Vol. 76, No. 3, March
Alternatives to Litigation:
Mediation Arbitration and Art of Dispute Resolution, 2nd Edition
By Abraham P. Ordover & Andrea Doneff (South Bend, IN:
National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2002). 270 pgs. $42.95. Order,
Reviewed by Mike Lamb
With the hunt afoot for alternatives to litigation's costs and
aggravations, Ordover and Doneff provide a useful map of the ADR
territory in this second edition. This volume sets out major areas in
the field: interest-based problem solving theory and skills,
negotiation, neutral evaluation and expert fact-finding, mediation, and
arbitration. A detailed discussion of mediation comprises half the book.
Unobtrusive footnotes and a working bibliography provide resources for
more detailed exploration. Strangers to the land of ADR and experienced
travelers, whether advocate or neutral, will find this book a useful
The authors draw useful examples from industry, commerce, employment,
divorce, construction, and personal injury. Well-developed
characteristics of particular subject matter such as employment, divorce
(which merits its own chapter), and personal injury receive extensive
treatment. In particular, the divorce materials provide additional
appendices and checklists. The book lacks an index, an omission that is
somewhat offset by a detailed table of contents.
This book cautions that several issues in ADR remain unresolved,
- an ongoing debate as to whether lawyers who act as mediators also
are acting in their capacity as lawyers
- predispute agreements for private arbitration implicate public
policy, the role of the judiciary, and equity of such bargains
- mediators may have an obligation to reveal certain information
shared with them
- state requirements that mediators disclose bad faith by parties
raise unsolved issues
- the law of at-will status for employees may change with the
existence of agreements to arbitrate employment disputes.
The authors caution that the route through alternatives to litigation
is under construction and hazardous at times.
Rest Assured: The Sabbatical Solution for
By Lori Simon Gordon (Chicago, IL: ABA Career Resource
Center, 2002). 140 pgs. $59.95. Order, (800) 285-2221.
Reviewed by Brent DeBord
While a partner at the Chicago office of Latham & Watkins,
attorney Lori Simon Gordon began to question the wisdom of her career
choice. She had been a partner for four years and had developed an
active practice with prestigious clients. Still, she found herself
wanting a break. She wanted a chance to review her career and reevaluate
her life. So she asked for a sabbatical.
In Rest Assured: The Sabbatical Solution for Lawyers, Gordon
proposes sabbatical leaves as a solution to lawyer burnout. Rather than
leaving the practice in frustration or enduring the fatigue that can
come after years of practicing law, Gordon proposes that the legal
culture follow the example of academia and allow attorneys occasional
long-term leaves from their careers with pay and benefits.
In support, she describes the sabbatical practices of several firms
across the nation. These firms range in size from solo practices to
firms employing scores of attorneys. Some firms only allow partners
sabbatical leave, while others include associates, paralegals, and
staff. At some firms, leaves are as short as a month, while others are
longer than a year. Sabbatical compensation ranges from full pay with
benefits to reductions in both.
Gordon writes to assist both the attorney seeking leave and the
partner or human resources director considering a sabbatical program.
She persuasively describes how sabbaticals can benefit both the firm and
the individual by allowing attorneys to refresh the mind, body, and
spirit without abandoning hard-earned positions and careers. Gordon
helpfully includes the actual sabbatical policies from several
Unfortunately, Gordon's own story acts to defeat her arguments. After
taking a year-long sabbatical from Latham & Watkins, she decided to
leave the firm.
Eyewitness Testimony: Challenging Your
By Brian L. Cutler, Ph.D. (Notre Dame, IN: National Institute
for Trial Advocacy, 2002). 168 pgs. $19.95. Order, (800)
Reviewed by Jesús G.Q. Garza
Perhaps this book would have been more aptly titled: "The illusion of
eyewitness testimony." So how much credence should we give to the
testimony of an eyewitness? Well, it depends. Apparently the forward
thinking is such that eyewitness testimony, which many believe is the
foundation upon which cases are won or lost, is showing signs of
weakness. Although helpful in providing ways to look at eyewitness
testimony more critically, this book does not answer the credence
question directly. What this book does do is shed considerable light on
the ways a practitioner is able to effectively challenge the so-called
"Eyewitness testimony is not a statement of fact," writes Dr. Cutler.
With this concept in mind, this pocket-sized guide provides plenty of
insightful tools that get at the core of the effectiveness of eyewitness
testimony, which includes much more than just the adequacy of the
witness's ability to accurately remember an event. The "more" includes
the participation and involvement of the many players involved in a case
in which eyewitness testimony is critical. For example, in a criminal
case, how a lineup is conducted or a photo array is presented may
unwittingly influence an eyewitness's memory of the perpetrator. Dr.
Cutler addresses this notion of influence.
You need not read the book cover-to-cover to get at the useful
information. Nor will you need to wade through paragraph upon paragraph
of writing because this is truly pocket-sized and short - very short,
which is really its only drawback. The length of this book lends itself
more to an article, or series of articles, than to an actual book. But,
at 20,000 words (the average novel contains about 100,000 words), this
book is an easy read both in terms of length and layout. Short sentences
get to the point quickly. Yet this book still contains enough examples
to drive its point home. The point being that, "eyewitness testimony is
an expression of belief based on one's memory." And because one's belief
can be influenced by a myriad of factors, which this book covers nicely,
a witness's memory can be effectively challenged without directly
attacking the witness's credibility.
Although the shortness of the book is both a plus and a minus, I
would recommend it.
To Review a Book...
The following books are available for review. Please request the book
and writing guidelines from Karlé Lester at the State Bar of
Wisconsin, P.O. Box 7158, Madison, WI 53707-7158, (608) 250-6127, org klester wisbar wisbar klester org.
Publications and videos available for review
- The Election Law Primer for Corporations, Third Ed., by Jan
Witold Baran (Chicago, IL: ABA Business Law Section, 2002). 280
- State Public Construction Law Source Book, by Michael K. Love
& Douglas L. Patin (Riverwoods, IL: CCH Inc., 2002). 1,616