Vol. 81, No. 6, June
Mental Disability Law, Evidence and Testimony
By John Parry and Eric Y. Drogin (Chicago, IL: ABA Commission on
Mental and Physical Disability Law, 2007). 467 pgs. $95.
Reviewed by Kathleen A. Pakes
As the authors emphasize, this volume is a comprehensive reference
The text provides a basic overview of 1) the mental health provider
and common mental health diagnoses, 2) criminal and civil proceedings in
a party's mental health is an issue in the litigation, and 3) the use of
mental health evidence in civil and criminal legal proceedings.
Mental health providers who do not routinely perform forensic
who are new to the field, may find this text helpful. The volume gives a
general framework of the standards applied in civil proceedings such as
commitments, guardianships, and probate matters; in criminal proceedings
such as those
dealing with responsibility and competency; and in
violent; danger to self or others) commitments. The authors break down -
into easily understood language - the basic concepts of expert
privilege, and hearsay.
For the attorney unfamiliar with mental health terminology, the
succinctly answers fundamental questions such as the following: What is
difference between a psychologist and psychiatrist? What is the DSM IV?
does it mean to have a delusional, bipolar, dissociative, or other
a general legal reference the manual cites U.S. Supreme Court decisions
related to mental health issues, but it does not provide a synopsis of
law. It is not intended to be a source for jurisdiction-specific legal
theory, or trial strategy.
However, as a comprehensive survey of the interplay between
health diagnoses, treatment, and legal issues, this text would be an
component of a law school curriculum or medical education geared toward
mental health or forensics.
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Executive Compensation and Related Party Disclosure:
By James Hamilton (Riverwoods, IL; CCH, 2006). 193 pgs. $39.
Order, (800) 248-3248.
Reviewed by Frederick B. Wade
On Aug. 11, 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
rules for disclosing executive compensation and related-party
which constitute the first major overhaul of the rules since 1992. This
provides attorneys with an accurate and authoritative overview of the
Part I presents rule summaries and explains the major policy
that the SEC made in adopting them. It also provides a modicum of
perspective with respect to those decisions, summarizes comments that
received on several controversial issues, and notes the decisions that
the SEC made
after considering such comments.
Part II sets forth the text of the rules. There also is a table
relocated items and a topical index to help attorneys locate particular
The author states that the new rules are intended "to
provide clear and
intelligible disclosure that can be understood by the lay reader without
benefit of specialized expertise." To this end, the rules prescribe
summary compensation table as the format for public companies to
total annual compensation of their principal executive officer,
financial officer, and three other highest paid executive officers.
The intent is to combine the disclosure of all elements of
a manner that provides a single "bottom-line number" that will
from company to company." To facilitate this goal, the summary
table contains columns for disclosing the annual dollar value of each
an executive's compensation, including all equity-based awards of stock
stock options measured as of their grant date fair value.
The new rules also require public companies to provide investors
new compensation discussion and analysis, as a narrative supplement to
summary compensation table. The SEC hopes that this narrative will allow
to see compensation policies through the eyes of those making the
The compensation discussion and analysis requires public
disclose the material elements of their compensation policies and to
the most important factors that they considered in determining what
executives should be paid. In this context, companies are admonished
narrative should inform investors "in plain English" how they
decided to award
particular levels and forms of compensation, without boilerplate,
presentations that are overly complex or legalistic in nature.
Additional rule changes provide investors with more complete
of related person transactions. There also are new requirements for
with respect to company policies and procedures for the review,
ratification of relationships with related persons.
It appears that the book will be most useful as an introduction
attorneys. It is not for the general reader and is not likely to be
people who are already familiar with the rules, except as a handy guide
locating applicable requirements as new issues arise.
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Qualified Plans: Forms, Notices, and Supplementary
By Pamela D. Perdue (Philadelphia, PA: ALI-ABA, 2007). 308 pgs.
w/CD-ROM. $129. Order, www.ali-aba.org.
Reviewed by Joe Voiland & Carolyn McAllister
It is not often that one is asked to review a book that does not
any true narrative, but this is such a write-up. This is not the
Wisconsin Lawyer's first-ever review of the most distinguished
American picture book for
children (for which the Caldecott Medal is given annually by the
Association), for here we cover a somewhat less colorful topic: ERISA
Internal Revenue Code.
Qualified Plans: Forms, Notices, and Supplementary
Materials, by Pamela D. Perdue, is not missing anything. It is a
compilation, published by the
American Law Institute and the American Bar Association, of defined
and defined benefit pension plan forms for use by attorneys and benefit
The substantive aspects of the forms are right-on and serve as
starting points for attorneys and administrators in crafting documents
own. Perdue includes documents regarding plan enrollment, loans, and
harbors, and adds several documents regarding distributions. She
all these forms on CD-ROM.
Of most use to attorneys is a lengthy section covering
distribution, complete with sample (or model) pleadings to address the
issues presented by a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). For
who discover a plan defect requiring correction, the book concludes with
of charts outlining EGTRRA remedial amendment cycles and summarizing the
IRS's employee plans compliance resolution system.
Finally, the forms do assume substantive knowledge in the
benefits arena and should not be used by people unwilling to tailor them
situation at hand. The Pension Protection Act of 2006, for example,
additional Department of Labor guidance on default investments and on
participant benefit statements that will be important to anyone using
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Beyond the Big Firm: Profiles of Lawyers Who Want
By Alan B. Morrison and Diane T. Chin (Riverwoods, IL: Aspen
Publishers, 2007). 300 pgs. $28.95. Order, (800) 950-5259.
Reviewed by Carrie Ziegler
At first glance, Beyond the Big Firm seems best suited for law
students considering their career options after graduation. However,
actually is an inspiring book appropriate for lawyers in any stage of
The book is organized into profiles of lawyers in a variety of
areas and geographical locations, each written by one of Morrison's
The profiles are lengthy, including information on where the lawyer grew
different nonlegal jobs that he or she held, and the path he or she took
law school. The students then describe what each attorney does on a
basis in his or her profession.
Each student's writing style is different, so some profiles are
and more interesting to read than others. The profiles are varied,
areas from public interest jobs to government positions to private
could easily relate to some profiles, while others, such as the profiles
civil rights litigators, provided an insight into an entirely different
Beyond the Big Firm is especially appropriate for young
the profiles chronicle each lawyer's career history. Most of the lawyers
profiled did not obtain their fulfilling positions immediately after law
graduation. The book does a great job of detailing how lawyers came to
their current positions, including advice from mentors that resonated
It was interesting to read about what a typical day is like for
assistant district attorney, an immigration lawyer, and even a human
I would recommend this book to any lawyer who wants to better understand
jobs of our colleagues or to read about important work that other
doing around the country.
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Making Aid Work
By Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2007).
170 pgs. $14.95. Order, (800) 405-1619.
Reviewed by R. Timothy Muth
Foreign aid comes in many shapes and sizes, from direct grants to
technical assistance, from loans to capacity building programs. Which
best, and how can their effectiveness be measured?
In Making Aid Work, Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, professor
of economics at
MIT, argues that neither governments nor nongovernmental aid
done a good job of evaluating what types of programs work and why.
"lazy thinking" of aid officials, Banerjee asserts, waste and
in aid programs, leaving some people to conclude wrongly that foreign
is a waste of time and resources. Banerjee proposes that foreign aid
strategies should be the subject of controlled randomized trials to
obtain good data
about program effectiveness.
Making Aid Work is structured as an academic debate. The
book opens with
an essay by Banerjee in which he makes his case for randomized trials.
book then includes 11 additional essays from a variety of academic,
and aid experts critiquing Banerjee's proposal. Finally, a rebuttal
by Banerjee addresses points raised by the other contributors. The
structure provides the opportunity to view the issues of foreign aid
a variety of angles and understandings.
In the end, the book's contributors largely agree with Banerjee
not enough is known about which foreign aid strategies work and which do
Whether randomized trials of aid strategies is the only way to obtain
information is debatable, as this collection of essays illustrates. What
debatable is that getting foreign aid right is crucial if the rich
the world are going to be successful in helping eliminate chronic,
in the rest of the world.
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Wants, Wishes, and Wills: A Medical and Legal Guide
to Protecting Yourself and Your Family
in Sickness and in Health
By Wynne A. Whitman and Shawn D. Gilsson (Indianapolis, IN:
Financial Times Press, 2007). 302 pgs. $24.99. Order, www.ftpress.com
Reviewed by Douglas Iverson
No one plans on getting ill or injured. Most people hate the thought
estate planning. Most people do not want to talk about their inevitable
and death. I am sure many lawyers can relate a story or two of a client
into the lawyer's office just before a big trip to have a will prepared.
Wants, Wishes, and Wills was written to "give you tools you
need to confront disease
and dying." Its sections and chapters help readers examine their
legal situations so that they can "live smart by planning. You die
having planned." Reading this book is the first step in doing that.
Aimed at the general public, this book, because of its subject
not going to be a big seller. That is a shame because I think this book
some very useful information. For instance, in the first chapter, the
discuss choosing a physician. They suggest looking not just at the names
list your insurer gives you but also at training and character traits.
addition, ask your friends and family for the names of physicians they
authors believe that if you feel comfortable with your physician, then
you will be
better able to communicate with your physician and be able to control
Also, in this section, the authors state that you should put
your own personal health network. That entails creating a comprehensive
every organization and person, from physician to pharmacist, with whom
contact in a personal health setting. Include not just names, phone
and addresses, but also your physician's partners' names and your
family, and social histories. The authors suggest you give this list to
care providers so that they are able to contact one another if there is
Other sections of this book discuss capacity from a medical
standpoint, pointing out that stating you never want to be on a
ventilator is a very
broad statement. What if you would be on a ventilator only for a short
Would that make a difference? The last few sections deal with the
estate planning. They discuss not only such topics as charitable giving
but also letters of instruction. A glossary of medical and legal terms
If you have a client, friend, or family member who you just
into engaging in even basic estate planning, pass this book along to the
and suggest he or she read a few chapters. The questions posed in this
are simple, yet thought provoking. Hopefully, this book will prompt
to change their minds and call your office tomorrow.
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