Vol. 81, No. 5, May
How to Avoid the Divorce from Hell, 2nd
By M. Sue Talia (Danville, CA: Nexus Publishing Co., 2006). 339 pgs.
$17.95. Order, (925) 838-2660.
Reviewed by Kevin J. Cords
How to Avoid the Divorce from Hell is subtitled
And Dance Together at Your Daughter's
Wedding. The author's 30 years of family law experience help her
comprehensive overview of all aspects of a divorce that will assist
someone in achieving just
that goal. While the laws of each jurisdiction differ, a point the
author stresses, the
advice focuses on the client's actions. Where specific legal concepts
in the author's state, California, and community property states, such
will find them familiar.
The second edition of this work, originally published in 1996,
mirrors the first.
The update provides some new substantive material and many new
resources. For family
law practitioners, the issues and anecdotes related will be familiar and
valuable insight into another lawyer's perspective in an often amusing
the book's audience clearly is the layperson, for whom the book is ably
The book covers everything from selecting a lawyer through
It identifies behaviors that undermine efforts for an amicable
provides useful suggestions. While the author can be blunt at times,
open minded readers will
not take offense. The work includes a glossary, index, and lists of
resources, most of
which are independent of the author's other works.
Readers also will be able to access the book by relevant
chapter. One danger with
that approach is that readers may feel like they are solely responsible
for, and can
control, the outcome. Warnings about not giving up too much because of
feelings of guilt,
remorse, or a need to end the process regardless of the cost, are well
On the whole, the book provides a balanced approach that will be
anyone dealing with divorce or actions affecting children, a subject on
which the work is
Drafting Wills, Trusts and Other Estate
Planning Documents: A Style Manual
By Kevin D. Millard (Denver, CO: Bradford Publishing Co., 2006). 166
$45. Order, www.bradfordpublishing.com.
Reviewed by Thomas A. Heyn
Do your clients' eyes glaze over when they read the estate planning
sent for their review? They probably do if you've built your document
various forms and sources over the years. The documents may be uneven in
style and filled
with dense, technical writing. Clients don't appreciate that. Kevin
attorneys can do much to improve their documents.
Millard urges redrafting documents into standard English. A list
of do's and
don'ts explains how to do this. He focuses on drafting for the client,
who is paying for
the documents, rather than drafting for lawyers and judges, most of whom
see these documents except in probate administration. He states that
even probate judges
will appreciate documents that have been drafted using these guidelines.
Drafting documents that communicate clearly includes organizing
them well, by
providing a structure that is logical. Millard provides examples.
Although I didn't agree
with all his suggestions, the book made me reconsider how my documents
are organized. In
addition, he discusses the physical appearance of wills and trusts.
Following basic rules
of typography will make documents more readable, more pleasing to the
eye, and more
professional in appearance.
In a chapter called "How to Use Forms Instead of Letting
Them Use You," Millard
discusses how to adapt forms from various sources so that they conform
guidelines discussed earlier in the book and are made uniform with the
style of the attorney's
other documents. The final chapter provides annotated samples of a will,
a revocable trust,
and powers of attorney that have been prepared using the author's
Buy this book if you want to make your estate planning documents
easier for your
clients to read and use. Your documents are often the only tangible
"product" that the
client sees. Make them the best that you can.
Feingold: A New Democratic Party
By Sanford D. Horwitt (New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2007). 276
Reviewed by Craig R. Johnson
Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wisconsin) traces his political roots to the
tradition in Wisconsin politics that was born with Robert M. La Follette
Sr., who is
described in Sanford Horwitt's biography of Feingold as "the most
inspirational leader and
personification of the Progressive Era." Horwitt's portrayal of
senator, however, shows that Feingold is likely to be remembered as the
U.S. Senate's chief
guardian of civil liberties and constitutional principles and the leader
of a national
One of the most interesting aspects of Horwitt's book is his
the Feingold family's roots in Janesville and its links to the resurgent
in Wisconsin in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Feingold's father, Leon,
was a good
friend of Thomas Fairchild. Fairchild, elected attorney general in 1948,
was the first
Democrat to win a statewide race since 1932. Horwitt recounts how
Fairchild was recruited for
the race by James E. Doyle Sr., the father of Wisconsin's current
later served as a federal judge, and Fairchild, who lost a 1952 U.S.
Senate race to
Joe McCarthy, later served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the U.S.
Court of Appeals
for the Seventh Circuit. The pivotal election of 1948 also brought to
Gaylord Nelson, another Wisconsin political legend who would later
become one of the first
major politicians to endorse Feingold in his first U.S. Senate campaign.
Horwitt recounts Feingold's political career, focusing equally
legislative accomplishments and his often underdog, grassroots election
interesting part of the book focuses on Feingold's Wisconsin Senate
years, particularly some of
his lesser-known fights, such as his struggle to stop interstate banking
This was at a time when few people predicted that Feingold would rise to
national leader that he is, and Feingold's attention to the details of
legislation in more
obscure areas of public policy prove that there is plenty of substance
behind his national
image as a hero of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
The book's second half deals with Feingold's career in the U.S.
Senate, which is
familiar ground to people who follow Wisconsin politics. His
of Joe Checota and Jim Moody in the Democratic primary is one of the
great stories in
modern Wisconsin political history, and Horwitt's recounting of it puts
on how Feingold's patient, persistent campaigning in small towns across
the state made
the victory possible.
Feingold's career in the Senate today shines as a bright light
Democrats across the country _ the "democratic wing of the
Democratic Party," as Howard
Dean put it. One day he may make the run for the White House that many
people expect. But,
as his opposition to the USA Patriot Act and his unlikely but
constitutionally sound vote
in favor of a full trial of the impeachment charges against President
show, Feingold might best serve the nation in the U.S. Senate, where he
can also serve a
great purpose as a principled, articulate, and thoughtful voice in the
Cry Rape: The True Story of One Woman's
Harrowing Quest for Justice
By Bill Lueders (Madison, WI: Terrace Books, U.W. Press, 2006). 275
Reviewed by Matthew D. Pulda
This book tells the story of Patty, a legally blind woman who was
raped at knifepoint
in her Madison apartment early in the morning of Sept. 4, 1997. This
event marked only
the beginning of a seven-year ordeal that tested Patty emotionally and
Coerced by skeptical police officers into retracting her story, she
found herself branded a
liar in newspapers, charged with obstruction of justice, stymied by an
police commission, and bullied by defense lawyers in a federal lawsuit
against the police
officers. Even after DNA evidence identified a suspect in 2001, he was
not tried and
convicted until 2004.
Bill Lueders, a Madison journalist and an early champion of
presents Patty's story with compassion, fairness, and clarity. His
shows: One recurring theme is how Patty's treatment contradicts
"enlightened" reputation and its "swollen sense of
pride." More generally, Lueders addresses the
difficulty police can have finding a middle way between unquestioning
acceptance of an alleged
rape victim's story and unhelpful notions of how rape victims
"should" act, difficulty
compounded by the apparent reluctance of the criminal justice system's
to admit mistakes, no matter how obvious. To do so, Lueders argues, is
an affirmation of the desire to do what's
In addition to a timeline, Lueders provides a list of recurring
However, several descriptions are not very helpful because they do not
encapsulate individuals' roles in Patty's story. Lueders also maintains
a fairly comprehensive
list of primary documents on the book's Web site, www.cryrapebook.com,
but that fact
appears only on the very last page, where interested readers might miss
These minor flaws aside, Cry Rape is a fast, compelling
read for people who want
to gain a better understanding of the criminal justice system, warts and
MacCarthy on Cross-Examination
By Terence F. MacCarthy (Chicago, IL: ABA, 2007). 208 pgs. $129.95.
Reviewed by Martin A. Blumenthal
If you've never attended a Terry MacCarthy presentation in person
(which I strongly
urge you to do), reading his book on cross-examination is almost as
Culling his 40 years of experience as a federal defender in
devised an effective system of cross-examination. Other instructors in
trial advocacy have
adopted his system and found it to be superb. Readers also will receive
an education in
witness psychology, by which I mean how to steer the witness's testimony
to make you,
the attorney, look good.
MacCarthy is lavish in crediting other lawyers for their
contribution to, use of,
and even disregard for his system. Although some lawyers, if they have
personality, may be successful when disregarding his system, most people
will be better off
following it. The book includes several examples of cross-examinations
using his system
selected from actual trials, both civil and criminal.
Understanding and using body language is an important part of
Eye contact, posture, and nods of the head play a supporting role in
making the lawyer
look good to the jury and keeping the witness in line.
MacCarthy's continuing legal education courses are replete with
his sharp sense
of humor, which comes through nicely in his writing. I recommend this
book even for
those lawyers who do not do trial work because the book provides lessons
in human behavior
and in advocacy.
Every Relationship Matters: Using
the Power of Relationships to Transform Your Business, Your
Firm, and Yourself
By Peter E. Rouse (Chicago, IL: ABA Book Publishing, 2007). 143
pgs. $39.95. Order, (800) 282-2221.
Reviewed by Melinda Gustafson Gervasi
A quick read at just over 125 pages, Every Relationship
Matters is a useful book for any lawyer, from managing partner to
first-year associate to solo
practitioner, seeking to enhance his or her career. The book is filled
insightful quotes and questions designed to get readers thinking
to pick up on an innovative trend in law schools, the author aspires
educate readers on life skills: "[W]hile we are taught about the
law we are not
taught anything about the life skills needed to manage ourselves, our
relationships with colleagues and clients, and our private lives in
the hugely demanding
conditions of legal practice."
The book's strengths are found in the later chapters. For example, a
chapter entitled "Integrity" pushes readers to define what
their legal practice
is about; and having high monthly billings is not the answer the
looking for. Instead, Rouse asks readers to define what purpose their
practice stands for, what it values. He states that when people live
with their values, they will have more fulfilling careers, and in turn
Another beneficial chapter is called "Behavior," in which
reviews everyday truths that are too often overlooked in the frenzy of
Rouse asks: How can you improve your acknowledgement skills? Do you
listening when communicating with colleagues or clients? Have you ever
client, "What can I do for you?" As Rouse says, it is the
little things in
everyday practice that build stronger relationships, allowing your
career to flourish.
Unfortunately, the first portion of the book focuses more on the
relationship lawyers have with themselves. Although I can see how this
is probably the
most important relationship a person can have, the author's insight
and ideas fall
a bit short. While the material in these first chapters was
kept wondering what it had to do with improving a legal career through
Despite the lackluster start, I recommend the book to anyone
legal career, anyone in transition, or anyone managing a team of
ends by writing, "[I]f things are to change for the better, then
we must change
for the better beginning by being willing to see things differently,
our intentionality toward achieving better performance and
through bettering ourselves and our capacities as human beings."
If this quote touches
a chord with you, then Every Relationship
Matters is an excellent place to start the process of change.
Ivy Briefs: True Tales of a Neurotic Law
By Martha Kimes (New York, NY: Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2007). 276
pgs. $23. Order, www.simonandschuster.com
Reviewed by Elizabeth Ruthmansdorfer
This book is an enjoyable, well written, light summer read that will
entertain lawyers and nonlawyers alike. It is a book to pick up at the
read while sipping lemonade.
Martha Kimes describes her experiences as a law student at Columbia
Law School. The book begins with her uncertainty regarding life after
graduation from college and ends with her first job after law school.
each year of law school, her summer internship, and the bar exam. She
at herself and her ignorance of the law school process, and she is
her self discovery and the changes within herself.
Although Kimes attended an Ivy League school, the events she
could occur at any law school in the country. Readers may find
reliving their own experiences as the author pokes fun at the stress
exams as a 1L, the hard work as a 2L with moot court, law review, and
for internships, and the boredom as a 3L in finishing basic graduation
requirements. The book is peppered with descriptions of instructor-
most lawyers encountered in law school, such as the sadistic
gunner, and the do-gooder. The book takes an entertaining look at long
study, competition between students, and the changes in students'
If you're looking for a light summer read, look no further.
Celebrating the Courthouse, a Guide for
Architects, Their Clients,
and the Public
Edited by Steven Flanders (foreword by Justice Stephen G. Breyer)
(New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co., 2006). 240 pgs. $60. Order,
Reviewed by James W. McNeilly Jr.
This reference book is directed at people involved with designing and
building courthouses. While the first part of the book is a historical
look at the
American courthouse, most of the book is directed at the myriad
involved in the design and construction process and alternative ways
address those considerations.
The book is organized into four parts: Placing the Courthouse in Its
Community and History; Solving the Distinctive Problems of a
The Courthouse, Its Public and Its Users; and The Future of the
book ends with an epilogue, entitled "Daniel Patrick Moynihan and
Architecture," that lays out the proposition that Mr. Moynihan
"probably had a
greater influence on federal design than any other public figure of
the second half
of the twentieth century." There is a note section with
citations, and an index.
The book contains interesting tidbits such as the fact that
Harry S. Truman, while a county judge and a county executive, helped
build two courthouses, a "skyscraper in Kansas City (1934)"
and "a modest-scaled
neo-Georgian county courthouse in Independence (1935), his
Additionally, in the foreword, Justice Stephen G. Breyer tells of his
the design and construction of the Boston federal courthouse, a
building located on the waterfront.
Clearly, the book is not directed at attorneys. Yet, for lawyers
interested in the history and design of courthouses, or who want an
law-related book for a waiting room, this book fits the bill.
Escape from Empire: The Developing World's
Journey Through Heaven and Hell
By Alice H. Amsden (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2007). 197
pgs. $27.50. Order, mitpress.mit.edu.
Reviewed by Laura Tollefson
In this book, Alice H. Amsden, professor of economics at the
Institute of Technology, lays out her theory that American policy
developing countries during the second half of the 20th century can be
into two ideologically different eras: the "First American
representing heaven; and the "Second American Empire,"
representing hell. She further
argues that only against the backdrop of a U.S. foreign policy marked
flexibility and what she considers to be true laissez faire government
allow developing countries to cultivate their own economies, rather
free markets) will developing nations once again be allowed to grow.
According to Amsden, the First American Empire (the Golden Age),
to 1980, was a period of incredible growth in the developing world,
by the fact that this was the only time in modern history in which the
in developing nations increased at a more rapid pace than did income
developed nations. Developing nations were able to grow during the
Empire, because America's laissez faire approach to foreign policy
nations to develop markets as they saw fit. When the second empire
America's conception of laissez faire became much more severe, and
were expected to deregulate their financial markets. Amsden examines
detail how this turn in policy led to decreased growth rates in
Amsden's book is intensely detailed and contains many insights into
America's impact on the world's economies. She uses numerous examples
the world to illustrate each argument. She also supports her work by
several charts and tables throughout the book. This book is worth a
anyone interested in an exhaustive analysis of America's post-World
foreign economic policy.