Vol. 78, No. 4, April
Bloodsworth: The True Story of the
First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA
by Tim Junkin (Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books,
2004). 304 pgs. $24.95.
Reviewed by Eric G. Barber
If they haven't already, Bruce Goodman and Peter Rose should call
Kirk Bloodsworth and thank him. Rose was released in October 2004 from a
California state prison where he served 10 years for allegedly raping a
13-year-old girl. Goodman was released in November 2004 from a prison in
Utah, having served 19 years for allegedly raping and killing his
21-year-old girlfriend. Why should they thank Bloodsworth? Because
neither committed the crimes of which they were convicted, and in both
cases DNA testing was used to establish their innocence.
Bloodsworth by Tim Junkin is about Kirk Bloodsworth and the
case that opened the door to widespread awareness of the possibilities
of using DNA testing to exonerate wrongfully convicted inmates.
Bloodsworth was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1984 killing
of a 9-year-old girl in Maryland, despite no physical evidence linking
him to the crime and conflicting witness identifications. After it was
later discovered that the prosecution withheld crucial evidence,
Bloodsworth was given a new trial, in which he was found guilty but only
sentenced to life.
Bloodsworth is a compelling story of the belief in oneself
and in one's client, and the potential impact of emerging technologies
on the law. The writing is accessible and understandable for
nonattorneys. Unfortunately, too many times Junkin unnecessarily
advocates Bloodsworth's side of the story. This is unfortunate because
Bloodsworth's story stands on its own as a powerful condemnation of not
just a dysfunctional death penalty system but of a broken justice
system, the troubling power of eyewitness identification, and the
suggestibility of child witnesses.
More unfortunate, though, is that today stories like Bloodsworth's
are so commonplace that they garner barely a passing mention. Despite
its literary shortcomings, Bloodsworth is an interesting
historical read for prosecutors, defense attorneys, and anyone else who
cares about the integrity of our criminal justice system.
Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You
By Martin E. Latz (New York, NY: St. Martin's Press, 2004).
376 pgs. $25.95.
Reviewed by Richard L. Binder
If you're alive, you negotiate: every day - sometimes every hour.
Many writers have appreciated this fact, and, ergo, there is no shortage
of how-to books about negotiation. So what's left to say? Here comes
Martin E. Latz, with Gain the Edge!Negotiating to Get What You
Want. The book is structured around five golden rules of
negotiation: information is power, maximize your leverage, employ fair
objective criteria, design an offer - concession strategy, and control
None of the rules is a surprise, but Latz manages to build the book
around them in both entertaining and informative ways. He adeptly
ascribes labels to different tactics. Most of us have confronted a
"Trump" walk out, faced the "straight-face test," and seen a "flinch."
We've dealt with hagglers, nibblers, and schmoozers. Who hasn't felt the
burn of the "winner's curse?"
Negotiation as a topic has plenty of jargon, and Latz seems to know
it all. He even creates some new jargon of his own, such as the BATNA,
that is, Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (something a good
negotiator should know before he or she makes a deal).
Latz's overall treatment goes much deeper than labels and jargon. He
does a good job of discussing the differences between substantive and
tactical devices. He notes the importance of gauging your counterpart's
style and strategy. He points out that you need to know what success
will look like before you can achieve it. Some of his best advice comes
in seemingly off-hand comments, such as noting the power of the phrase
"you're wrong," and his observation that the word "okay" is the most
expensive word in the English language. Most of us may intuitively know
these things, but it's good to see them in print.
Lawyers are professional negotiators, so negotiation is a valid field
of study for both rookie and veteran attorneys. Latz comments that
negotiation experience does not automatically translate to
effectiveness. How true! This book will help fill in many gaps. One
final note: Latz does not overlook the role of ethics in negotiation.
Legality, reputation, morality, trust, and credibility apply in all
negotiations. It was good to see that in print, too.
A Primer on American Labor Law, 4th Ed.
By William B. Gould IV (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2004).
432 pgs. $30. Order, (800) 405-1619.
Reviewed by Nathan Eisenberg
Broad in scope, short in length, A Primer on American Labor
Law is a remarkably perceptive overview of American labor law.
William Gould, former chair of the National Labor Relations Board
(NLRB), offers a concise summary of the laws affecting labor unions,
employers, and employees. Although the book is not intended as a legal
treatise or guide, the primer gives a thumbnail sketch of the key
concepts in labor law. The book contains a thorough discussion of the
history and development of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and
an excellent overview of practice and procedures before the NLRB. Also
noteworthy is the discussion of areas of labor law outside of the NLRA,
including labor arbitration and a discussion of the Landrum-Griffin Act.
In addition, the book touches on other laws, such as ERISA, OSHA, and
employment discrimination law, which impact labor-management
The primer also contains an interesting discussion of the NLRB and
its problems. Considering his past involvement with them, Gould
maintains a healthy dose of skepticism about the scope of the NLRA and
the NLRB itself. Sprinkled throughout the book are poignant and
insightful discussions of the legal and practical limitations of both
the NLRA and the NLRB. For example, Gould uses a discussion of the Labor
Reform Bill of 1978 as a forum for discussing some of the problems and
politics inhibiting meaningful labor reform. Coming from a former NLRB
member, this discussion is especially intriguing due to Gould's candor
about the political and practical problems facing the NLRB.
Due to its brevity, however, the book skips many components necessary
for the legal practitioner. The primary flaw is that some key cases are
discussed only in passing, with minimal case information in the text
itself. Practicing lawyers may be frustrated because much of the crucial
case information is buried in footnotes, and some key concepts are not
identified by name. At times the book loses focus, attempting to combine
related but distinct legal concepts. For example, in the chapter on the
duty of fair representation, the author discusses union elections and
trusteeships - two distinct legal concepts. In another chapter,
employment discrimination law is awkwardly grouped with pension and
occupational safety laws under the rubric of "public interest" law.
In conclusion, A Primer on American Labor Law provides a
comprehensive view of American labor law. While the book may be too
general for practicing labor attorneys, it still provides an excellent
introduction to labor law for nonlawyers and general practitioners.
Strategies for Secured Creditors in Workouts
By Patrick E. Mears, William T. Burgess, Daniel F. Gosch,
Michael C. Hammer, Edgar C. Howbert, and James A. Plemmons
(Philadelphia, PA: ALI-ABA, 2004). 316 pgs. CD of forms. $99. Order,
Reviewed by Roy L. Prange Jr.
Workouts of troubled loans have gained in popularity as borrowers and
lenders conclude that a workout is a better alternative to foreclosure,
replevin, or a bankruptcy/state court insolvency proceeding. This book
provides a detailed description of workout strategies, including sample
forms of workout agreements. The text continues with descriptions of the
foreclosure process for personal property and real estate, including
check lists and additional forms.
Attorneys who handle workouts and foreclosures only occasionally
should find this book particularly useful as it contains a very
comprehensive treatment of the subject. A CD-ROM containing all of the
forms in the book is included.
Of interest to attorneys who practice in this area on a more frequent
basis are chapters on "Syndicated Credit Workouts" and "Auto Supplier
Insolvencies." The "Syndicated Credit Workouts" chapter includes
strategies for dealing with members of the lender syndicate, which is
sometimes as much a challenge as dealing with the borrower. The "Auto
Supplier Insolvencies" chapter is presumably included because, not
coincidentally, the authors are from Michigan. The description of auto
supplier workouts and accompanying forms can be adapted to other workout
situations in which a financially troubled borrower/parts supplier is
joined at the hip to a manufacturer.
I recommend this book for its comprehensive treatment of workouts and
foreclosure strategies and its accompanying forms.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publications and videos available for review
- Americans with Disabilities Act, Title 42, Chapter 126,
Commentaries and Statutes, by Elizabeth G. Russell (Notre
Dame, IN: NITA, 2004). 72 pgs.
- Annotated Model Code of Judicial Conduct,
Art Garwin, editor (Chicago, IL: ABA Center for Professional
Responsibility Judicial Division, 2004). 507 pgs.
- The Arbitrator's Handbook, by John W.
Cooley (Notre Dame, IN: National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2005).
- Brown at 50: The Unfinished Legacy,
Deborah L. Rhode & Charles J. Ogletree Jr., eds. (Chicago, IL: ABA
Division for Public Education, 2004). 212 pgs.
- Co-Parenting Guidelines: What Every Parent Needs to Know
Before Getting Divorced, by Nadine Pierre-Louis, LMFT,
CAP, CAPP (Boomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2004). 86 pgs.
- Corporate Finance and the Securities Laws, 3d.
ed., by Charles J. Johnson Jr. & Joseph McLaughlin
(New York, NY: Aspen Publishers, 2004). 1,091 pgs.
- Creating Winning Trial Strategies and
Graphics, by G. Christopher Ritter (Chicago, IL: Tort
Trial & Insurance Practice Section, 2004). 435 pgs.
- The Death Penalty on Trial: Crisis in American
Justice, by Bill Kurtis (New York, NY: PublicAffairs,
2004). 192 pgs.
- Democracy and New Media, edited by Henry
Jenkins & David Thorburn (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2004). 440
- Does God Belong in Public Schools? by Kent
Greenawalt (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press, 2005). 296 pgs.
- Innovation and Incentives, by Suzanne
Scotchmer (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2005). 357 pgs.
- Rights from Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of
Rights, by Alan Dershowitz (Boulder, CO: Perseus Books
Group, 2004). 250 pgs.
- Tax Planning for Lifetime and Testamentary Dispositions,
Second Ed., with Forms, by Don W. Llewellyn and Jill R.
Fowler (Philadelphia, PA: ALI-ABA, 2005). 672 pgs. CD-ROM forms.
- Terrorism, Freedom, and Security: Winning Without
War, by Philip B. Heymann (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press,
2004). 227 pgs.
- When Duty Calls: Military Leave and Veterans'
Rights, by Cynthia L. Hackerott, Kathleen Kapusta &
Ronald Miller (Riverwoods, IL: CCH Inc., 2003). 229 pgs.
- Wisconsin Insurance Law, 5th Edition, by
Arnold P. Anderson (Madison, WI: State Bar CLE Books, 2004). Two vols.,
- Workplace Injury Litigation, edited by
Todd McFarren & Glen J. Grossman (Tucson, AZ: Lawyers & Judges
Publishing Co., 2004). 510 pgs.