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  • Wisconsin Lawyer
    March 31, 2008

    Book Reviews

    Wisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 77, No. 8, August 2004

    Book Reviews

    Book: The Winning ArgumentCopyright and Publishing Law, Third Edition

    By Ellen M. Kozak (New York, NY: Henry Holt & Co., 2004). 141 pgs. $13.

    Reviewed by Prof. Ramon A. Klitzke

    Every Writer's Guide to Copyright and Publishing Law should be on the desk of every writer who has any thought of publishing. Attorneys interested in publishing law also should read the guide.

    When I reviewed the first edition of the guide (63 Wis. Law. 26 (Sept. 1990)) and the second (71 Wis. Law 28 (Feb. 1998)), I pointed out that the author's extensive experience in educating lawyers and counseling authors clearly qualifies her to write this book. A published writer myself, I've met many authors who relied heavily on the earlier editions of this guide.

    The guide is directed to general principles of U.S. law related to literary works. The 24 chapters include ones on the legal system, exploiting copyrights, copyright notice, registration and related areas of law, to mention only a few of the necessary tools for the author-publisher. The guide will be a continuing resource for authors and attorneys alike.

    Since the 1997 edition, copyright law has progressed immeasurably because of technological and global market changes. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998, the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, and the Technology, Education and Copyright Harmonization Act of 2002 are just some of the laws Congress has passed.

    With the passage of the 1998 Bono Act, the "life-plus-50-years" copyright duration became "life-plus-70-years," except for anonymous and pseudonymous works and works made for hire. Those are protected for 120 years from creation or 95 years from first publication, whichever is sooner.

    Since publication of the second edition, the U.S. Supreme Court decided New York Times Co. v. Jonathan Tasini (2001). The Court held that the Times, absent permission, had no right to sell articles bought from freelancers to online services. Once an article appears online, it loses its resale value. But now many larger papers require such authorization as part of the purchase of the article.

    The third edition of the guide is much easier on the eyes than was the second. The page size is larger and the type font is sharper. A complete index is included.

    I strongly recommend the new edition of Every Writer's Guide to Copyright and Publishing Law to any lawyer who might face a question from an author.

    Ramon A. Klitzke, Indiana 1957, LL.M. N.Y.U. 1958, is professor emeritus at Marquette University Law School, where he taught for 27 years.

    Taking and Defending Depositions

    By Stuart M. Israel (Philadelphia, PA: ALI-ABA, 2004). 344 pgs. $89. Order, (800) 253-6397.

    Reviewed by Dustin T. Woehl

    This book purports to be a handy, easy-to-read guide for litigators at all levels of practice. It is definitely easy and even fun to read. The author writes with wit and humor, referencing Sergeant Joe Friday, Rambo, Bill Clinton, Ray Charles, Gary Cooper, Sherlock Holmes, the Bible, and Bentham. The guide also contains illustrative and often humorous deposition transcripts. The entertainment, however, bloats the writing, leaving it rather loose. I sometimes wished the book would make its point and move on. Also, the discussion is keyed to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, requiring the Wisconsin reader to translate these to the Wisconsin rules for citation in depositions or in court.

    I first judge this book by its cover, which is physically too firm. This makes it harder to keep open to read, take notes in, or photocopy. My copy actually split in two, resulting in loose pages. The book is organized in four parts. The first and broadest section covers deposition uses, alternatives, advantages, and drawbacks. This part should stimulate even seasoned litigators to think creatively about using depositions in new ways. Part two discusses deposition fundamentals, rules, principles, mechanics, strategies, practices, and planning. However, it merely foreshadows the discussion in part four and could be condensed or eliminated. Part three discusses coaching deponents. It includes 13 deposition fundamentals and a select 162 essential rules for deponents. Part four could stand alone. It includes helpful "nuts and bolts" information on taking and defending depositions, and includes topics such as deposition outlines, transcript awareness, formulating questions, and dealing with objections. The checklists in this section will be helpful in preparing to take and defend depositions.

    The book also contains several forms, including notices of deposition, a motion to compel a deponent to answer questions, and a motion to limit the deposition scope. These should be helpful for anyone preparing these documents for the first time. The author also includes the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that address depositions. This could help but is probably unnecessary. The actual text of the rules isn't necessary to understand the related discussions in the book. A litigator relying on the rules for any other purpose should own or consult a current official version.

    Overall, Taking and Defending Depositions is an entertaining, thought-provoking, and useful deposition guide. However, its relaxed and enjoyable writing, too-firm cover, and reliance on the federal rules rather than the Wisconsin rules make it less handy for one who litigates in Wisconsin state courts than it otherwise could be.

    Dustin T. Woehl, Univ. of Pennsylvania 2000, is an associate at Kasdorf, Lewis & Swietlik in Milwaukee, where he practices civil litigation and insurance defense law.

    Uneasy Alchemy: Citizens and Experts in Louisiana's Chemical Corridor Disputes

    By Barbara L. Allen (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2004). 224 pgs. $22. Order, (800) 405-1619

    Reviewed by Peter A. Tomasi

    The chemical corridor between Baton Rouge and New Orleans is home to more than 120 chemical plants, and high rates of cancer and respiratory illness in the area have earned it the moniker "Cancer Alley." The area's reputation as an ideal place to site chemical plants because of its marginalized population and friendly government helped spawn the environmental justice movement. In Uneasy Alchemy: Citizens and Experts in Louisiana's Chemical Corridor, Barbara Allen, a "participant-activist" in environmental disputes, examines the way that citizen activists and experts of various stripes interact in disputes over the siting of those large-scale industrial facilities in the corridor. Using ethnographic analysis of interviews with activists, citizens, government agency actors, and corporate experts, Allen analyzes the mixed results of environmental justice challenges and the factors leading to successful environmental justice challenges.

    Allen uses the battle to site a $700 million plastics plant outside of Geismar, La., as the foundation to a theory of successful citizen organization and action. Local residents, assisted by outside experts and the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic, challenged the permitting decision for the proposed plant. The mix of local citizens temporarily allied with expert-activists ultimately forced the company to build a substantially smaller facility on a different site, even though Tulane Environmental Law Clinic was stripped of most of its capacity to represent environmental groups by the Louisiana Supreme Court during the tail end of the permitting challenge.

    Although Allen spends a significant amount of time developing a theory of citizen action, the underlying story of the Louisiana chemical corridor is the most compelling portion of the book. The unpredictable mix of race, class, historic business-friendly policies, and endemic poverty interact in different and sometimes surprising ways. Allen is at her best when detailing the results of her ethnographic research and contrasting the different views of all the individual players on the environmental scene in Louisiana, such as the views of local residents who distrust large corporations, against the views of other residents and regulators who questioned the motives and commitment of national environmental organizations involved in the challenge.

    Peter A. Tomasi, Duke 2001, practices with Quarles & Brady, Milwaukee.

    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,

    Publications and videos available for review

    • ERISA: The Law and the Code, 2004 Edition, edited by Sharon F. Fountain & Michael G. Kushner (Washington, DC: Bureau of National Affairs, 2004). 832 pgs.
    • Marketplace Masters: How Professional Service Firms Compete to Win, by Suzanne C. Lowe (Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2004). 252 pgs.
    • Media Relations Handbook, by Brad Fitch (Alexandria, VA: TheCapitol.Net, 2004). 368 pgs.
    • Women-at-Law: Lessons Learned Along the Pathways to Success, by Phyllis Horn Epstein (Chicago, IL: ABA Law Practice Management Section, 2004). 376 pgs.

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