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A kiss is just a kiss… until you write a book about it!

February 7, 2012 Leave a comment

“An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips.” – Proverbs 24:26.

Honestly, but skipping the kiss, this book is interesting and intriguing from the start.The Legal Kiss, written by Victoria Sutton, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor at Texas Tech University School of Law, reads like a collection of short essays.

The clever titles for each chapter give you insight on where the author is going to take you – whether it be to the Garden of Gethsemane where Judas places an identifying kiss upon Jesus’ cheek or to a modern day New Delhi where Richard Gere and Shilpa Shetty are publicly shamed for a passionate back-bending kiss at a charity event. In all of the situations that Sutton takes the reader, she outlines the act of the kiss and its intended and unintended consequences within society and the law.

As an academic librarian, I am always looking at how other people introduce and explain complex or abstract legal theories. For that purpose, I would recommend this book for being able to make obscure concepts of the law come to life. For example, Sutton discusses “the celebrated contractual kisses” in the context of whether or not a kiss (or a bunch of kisses) can be consideration for a contract. And if so, would the court require specific performance for the enforcement of said contract? In my opinion, it is much more interesting reading about specific performance when the performance involves the question of what constitutes a legal kiss rather than whether a duck is adequate consideration for a sales contract. As an added feature, I don’t believe libraries would have a hard time marketing this book to their patrons. It basically promotes itself. I think it would be an easy addition to any new books shelf or on a book display set up around our favorite February holiday because its title and appearance would spark the interest of shelf browsers.

Let me step back and take a hard look at the content, not just the packaging. Before Sutton begins to even explore the legal kiss, she provides the caveat that this work is not a complete treatise on the subject. Take her word for it. It is not. I was a bit disappointed in the lack of authority cited throughout the book and in the bibliography at the end. That being said, Sutton does provide the relevant authority when discussing subject-specific topics, such as citing the Restatements when discussing tort and contract claims, Supreme Court opinions when considering “Kisses and the Konstitution [sic],” and various other legal primary and secondary authority along the way. I believe the scope of the work is intentionally surface level, which provides an air of lightheartedness to the book.  Because of the coverage, I would not recommend this for a book to keep at reference, unless your reference staff is compensated with two lips in lieu of dollars and cents!

Overall, I enjoyed the book.  It was fun to sit and read about all the different ways a simple kiss on the cheek, lips, or a “Kiss my A**” has been twisted and construed by our courts and legislatures. If you plan to kick off your Valentine’s Day celebration with a kiss, make sure you read this book to be sure you’ll steer clear of any legal ramifications! Or if you do get caught kissing (say in Times Square) and someone makes big bucks off of the picture of you and your partner, know that you can consult this book for your chances to cash in. After reading this book, I kiss off with a positive and doting review.

This book review was originally published in the AALL Spectrum Blog.

The Legal Kiss: The Legal Aspects of the Kiss, by Victoria Sutton, MPA, PhD, JD. Vargas Publishing, Inc (2011). Trade paperback, 131 pages, listed on Amazon for $18.99.

Last minute gift ideas? Book Recommendations from the PCL.

December 20, 2011 Leave a comment

As you are running around this holiday season, you may want to pick up one or two last-minute gifts.  Or maybe you want to snuggle up and enjoy a good book while it rains over the course of this week.  Here are the last of our suggestions for reading over the holiday break.

Professor Kate Irwin-Smiler recommends two authors for students and faculty to pick up and read for entertainment over the holidays.

  • James Patterson’s Alex Cross books. I cruised through these when I was on break in law school and there are a ton. Very short chapters & they go quickly. (18 so far!)
  • Philippa Gregory’s Cousins’ War books – The author of The Other Boleyn Girl has a historical fiction series based in England’s War of Roses (15th century). These books focus on the women involved in the English dynastic struggle between the Lancastrian and York houses. So far, there are three books – The White Queen [Available at ZSR], The Red Queen [Available at ZSR], and The Lady of the Rivers [Brand new, but already available at ZSR}, with more to come.

As a recent read, Dan Freehling recommends, Tangled Webs by James B. Stewart [Available at the High Point Public Library or through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)]. In an interview with Stewart published in  the New Yorker,  writes that “‘the broad public commitment to telling the truth under oath has been breaking down.’ Drawing on new interviews, full court transcripts, and hundreds of investigative notes that have remained private until now, Stewart meticulously and startlingly reconstructs the cases of Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, Barry Bonds, and Bernard Madoff—and scrutinizes how lying by each of these figures affects the American justice system, and society as a whole.” For the full interview, see The Book Bench column from April 2011.

Professor Barbara Lentz also shares some favorites from her family.  Her husband recommends the title, Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History [Available at ZSR]. And, Professor Lentz enjoyed reading cookbooks and essays after oneL exams, and along those lines strongly recommend Heat by Bill Buford [Available at ZSR], and Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential [Available at ZSR], which reminds Professor Lentz of being a line cook, kitchen serf and bartender in college. See the other titles Professor Lentz recommended in an earlier blog post, “More Wintery Reads: Recommendations from WFU Faculty.”

If you think we missed one of the most crucial books of the season, please drop us a line in the comments!

More Wintery Reads: Recommendations from WFU Faculty

December 5, 2011 1 comment

Ever wonder what your professors read outside of school?  Check out their recommendations for what to read over break to gain some insight in their personal choices.

First up is a book recommendation from Dean Ann Gibbs, and a possibility for the 1L book read for next Fall, Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo.  One of the authors, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino lives in North Carolina and often speaks on judicial reform as a member of the North Carolina Actual Innocence Commission, the advisory committee for Active Voices, the Constitution Project, and Mothers for Justice.   The story behind the book begins with a man breaking into Jennifer’s apartment and raping her at knife point.  That man was later identified as Ronald Cotton.  Picking Cotton takes the reader from start to finish of Jennifer and Ronald’s story.  According to the book description, “in their own words, Jennifer and Ronald unfold the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge our ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.” [Available at ZSR] Please leave us a comment on your thoughts on the book, including whether it should be our 1L pick for the fall.

Next we have a list of suggestions from Professor Kate Mewhinney, at the Elder Law Clinic.  She recommends a few titles:

  • The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal. [Available at the Forsyth Public Library]  “In striking detail, and at a rapid clip, the writer unravels the complex and fantastically bizarre tale of a man aspiring to the American Dream by any means necessary.”  – NPR.org
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. “Lucky Mr. Hosokawa. The well-connected Japanese businessman, now in an unnamed South American country on yet another job, is having a very special birthday party. At the home of the country’s vice president, opera singer Roxane Cos will be performing for him and his guests. But what’s this? Armed men invading the premises? These ragtag revolutionaries are looking for the president and disappointed that he is not there, but that doesn’t stop them from holding the party goers hostage. What happens after that was, for this reviewer, a story that failed to ignite. Patchett (The Patron Saint of Liars) generates little tension as she moves her players around the board, and one is disappointed that there is little reflection about the head-on clash of art and life. This book is getting a big promotional pitch, however, so libraries may want to consider.” – Barbara Hoffert, “Library Journal” [Available at ZSR]
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett. [Available at ZSR] In his book review of The Help, Bess Newman wrote “The Help is told in the alternating narratives of the various women. The story is powerful because it doesn’t get lost in big, sweeping points about the era but rather focuses on a nuanced portrait of individual characters, and of the horrors and blessings that come from these complicated racial relationships.”

On our list is an author recommendation from Professor Ron Wright.  Professor Wright recommends Scott Turow’s collection by saying that “Scott Turow’s fiction is actually quite realistic — closer to reality, I think, than John Grisham’s novels.”  The PCL has an entire Scott Turow collection available to students for a 28 day check out, which is plenty of time to travel home and read a few before returning to school.  Additionally, Professor Wright recommends “the David Heilbroner memoir [which] is a fun holiday read for those who want a picture of work as a prosecutor.” David Heilbroner, in Rough Justice, details his fall from idealism as he worked as a prosecutor in New York City from 1985 to 1988.

Wrapping up this list of faculty recommendations, Professor Barbara Lentz recommends Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill. [Available at the PCL] Professor Lentz stated that once you’ve read this book, “you’ll never shop the same” again.  And the New York Times reviewed this title by stating “at last, here is a book that gives this underrated skill the respect it deserves.” More recommendations from Professor Lentz in a forthcoming blog post.

Can you think of any titles we’ve left out?

New Books

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

This semester the Professional Center Library has acquired many books on a wide array of legal topics and beyond, ranging from works on copyright law to a review of American colonial legislation. The Library’s newest books are regularly put on display in the rotunda, so check there often to find out what’s new and notable.

Following is a list of  just some of our new titles so far this semester.  All these books are located in the stacks on the library’s first and ground floors. Search the library catalog for more information on these titles or to look for other books or topics.

TITLE CALL#
Innocent spouse : a memoir / Carol Ross Joynt. CT275.J926 A3 2011
Rights displaced : forced returns of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians from Western Europe to Kosovo / [Wanda Troszczynska-van Genderen] DR2087.6.R43 T76 2010
Whites of their eyes : the Tea Party’s revolution and the battle over American history / Jill Lepore. E175.9 .L46 2010
Abraham Lincoln, Esq. : the legal career of America’s greatest president / edited by Roger Billings and Frank J. Williams. E457.2 .A1447 2010
End of straight supremacy : realizing gay liberation / Shannon Gilreath. HQ76.3.U6 G55 2012
Justice perverted : sex offender law, psychology, and public policy / Charles Patrick Ewing. HV6556 .E95 2011
Moving toward the future of policing / Gregory F. Treverton … [et al.]. HV7936.E7 M68 2011
Review of American colonial legislation by the King in council, by Elmer Beecher Russell. JK57.P7 R8 1915a
Why the law is so perverse / Leo Katz. K290 .K38 2011
Virtual justice : the new laws of online worlds / Greg Lastowka. K564.C6 L374 2010
Life before birth : the moral and legal status of embryos and fetuses / Bonnie Steinbock. K642 .S74 2011
Intellectual property and competition law : new frontiers / edited by Steven Anderman, Ariel Ezrachi. K1401 .I55273 2011
Justifying intellectual property / Robert P. Merges. K1401 .M475 2011
Moral rights : principles, practice and new technology / Mira T. Sundara Rajan. K1430 .S864 2011
Access to medicine in the global economy : international agreements on patents and related rights / Cynthia M. Ho. K1519.D78 H6 2011
Right to life and the value of life : orientations in law, politics and ethics / edited by Jon Yorke. K3252 .R54 2010
Climate change law and policy : EU and US approaches / Cinnamon Pin¿¿on Carlarne. K3585.5 .C37 2010
Religion, race, rights : landmarks in the history of modern Anglo-American law / Eve Darian-Smith. KD671 .D37 2010
Canadian tort law / Allen M. Linden and Bruce Feldthusen. KE1232.A7 L56 2011
Breaking the devil’s pact : the battle to free the Teamsters from the mob / James B. Jacobs and Kerry T. Cooperman. KF228.U5 J327 2011
Effective legal writing : for law students and lawyers / by Gertrude Block. KF250 .B56 1999
Legal writing and other lawyering skills / by Nancy L. Schultz, Louis J. Sirico, Jr. KF250 .S38 2004
Best practices report on the use of adjunct faculty / American Bar Association, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. KF272 .A44 2011
Careers in animal law : welfare, protection, and advocacy / Yolanda Eisenstein. KF299.A55 E37 2011
Moving diversity forward : how to go from well-meaning to well-doing / [Verna A. Myers]. KF300 .M94 2011
Mastering professional responsibility / Grace M. Giesel. KF306 .G547 2009
Lawyer’s guide to increasing revenue / Arthur G. Greene. KF316.5 .G74 2011
Associate as rainmaker : building your business brain / David King Keller. KF316.5 .K45 2011
Woman lawyer : the trials of Clara Foltz / Barbara Babcock. KF368.F585 B33 2011
Autobiography of an execution / David R. Dow. KF373.D635 A3 2010
Mastering elder law / Ralph C. Brashier. KF390.A4 B73 2010
Law is a white dog : how legal rituals make and unmake persons / Colin Dayan. KF465 .D39 2011
Children’s rights under the law / Samuel M. Davis. KF479 .D385 2011
Inside the castle : law and the family in 20th century America / Joanna L. Grossman and Lawrence M. Friedman. KF505 .G765 2011
Premarital agreements : drafting and negotiation / Linda J. Ravdin. KF529 .R38 2011
Military divorce handbook : a practical guide to representing military personnel and their families / Mark E. Sullivan. KF535 .S85 2011
Adoption law handbook : practice, resources, and forms for family law professionals / Jennifer Fairfax. KF545 .F35 2011
Insider trading / William K.S. Wang, Marc I. Steinberg. KF1073.I5 W362 2010
Ducktown smoke : the fight over one of the South’s greatest environmental disasters / Duncan Maysilles. KF1298 .M39 2011
For whom the whistle blows : advancing corporate compliance and integrity efforts in the era of Dodd-Frank / Michael D. Greenberg [rapporteur]. KF1422.A75 F67 2011
Fundamentals of securities regulation / Louis Loss, Joel Seligman, Troy Paredes. KF1439 .L68 2011
Small business start-up kit / by Peri H. Pakroo ; edited by Marcia Stewart. KF1659 .P35 2010
Intellectual property law answer book, 2011-12 / Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP ; [Keith R. Hummel … et al., authors]. KF2979 .I59 2011
Clean tech intellectual property : eco-marks, green patents and green innovation / Eric L. Lane. KF2979 .L359 2011
Infringement nation : copyright 2.0 and you / John Tehranian. KF2994 .T44 2011
American Bar Association’s legal guide to video game development / edited by Ross Dannenberg. KF3024.C6 A94 2011
Creative license : the law and culture of digital sampling / Kembrew McLeod and Peter DiCola ; with Jenny Toomey and Kristin Thomson. KF3035 .M38 2011
Impact of Health Care Reform on employers : an immediate look at how health care legislation will affect employers nationwide. KF3605.A328201 A2 2011
Congress shall make no law : the First Amendment, unprotected expression, and the Supreme Court / David M. O’Brien ; [foreword by Ronald K.L. Collins]. KF4772 .O27 2010
Immigration law sourcebook : a compendium immigration-related laws and policy documents. KF4819.85 .I4674 2011
Money, politics, and the Constitution : beyond Citizens United / Monica Youn, editor. KF4920 .M67 2011
Terror in the balance : security, liberty, and the courts / Eric A. Posner, Adrian Vermeule. KF5060 .P67 2007
Scorpions : the battles and triumphs of FDR’s great Supreme Court justices / Noah Feldman. KF8744 .F45 2010
Mastering the craft of trial advocacy : empowering the jury / Michael E. Tigar & Jane B. Tigar. KF8915 .T54 2006b
Forensic accounting deskbook : a practical guide to financial investigation and analysis for family lawyers / Miles Mason. KF8968.15 .M37 2011
States of passion : law, identity, and the social construction of desire / Yvonne Zylan. KF9325 .Z85 2011
United States and torture : interrogation, incarceration, and abuse / edited by Marjorie Cohn. KF9430 .U55 2011
Law of counterrorism / Lynne Zusman, editor. KF9430 .Z87 2011
Case weights for federal defender organizations / Nicholas M. Pace … [et al.]. KF9646 .C37 2011
Federal criminal discovery / Robert M. Cary, Craig D. Singer, Simon A. Latcovich. KF9650 .C37 2011
Medical liability in Europe A comparison of selected jurisdictions. KJC1674 .M43 2011
Judicial creativity at the international criminal tribunals / edited by Shane Darcy and Joseph Powderly. KZ7230 .J83 2010
Aggression and International Criminal Law / [edited by] Donja de Ruiter. KZ7284 .A34 2011
What are stem cells? : definitions at the intersection of science and politics / John Lynch. QH588.S83 L96 2011
Bioethics, public moral argument, and social responsibility / edited by Nancy M.P. King and Michael J. Hyde. R725.5 .B523 2012

Research Miscellanea: Everyone Researches

October 24, 2011 1 comment

After two posts about dictionaries you would think that the topic had been exhausted but not so. The new Bouvier Law Dictionary was  released this fall.  Despite its historical origins as the dictionary that was used by such legal luminaries as John Marshall, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln, the current version is  being advertised as the law dictionary for the modern student and has garnered praise for its usability.   It appears that author Steve Sheppard has been able to provide a comprehensive, yet concise dictionary that provides the user with detailed, yet clearly understood entries.  If you would like to judge for yourself, you can find the Bouvier Law Dictionary in our Reference collection, call number KF158.W65.

American University recently announced another new legal research resource.  The University is introducing a new online collection of international gender jurisprudence materials.  Working with the War Crimes Research Office,  American University’s Washington College of Law’s Women and International Law Program has developed a searchable  online database of documents culled from the War Crimes Research Office’s  Jurisprudence Collections, and will be developing digests of  key documents as well providing a forum for for expert commentaries.

“WASHINGTON, DC, September 8, 2011 – …. Reviewers have analyzed and cataloged more than 17,000 documents…., noting, for example, when evidence of sexual or gender-based violence appears in the record, when sexual or gender-based violence charges are brought, dropped, or dismissed, or when a defendant is tried for a crime of sexual or gender-based violence. The GJC features keyword and targeted search fields, which eliminate the need to sift through irrelevant documents when conducting research on the rapidly developing jurisprudence in these bodies….. To access the GJC and learn more about the project, please visit http://wcl.american.edu/go/gicl.  Please address any questions, comments, or suggestions to Alison Plenge, WCRO Jurisprudence Collections Coordinator, at genderjurisprudence@wcl.american.edu. ”

You cannot always count on that “perfect” legal research tool being available; sometimes it is up to you to do the hunting and gathering of information.  While everyone knows about LEXIS and Westlaw, everyone also knows about the cost.  Perhaps a visit to  Google Scholar  or even restricting your search further by using Advanced Scholar Search could meet your research needs for a lesser cost.  Basic Google Scholar provides a way to limit your searches to scholarly literature of all disciplines.  This is particularly helpful if you are conducting interdisciplinary research, or if want to search for news about legal and financial matters involving France and Paris without being bombarded with results featuring a vapid socialite.

Not the legal document that you were looking for!

There is a “Legal opinions and journals” section under Advanced Scholar Search that lets you  (logically enough) limit your searches  to legal opinions and journals,  and even to specific courts.  While a databases that lets you limit your searches by jurisdiction is not unique feature to legal researching, it IS unique when you do get billed for it.  If Google Scholar  sounds interesting to you, go to the Google homepage, click on the drop-down menu under “More” in the tool bar, and select “Scholar.”  After that, Google Scholar is yours to explore — and that’s hot.

New Faculty Publications Examine Different Perspectives

October 19, 2011 Leave a comment

The latest book by Wake Forest School of Law Professor, Shannon Gilreath has just been published. The End of Straight Supremacy: Realizing Gay Liberation is a critique of the modern gay rights movement. In the book, Gilreath analyzes the goals of the movement and the arguments for gay liberation. According to Gilreath, those arguments typically measure the progress of gay rights in terms of assimilation, but he questions those assumptions and puts forth a “call for gay authenticity” in a rethinking of the meaning of liberation and equality for the gay community.

Drawing on varied subject areas including free speech, equality theory and feminism, Gilreath, who is Professor for the Interdisciplinary Study of Law, uses an interdisciplinary approach in his analysis and in his approach to law. According to Gilreath, gays have traditionally been outsiders to the law. “If you want law to change you have to look at it from an interdisciplinary perspective” says Gilreath.

The content of the book is timely with the recent repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York. Gilreath says that many point these out as major advances in the gay rights movement. He says, “I’m just asking, are these really steps forward?”

Another Wake Forest University School of Law Professor, Kami Chavis Simmons, has an article in this month’s issue of Trial Briefs. The article “Legitimacy and Law-Enforcement in Minority Communities: A New Dialogue” discusses the historical and current dynamics underlying the strained relations between racial minorities and police. She examines the primary explanations for that distrust as well as remedies for addressing police misconduct.

Both Gilreath’s book and Simmons’ article will soon be displayed with the new faculty publications outside of the Professional Center Library. Gilreath’s book will be available for check out soon and the October issue of Trial Briefs with Simmons’ article is currently available in our periodicals collection on the first floor of the library.

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Nutshells are here!

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

By popular demand, the PCL has purchased titles from West’s Nutshell series for your studying convenience.  As the titles state, each Nutshell is a concise overview of an area of law.  They are thorough on discussion, but without all the footnotes common to a hornbook.  When you need to understand a legal topic quickly, turn to a Nutshell.  We have purchased Nutshells on the following topics and they are on permanent reserve at the Circulation Desk:

  • Legal malpractice
  • Torts
  • Real property
  • Contracts
  • Criminal law
  • Constitutional law
  • International Legal Research
  • Evidence
  • Legal Ethics
  • Legislative law and process
  • Civil procedure
  • Criminal procedure: Constitutional limitations
  • Administrative law and process
  • Advanced criminal procedure
  • Personal property
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