in order to illustrate the key role of viewpoint in statutory interpretation.

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.

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.

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Author: Keramet Reiter
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300211467
Release Date: 2016-10-31
Genre: Political Science

How America's prisons turned a "brutal and inhumane" practice into standard procedure Originally meant to be brief and exceptional, solitary confinement in U.S. prisons has become long-term and common. Prisoners spend twenty-three hours a day in featureless cells, with no visitors or human contact for years on end, and they are held entirely at administrators' discretion. Keramet Reiter tells the history of one "supermax," California's Pelican Bay State Prison, whose extreme conditions recently sparked a statewide hunger strike by 30,000 prisoners. This book describes how Pelican Bay was created without legislative oversight, in fearful response to 1970s radicals; how easily prisoners slip into solitary; and the mental havoc and social costs of years and decades in isolation. The product of fifteen years of research in and about prisons, this book provides essential background to a subject now drawing national attention.

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.

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.

Making Sense of Science

Author: Cornelia Dean
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674978966
Release Date: 2017-03-13
Genre: Science

Cornelia Dean draws on her 30 years as a science journalist with the New York Times to expose the flawed reasoning and knowledge gaps that handicap readers when they try to make sense of science. She calls attention to conflicts of interest in research and the price society pays when science journalism declines and funding dries up.

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.

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.

Feminist Legal Theory Second Edition

Author: Nancy Levit
Publisher: NYU Press
ISBN: 9781479849499
Release Date: 2016-01-15
Genre: Social Science

Feminist legal theory is one of the most dynamic fields in the law, and it affects issues ranging from child custody to sexual harassment. Since its initial publication in 2006, Feminist Legal Theory: A Primer has received rave reviews. Now, in the completely updated second edition of this outstanding primer, Nancy Levit and Robert R.M. Verchick introduce the diverse strands of feminist legal theory and discuss an array of substantive legal topics, pulling in recent court decisions, new laws, and important shifts in culture and technology. The book centers on feminist legal theories, including equal treatment theory, cultural feminism, dominance theory, critical race feminism, lesbian feminism, postmodern feminism, and ecofeminism. Readers will find new material on women in politics, gender and globalization, and the promise and danger of expanding social media. Updated statistics and empirical analysis appear throughout. The authors, prominent experts in the field, also address feminist legal methods, such as consciousness-raising and storytelling. The primer offers an accessible and pragmatic approach to feminist legal theory. It demonstrates the ways feminist legal theory operates in real-life contexts, including domestic violence, reproductive rights, workplace discrimination, education, sports, pornography, and global issues of gender. The authors highlight a sweeping range of cutting-edge topics at the intersection of law and gender, such as single-sex schools, abortion, same-sex marriage, rape on college campuses, and international trafficking in women and girls. At its core, Feminist Legal Theory shows the importance of the roles of law and feminist legal theory in shaping contemporary gender issues.

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.