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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 79, No. 4, April 2006

    Book Reviews


    Wisconsin Employment Law, 3rd ed.Wisconsin Employment Law, 3rd ed.

    By 70 authors (Madison, WI: State Bar CLE Books, 2004). 3 vols., 1,750+ pgs. $195, members; $245, others. Order, (800) 728-7788, www.wisbar.org/books.

    Reviewed by Brian G. Nuedling

    Even before I had thoroughly looked through the three-volume Wisconsin Employment Law, having seen enough to get some notion of what could be found underneath the hood, I found myself cruising through the compilation at freeway speed in search of the answer to a question. That spontaneous test drive showed that this full-size reference guide, V-8 engine and all, has everything within easy reach.

    From start to finish, this project represents a conceptually difficult task, given the scope of the topic and the contributions of 70 authors that must be blended into a cohesive form and function. Now in its third edition, the compilation that first came off the assembly line in 1994 and was redesigned in 1998 may not have the look you remember, but it should not leave you disappointed.

    The first volume, with six of the 15 chapters, can be categorized roughly as a human resources guide, with chapters that include hiring, employee handbooks, wages and hours, and employee benefits. Volume II, with chapters 7 through 12, is a compendium of workplace principles, covering occupational safety and health, worker's compensation, personnel management and records, termination of employment, and unemployment insurance. The final volume provides a triple-feature from the vineyard where potential litigation clients grow, covering wrongful discharge, discrimination, and post-employment competition.

    The 2004 version stays current with discussions on new federal regulations governing overtime, the abolishment of the Wisconsin Personnel Commission, and procedural changes in unemployment discrimination claims.

    The best part, however, is not necessarily the updates but rather the standard equipment that prompts you to pick up this book in the first place, including simple, straightforward statements of the law with footnotes to relevant statutes and cases. As a starting gate for research, nothing could be better.

    Brian G. Nuedling, Marquette 2003, is an associate at Thorpe, Compton & Christian, Delavan. He can be reached at (262) 740-1971 or com bnuedling tcclaw tcclaw bnuedling com.

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    Justice Imperiled: The Anti-Nazi Lawyer Max Hirschberg in Weimar Germany

    By Douglas G. Morris (Ann Arbor, MI: Univ. of Michigan Press, 2005). 448 pgs. $35. Order, www.press.umich.edu.

    Reviewed by Timothy McAllister

    Occasionally one comes across a book about a relatively obscure topic that surprises the reader because the author connects multiple concepts, fills in enormous gaps, and provides wonderful insights. Douglas G. Morris has managed to write such a book with Justice Imperiled. The book revolves around the life of an attorney, but the author provides a commendable array of additional information that is relevant and well organized.

    Max Hirschberg was born into a Jewish family in Germany in 1883 and was schooled at institutions normally reserved for the privileged elite of society. Although his upbringing stressed "bildung" - the ideal of the educated, cultured, and moral German - Hirschberg seems to have realized the difference between people who work their way up the socioeconomic ladder and people who are born to privilege and who believe better treatment is their birthright.

    Hirschberg joined the military at the start of World War I and became an officer, but he did not take advantage of his position. Following the war and the collapse of the German monarchy, Hirschberg became a member of the Social Democratic Party, because he believed in the new democracy and its concept of the rule of law. Realizing that his political beliefs had to be separate from his professional practice, he did not go into politics himself but frequently represented clients who were on trial because of political justice (defined as using the judicial system to achieve political goals). In documenting several of these trials, the author reveals Hirschberg's inner character.

    Hirschberg was highly concerned with "miscarriages of justice"; the most egregious to him was the conviction of an innocent person. He realized that many injustices had occurred following the end of the war when "Peoples Courts" were in operation. These courts were transitory, but their verdicts were not subject to appeal and many of the cases had been decided in the heat of the moment by the "winner" of regional political movements. Hirschberg also opposed the death penalty.

    Although expert testimony had been in use for many years in Germany, Hirschberg took the concept to new levels. He ensured that his experts truly were "experts" by looking to universities for people with the most current knowledge on topics, rather than simply those with well-known names. Hirschberg also became acutely aware of the flaws in witness testimony, particularly that of children who frequently were manipulated in what they would say in court.

    As German democracy was being eroded by the rise of National Socialism, Hirschberg again began to take more political cases after having backed away from them. Hirschberg recognized that while the executive and legislative branches of the Weimar Republic were elected, the judicial branch was a throwback to the monarchy and extremely right wing in its orientation. Parties bringing a case before the courts knew that most judges were right-wing ideologues and thus that the course of the trial could be predicted.

    In court Hirschberg directly confronted Adolph Hitler and other high-ranking Nazi Party members. This put Hirschberg, his family, and his law partners in danger because the Nazis used militant tactics against their enemies, such as assaults and assassinations. Hirschberg was imprisoned and it was primarily his conduct during WWI and his never having taken a Communist as a client that resulted in him being released and allowed to continue to practice law even when the Nazis took control of Germany following the 1933 election.

    While some people frowned on Hirschberg because he continued to practice law under the Nazi regime, he believed he was continuing according to his "bildung." In 1934 he emigrated to Italy, another fascist nation, and only later when Germany pressured Italy on the issue of "the Jewish Question" did he take his family to the United States.

    While living in the United States, Hirschberg wrote extensively about the conviction of the innocent and the concepts that democracy is not a static institution and that freedom and democracy cannot exist without reason and justice. Reading about Max Hirschberg prompts one to reflect on democracy, history, and the inherent dangers of political justice.

    Timothy McAllister earned an MPA from the U.W. in 1998 and currently devotes his time to worthy causes; he was employed as a supervisor for the Wisconsin Department of Corrections prior to disability.

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    Media Relations Hand-book for Agencies, Associations, Nonprofits and Congress

    By Brad Fitch (Alexandria, VA: TheCapitol.Net, 2004). 368 pgs. $45. Order, www.thecapitol.net.

    Reviewed by James J. Casey Jr.

    It is axiomatic to say that the media have a significant influence on modern American society. Rapid technological changes and the need to broadcast "now" are reflective of this impact. At the governmental level, it is said that administrative agencies are the fourth branch of government. Is it such a stretch to say that the media are now the fifth branch of government? It is imperative, therefore, that all public and private actors should be skilled at media relations in order to be effective. In the Media Relations Handbook, author Brad Fitch effectively presents practical ideas and tips on how to properly conduct media relations.

    The book's chapters cover a variety of important issues: developing a message and communications plan when working with the modern media; interacting with reporters; how to properly prepare for interviews; and internal organizational issues when dealing with the media, including leaks.

    Two chapters seem especially pertinent today: Chapter 12 (Crisis Communications in Public Affairs) and Chapter 13 (Honest Spin: The Ethics of Public Relations). Chapter 12 introduces some very useful case studies on crisis management (the Exxon Valdez environmental disaster, the Tylenol pain-reliever tampering case, and the Barney Frank and Gary Condit sex scandals). Surprisingly, September 11 does not appear in the book, and given that this review was finished on the night of the London terrorist attack, I can't help but think that a case study on crisis communication in the aftermath of a terrorist attack would be useful to the reader. The chapter on public relations ethics is obviously important because of recent ethical lapses by media organizations and how all organizations can learn from these high profile mistakes.

    The book is a comprehensive and recommended read for anyone interested in learning more about public relations and how people and organizations should conduct their relationships with the media.

    James J. Casey Jr., Dayton 1988, is executive director of Sponsored Programs at Cardinal Stritch University. He also serves on the board of directors for the National Council of University Research Administrators, based in Washington, D.C.

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    A Guide to Wisconsin Employment Discrimination Law, 3rd ed.

    By Rose Ann Wasserman (Madison, WI: State Bar CLE Books, 2004). 300 pgs. $29, members; $40, others. Order, (800) 728-7788, www.wisbar.org.

    Reviewed by Nilesh P. Patel

    This book is a comprehensive overview of one of the major employment laws in Wisconsin. Wasserman is an administrative law judge with the Equal Rights Division of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, which enforces Wisconsin employment discrimination laws under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA).

    The WFEA creates 13 protected classes that employers cannot discriminate against with regard to hiring, promotion, compensation, terms and conditions of employment, and discharge. The statute is far reaching and applies to any person or entity that employs even one individual. As a result, this guide is crucial for anyone who makes employment decisions or is accountable for employment decisions that violate the statute.

    Wasserman's book provides Wisconsin lawyers with a ready reference on the WFEA and the Wisconsin perspective on employment discrimination law. The guide is divided into nine chapters. The first four chapters provide an overview of the WFEA, discuss the prohibited bases of discrimination, and explain the various standards for proving and defending discrimination claims. Chapters 5 and 6 discuss enforcement procedures under the WFEA as well as federal and local fair employment laws. Chapters 7 and 8 discuss remedies under all three legal schemes. Lastly, chapter 9 reviews the relationship between discrimination laws at the local, state, and federal levels.

    This guide is a very useful resource for employment law practitioners as well as business law practitioners who counsel clients on employment matters. Wasserman includes citations to significant cases and practice notes and comments to explain developments in the law. This reference tool will save the practitioner time in researching the law and in understanding the many nuances that otherwise would require hours of individual case analysis.

    Nilesh P. Patel, U.W. 2002, is an advisor with the U.W. Law School's Career Services office. He is also the principal of the Mahadev Law Group LLC, Madison, which focuses on employment law issues for employers.

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    Law Office Procedures Manual for Solos and Small Firms, 3rd ed.

    By Demetrios Dimitriou (Chicago, IL: ABA Law Practice Management Section, 2005). 124 pgs. $79.95. Order, (800) 285-2221.

    Reviewed by Nilesh P. Patel

    Many small businesses overlook the importance of a good office manual and I wager many growing law offices fall into the same category. Attorney Demetrios Dimitriou aims to help solo and small law offices lay out a simple but comprehensive manual through his book Law Office Procedures Manual for Solos and Small Firms.

    According to Dimitriou, the principal purpose of the book is to provide a resource for firm lawyers and staff, to advise them on procedures, expectations, and protocols, and to provide additional explanation of how a law office operates. The book is intended to be a "cookbook," which sets forth an inventory of subjects that could be contained in a manual. The ultimate decision as to which policies to include in a manual and the detail of their content is left to each individual firm. The book provides sample policies that can be modified and are included on a CD-ROM.

    The book is divided into four sections. Section 1 deals with personnel issues and covers policies such as personal conduct, hours of work, and compensation and benefits. Section 2 covers office structure, with policies on building passes, office map and key distribution, and office equipment. Section 3 covers office procedures such as office security, workplace injury, representing clients, docket control, and finances. Section 4 covers formats for letters, memoranda, and pleadings and provides sample documents.

    This book provides a comprehensive overview of policies that a law office should have. The suggested policies are only intended to be guidelines and provide a starting point for a managing practitioner who may not have time to develop a manual from scratch; thus the policies need to be tailored for each law office. Some of the policies are too broad and need to be modified according to the size and type of office. For example, the book includes an overtime policy that allows overtime for employees, without differentiating between employees entitled to overtime versus those who are exempt from overtime. The policy on family and medical leave is written as if all employees are entitled to it, even though family and medical leave policies are only mandatory for employers with 50 or more employees and only after the employee has been working for 12 months.

    Nilesh P. Patel, U.W. 2002, is an advisor with the U.W. Law School's Career Services office. He is also the principal of the Mahadev Law Group LLC, which focuses on employment law issues for employers.

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    So Sue Me! How to Protect Your Assets from the Lawsuit Explosion

    By Arnold S. Goldstein, Ph.D. (Boca Raton, FL: Garrett Publishing, 2005). 300 pgs. $19.95. Order, (877) 944-2773, www.garrettpub.com.

    Reviewed by Martin A. Blumenthal

    It's refreshing to read a book on a legal subject that's understandable without reading it twice. While the author is an attorney admitted before the bars of Florida and Massachusetts, he has abstained from recording his observations, opinions, and musings in an arcane and legalistic style reminiscent of my last appellate brief.

    Any lawyer who is not familiar with estate planning can get a survey of the asset protection field and its issues by reading this book. Divorce and collections lawyers also can use the book to refine their interrogatories in the search for those elusive assets that they "know" are out there somewhere. The book also contains a good discussion of fraudulent conveyance statutes, the underlying theme of which is, it does no good to close the barn doors once the horses have escaped.

    So Sue Me! also is a sad commentary on the state of the American court system, where the dockets are clogged with frivolous lawsuits filed by frivolous lawyers with even more frivolous clients. Because lawyering can be considered a western martial art of sorts, So Sue Me! is a manual of self-defense for the potential victims of financial and legal bullies.

    Although this book is not a "how-to" manual, it is a useful addition to the general practitioner's library for quick answers to the inevitable client who asks you what to do about an upcoming divorce or lawsuit.

    Martin A. Blumenthal, Chicago-Kent 1981, is an Illinois attorney who practices in the criminal, tax, and estate planning areas. He is licensed in Illinois and Wisconsin.

    Fourth Amendment Practice and Procedure

    By Inga L. Parsons (Notre Dame, IN: NITA, 2005). 328 pgs. $55. Order, (800) 225-6482.

    Reviewed by Robert L. Swanson

    If you practice criminal law, this book is a must. It covers everything you need to know about unreasonable searches and seizures - all those nasty things done by the authorities in violation of the Fourth Amendment. If you are having your first suppression hearing, read this book - you'll sound like Clarence Darrow in the courtroom. Or, if you handle these hearings all the time, read the book to see if you missed anything.

    This is a paperback book that will go to court with you. The book's table of contents takes you quickly and precisely to the problem you are interested in, and leads you to the latest arguments and court decisions pertaining to it, which makes the book exceptionally useful.

    The book begins with a brief overview of the Fourth Amendment. It continues by putting in chapter form all of the possible issues that will confront the defense attorney with a Fourth Amendment question. These include issues pertaining to probable cause, standing, warrants, investigatory detention, consent, plain view, and so forth. The primary issue under consideration in each chapter is further divided into its various aspects. For instance, under "plain view" there are seven different criteria that affect the ability of the authorities to grab something - including "plain smell."

    The book is full of practical advice to the defense attorney. It gives different theories and approaches to the defense, and even has lists of questions to ask of law enforcement officers at hearings. This book is a must for all defense attorneys.

    Robert L. Swanson, Valparaiso 1970, LL.M. Boston Univ. 1979, practiced in Wisconsin from 1970 to 1999. He now practices in Chandler, Okla., and teaches civil procedure at Northeastern State University - Broken Arrow.

    Politics and Propaganda: Weapons of Mass Seduction

    By Nicholas Jackson O'Shaughnessy (Ann Arbor, MI: Univ. of Michigan Press, 2004). 244 pgs. $19.95. Order, www.press.umich.edu.

    Reviewed by Laura O'Flanagan

    Nicholas O'Shaughnessy's Politics and Propaganda, while assuming at times, brings into sharp focus the urgent necessity of expanding the definitions currently used to describe propaganda.

    The author occasionally makes his personal viewpoint known without further documentation to support his positions. Additionally, the author uses acronyms and makes reference to matters with which readers may be unfamiliar without including explanatory details or cites.

    The book does, however, elaborate on terminology that would likely behoove us all to absorb and use, because propaganda, I have learned from my reading, is insidious and takes many surprising and effective modern forms. For instance, the author discusses the power of symbolism, rhetoric, persuasion, manipulation, deceit, emotion, utopia, social control, information overload, ambivalent opinion, censorship, rumor, metaphor, labels, hyperbole, and values. He discusses these vehicles of communication in the context of the mass media, bureaucratic systems, war, single issue groups, race, myths specific to the United States, atrocities, consumerism, video technology, corporations, Iraq, and Osama bin Laden. If we can more precisely name the form of misleading information being disseminated we will be better equipped to address and remedy it.

    The book's central idea is that language is a powerful tool that can be used for good, bad, and all that lays between. This notion is significant for anyone attempting to persuade others, namely, attorneys. In fact, the author acknowledges that courtroom advocacy is the most eminent theater of rhetoric, one vehicle of propaganda.

    In relation to the practice of law, of particular interest was the author's discussion of our need for a despised "other" - an enemy. The author discusses the work of several scholars who have studied the phenomenon of enemy creation, and he concludes that a perceived enemy is an important component of effective propaganda associated with contested matters. This is true even if the enemy is more fictitious than real.

    While it is a worthy read, the book is not to be consumed with attention to too much detail since the author provides some unexplained and, at times, anecdotal information.

    Laura O'Flanagan, Hamline 1997, is a tribal attorney with the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Justice.

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    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 Art of Mediation, 2nd ed., by Mark D. Bennett & Scott Hughes (South Bend, IN: NITA, 2006). 269 pgs.
    • High Conflict People in Legal Disputes, by Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq. (Calgary, Alberta, Canada: Janis Publications Inc., 2005). 272 pgs.
    • Overcoming the 6-Minute Life: How and Why the Legal Profession Should Free Itself from Billable Hours, by Bentley J. Tolk (The 6-Minute Life LLC, 2005). 258 pgs.
    • When Courts & Congress Collide: The Struggle for Control of America's Judicial System, by Charles Gardner Geyh (Ann Arbor, MI: Univ. of Michigan Press, 2006). 332 pgs.



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