Vol. 77, No. 3, March
by Scott Turow (New York, NY: Farrar Straus Giroux,
2002). $10.50, at Amazon.com.
Reviewed by David F. Loeffler
Scott Turow is a lawyer's novelist. We read his novels not only
because he tells a well-crafted, compelling story about law that is
professionally informed, but also because through his characters he
movingly evokes the feelings that underlie all lawyering. These emotions
are the stuff of the lawyer's life. That is what novelists are supposed
to do, and Turow does it well.
Reversible Errors involves the efforts of a corporate
litigator to rescue a convicted triple murderer from death row. However,
the novel is not a polemic against state-sanctioned execution. Turow's
focus is on the inner lives of protagonists caught up in the litigation
over whether Squirrel Gandolph, convicted of killing three people in a
diner and sodomizing the female victim, should now, a decade later,
receive a new trial.
Who are these people? Arthur Raven is Squirrel's pro-bono attorney, a
late-30s bachelor and successful corporate litigator who has never been
able to form a relationship based on erotic love. He gets a last chance
with Gillian Sullivan, a state court judge, who presided over Squirrel's
first trial, and has since been imprisoned for bribery (to feed a
cocaine habit) and disbarred. She now sells cosmetics at a department
store, unmistakably Marshall Field's in Chicago's Loop. Muriel Wynn, the
assistant D.A., prosecuted Squirrel and is now running for election as
"state's attorney." She is married to a prominent rainmaker in a
mega-firm. Muriel's lover, past and present, is the very tough,
street-smart detective, Larry Starczek, who obtained Squirrel's
"confession." Erno Erdai is a refugee of the Soviet suppression of
Hungary's uprising in the late 1950s. He rises to chief of security for
the airline that employed the female murder victim, and proclaims his
guilt for the murders, for reasons of his own. And, of course, there is
Squirrel, a lifetime loser and small-time street criminal, whose 10
years on death row have diminished whatever meager emotional life he
might ever have had.
The plot is not the soap opera that it might appear at first blush:
It is Turow's power as a novelist to engage our emotions as we reflect
on what all this means in the hearts and souls of his characters, who
are always striving for a love just out of reach.
I won't tell you how this all comes out, except to say that the
ambiguity and indeterminacy of the final outcomes in Turow's previous
novels are present in Reversible Errors. As always, the story
is set in "Kindle County, Center City, DuSable," which we immediately
recognize as Chicago and Cook County, Turow's home town and where he now
practices law at the Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal firm.
The novel tells us much about the interconnection between lawyering
and living, and opens the door to the "shock of recognition" of our
lives in the lives of Turow's characters.
ALI-ABA's Practice Checklist Manual for
Drafting Leases IV: Checklists, Forms, and Drafting Advice
Edited by Mark T. Carroll (Philadelphia, PA: ALI-ABA, 2003).
223 pgs. CD-ROM. $89. Order, (800) 253-6397.
Reviewed by Anne Blood
For attorneys who practice in real estate and deal with commercial
leases, this book is a definite must-have. Beginning with how to measure
rentable space in commercial leases, and ending with lease issues from
both the landlord and tenant perspective, this text addresses commercial
lease issues in a straightforward, understandable manner. There is a
discussion of summary remedy provisions in leases, lease guaranties,
wireless telecommunications site agreements, and CERCLA amendment
issues. Also included are lender perspectives, including what
constitutes a financeable lease and how to counsel a letter of credit
arranger on tenant insolvency.
Each chapter begins with a checklist for the particular topic, and
then goes into the background on that issue. Where forms are applicable,
they also are included. The entire text, with forms, is also on CD-ROM,
which is included with the text. The forms are particularly useful, and
include a basic contract that should be in every attorney's collection.
All of the clauses that are discussed are included in sample form.
The last three chapters of the text are perhaps the most
illustrative. There is a chapter entitled "Landlord's Checklist of
Silent Lease Issues" that is countered by a chapter called "Tenant's
Checklist of Silent Lease Issues." To illustrate perhaps how confused
many tenants (and landlords) are by the whole lease process, the "Top
100 Changes a Tenant Would Like to See in a Landlord's Standard Lease"
shows in very concise form how, very simply, we can make this process
more understandable and less intimidating to our clients.
In short, this "quick read" will help any real estate professional to
become more proficient at drafting and interpreting commercial
Forensic Aspects of Driver Perception and
Response, Second Edition
By Paul L. Olson & Eugene Farmer (Tucson, AZ: Lawyers
& Judges Publishing, 2003). 372 pgs. Order,
Reviewed by John A. Kornak
Paul Olson is considered to be the leading expert in the field of
driver perception and response. This text is the second edition of a
best-selling reference that Olson first published in 1996. As with the
first edition, this book's subject matter is simple: what could or
should a driver see under a given set of circumstances, and given those
circumstances, how long does it (or should it) take the driver to
respond? Any attorney practicing litigation in which "human factors"
such as these are involved needs this text.
This book is cogent, easily understandable, and accessible. It also
contains source material for further study. It is divided into 15
chapters with topics ranging from "conspicuity" ("those characteristics
of an object or condition that determine the likelihood that it will
come to the attention of an observer who does not expect it to be
there"), to "expectancy" ("a predisposition of people to believe that
things will happen or be arranged in a certain way") to "driver
perception-response time." The second edition expands and adds new
source material to many chapters, and includes two new topics not
discussed in the first edition. Chapter five, "Driver Eye Movements and
Visual Attention," and chapter eight, "The Driver's Field of View," were
not included in the first edition.
The topics covered in this book are helpful to attorneys handling
cases in which driver perception and response are at issue. This book is
particularly helpful in Wisconsin when dealing with issues involving
obstructed vision (Wis JI-Civil 1310), obstructed vision: nighttime (Wis
JI-Civil 1315), and camouflage (Wis JI-Civil 1320). The authors mix
technical information with real-life examples to make this book equally
accessible to those who are technically oriented and those who are
Many times, attorneys make quick assumptions in accident cases based
upon "common sense," for example, "How could my client have missed this
obvious danger?" We sometimes fail to consider subtle, but important,
factors in deciding how to attack a particular set of facts. As a
primary source of information on ways to look at cases in a new light,
and as a great source of knowledge on these issues, this book is highly
Fame & Fortune: How Successful Companies
Build Winning Reputations
By Charles J. Fombrun & Cees B.M. Van Riel (New York, NY:
Financial Times Prentice Hall, 2003). 264 pgs. $25.95. Order,
Reviewed by Sarah M. Hatch
This book examines the means by which companies develop strong
reputations, including those that enable them to survive catastrophes
and enjoy success once again. Using simple language, authors Charles J.
Fombrun and Cees B.M. Van Riel explore this topic through statistics and
case studies, such as discussions about Johnson & Johnson, Ben &
Jerry's, and FedEx. Van Riel is professor of corporate communications,
Rotterdam School of Management of Erasmus University Rotterdam (the
Netherlands). Fombrun is professor emeritus of management at the Stern
School of Business, New York University, and the executive director of
the Reputation Institute, which developed (in conjunction with Harris
Interactive) the "Reputation Quotient," a standard indicator of consumer
perceptions of corporate reputations that the authors use for much of
the data within this book.
The authors propose that having a "winning" reputation is key to
nurturing overall corporate health. The benefits of a strong reputation
flow to diverse areas within a company; the authors discuss branding,
human resources, and investor relations, among others. Branding pertains
to customers' associations with a company's product and is a subset of
corporate reputation, because while a strong reputation may increase the
strength of a brand, the authors state that the reverse is not true (for
example, Nike's brand is strong but unable to strengthen its weaker
reputation, which suffers due to child labor allegations). Reputation
also is valuable within human resources; a strong reputation helps
attract top applicants and retain employees and encourages employees to
embrace corporate culture. Finally, a winning reputation reassures
investors about a company's prospects and builds their confidence
regarding the vision and abilities of the company's leaders.
Fame & Fortune ends with a lengthy examination of
FedEx's reputation development, an example the authors use to emphasize
three "lessons": companies should audit their reputations like other
assets; reinventing reputation may require deep-seated corporate
changes, because reputation draws upon corporate culture; and companies
must cultivate their reputations constantly. Fombrun and Van Riel
conclude by reminding readers that a strong reputation is a powerful
intangible asset that can affect a company's bottom line.
Excellence: Integrating P2 and EMS to Increase Profits
By Avrom Bendavid-Val & Dr. Nicholas P.
Cheremisinoff (Rockville, MD: ABS Consulting, 2003).
286 pgs. $79. Order, (301) 921-2323.
Reviewed by K. William Davidson
Beginning with a detailed overview of EMS, ISO 14001, P2, and the
direct and indirect costs associated with pollution, waste, and
environmental compliance, the introductory chapters of Achieving
Environmental Excellence clearly lay out the issues, the parlance,
what is at stake, and what may be gained in implementing an integrated
Pollution Prevention (P2) and Environmental Management System (EMS).
Targeted at high-level management, the authors describe how an
integrated EMS/P2 program may increase a facility's efficiency and
product quality, reduce costs associated with waste and environmental
compliance, create an "environmental performance improvement loop," and
provide a framework for ISO 14001 certification.
Beyond the introductory material is a step-by-step approach, from
assessing immediate opportunities to exploit, to implementing and
maintaining a self-sustaining, profit enhancing EMS/P2 program. The
authors suggest areas of focus in which full EMS implementation may not
be feasible and illustrate the application of processes through
examples. The approach stresses the cost/benefit advantages of reducing
waste and process inefficiency, and reducing future environmental
While addressing the organizational framework of an integrated
EMS/P2, the authors also provide specific examples of the system in
practice through case studies. The book illustrates a flexible
management structure, applicable to nearly any facility, to increase
profits while eliminating ongoing expenses of environmental compliance
through traditional "end-of-pipe" P2 techniques. It is well to note,
however, that Achieving Environmental Excellence is not a
technical how-to manual. The full scope of benefits would be realized
only through sincere top-management buy-in, and extensive technical
expertise in process engineering.
This compact text provides a compelling argument for the integrated
EMS/P2 approach and an outline for its implementation. The extensive
flowcharts, outlines, and references to additional sources make it a
valuable resource for those involved in pollution prevention,
environmental management systems, or ISO 14001 compliance.
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
- Are You There Alone? The Unspeakable Crime of Andrea
Yates, by Suzanne O'Malley (New York, NY: Simon &
Schuster, 2004). 281 pgs.
- Basic PowerPoint Exhibits, by Deanne C. Siemer
& Frank D. Rothschild (Notre Dame, IN: National Institute for Trial
Advocacy, 2003). 178 pgs.
- Inventing the Organizations of the 21st Century,
edited by Thomas W. Malone, Robert Laubacher, Michael S. Scott
Morton (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2003). 443 pgs.
- LawyerLife: Finding a Life and a Higher Calling in the
Practice of Law, by Carl Horn III (Chicago, IL: ABA, 2003).
- Taking and Defending Depositions, by Stuart M.
Israel (Philadelphia, PA: ALI-ABA, 2004).344 pgs.
- Uneasy Alchemy: Citizens & Experts in Louisiana's
Chemical Corridor Disputes, by Barbara L. Allen (Cambridge,
MA: The MIT Press, 2004). 224 pgs.