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  • Wisconsin Lawyer
    March 31, 2008

    Book Reviews

    Wisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 77, No. 7, July 2004

    Book Reviews

    Book: The Winning ArgumentGuardianship and Protective Placement for the Elderly in Wisconsin, Second Edition

    By Gretchen Viney (Madison, WI: State Bar of Wisconsin CLE Books, 2004). 200+ pgs. Forms. $29. Order, or (800) 728-7788.

    Reviewed by Stephanie G. Rapkin

    Gretchen Viney in her preface states that she is astounded that a chapter that she wrote for CLE seminars has turned into a book published by the State Bar. I, for one, am very glad that it did. This concise, well-written book has a wealth of information for the novice in this area and for someone with limited experience in guardianships.

    Viney provides clear and concise details. The various topics covered in the book's chapters not only contain the necessary information with appropriate citing to the statutory law but also provide invaluable practice tips and comments. Chapter 4 - which addresses the role of the petitioner's attorney - includes a wonderful breakdown of what to do and how to do it, and particularly important is the included checklist. Chapter 5 - which discusses the role of the guardian ad litem and advocacy counsel - also has a checklist that is an absolute necessity in preparing for the role counsel has been assigned.

    The appendices contain not only the legal forms that are used in Wisconsin, but the social/medical forms prepared by health care professionals. The appendix also includes additional resource material containing the list of approved corporate guardians in Wisconsin, which is an invaluable tool.

    My biggest complaint was that this slim volume could include so much more from this recognized legal expert on guardianships. Viney might want to consider adding to her next edition a section on conservatorship. Although conservatorship is very rare within the state, it does occur on occasion and may be an important alternative to a guardianship.

    Other minor details not included in this edition might enhance the next. For someone who is doing his or her first guardianship it is helpful to know that there is a filing fee and its cost. At the very least, a reference to the Wisconsin statute that provides such information might be an important addition. More details on what occurs after the court appoints a guardian, such as the need for annual accounts and what the guardian has to file, also would enhance the material.

    In summary, Viney has done a wonderful job of preparing an easy-to-read, easy-to-use volume on this topic. More is asked of her only because she does such an outstanding job of providing clear and concise guidance. I hope that in her next edition she will expand on the topics and the material presented and add the few details I have suggested.

    Stephanie G. Rapkin, California Western 1982, maintains a law office in Mequon.

    The Complete Handbook of Investigations & Privacy Rights: Demystifying the Legal Parameters of Criminal, Civil, and Private Investigations

    By Douglas H. Frazer (Brookfield, WI: Woodstock Avenue Press, 2003). $9.95. Order, DeWitt Ross & Stevens S.C., (262) 754-2840.

    Reviewed by David Feiss

    If the general citizenry was disengaged about issues concerning investigations and privacy rights, 9/11 changed that forever. With everyone potentially being or knowing a terrorist, the issue is no longer academic.

    But in fact, the issue never was. The most common citizen interaction with the police is the traffic stop. There, basic Fourth Amendment (search and seizure) and Fifth Amendment (privilege against self-incrimination) principles become important matters. Do you have to speak to the officer? Should you consent to a search of your vehicle? Of your person?

    The Handbook of Investigations & Privacy Rights summarizes and explains these issues - and many more - in terms that are easily read and understood. It is written for the nonlawyer, but contains enough detail and source material to be helpful to lawyers as well.

    Says Frazer, "Perhaps nowhere is the playing field of knowledge less level than in the area of investigations. Normally the investigators know the rights and obligations of the actors ... members of the public, on the other hand, are not systematically taught and generally know very little about their rights and obligations."

    The handbook, in easy-to-follow form, sets out the law as it pertains to criminal and civil investigations.

    Privacy rights, explains Frazer, are the flip side of investigative powers. Privacy rights are marked by certain legally defined boundaries. "As these rights contract, information available to outsiders expands. As information available to outsiders expands, so expands the reach of the investigator."

    "Thus," says Frazer, "privacy rights and investigative powers share a common boundary. The handbook is an effort to set forth a guide for understanding and preserving one's fundamental rights to privacy."

    Frazer goes about the task by defining the guiding principles of law as encapsulated by the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Then, he tackles common Fourth Amendment search and seizure situations involving automobile stops, household searches, secret agents, informants and cooperating witnesses, business and financial records, medical records, intellectual property records, tape recordings, bugs, telephone recordings, hidden cameras, computer hard drives, email messages, photographs, and other matters.

    In the Fifth Amendment context, the handbook covers waiver, noncustodial interrogations, and private papers. In the Sixth Amendment context, the handbook addresses the right to counsel.

    Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the handbook is its discussion of special areas of the law. These special areas include criminal investigation of corporations or other entities, tax investigations, the Freedom of Information Act, the Privacy Act, and the USA PATRIOT Act. Also included is an informative discussion of the law of privileges.

    Finally, in a nod to Judith Martin ("Ms. Manners"), Frazer offers a situational "Investigative Etiquette" discussion of how citizens might respond to close encounters with law enforcement personnel.

    "Our systems of checks and balances is a good system," says Frazer. "It cannot work well, however, until citizens, residents, and visitors, as well as the authorities, have knowledge of the system."

    The handbook is a useful tool in understanding these rights. While experienced practitioners in the area might quibble with some oversimplifications, the handbook is short and concise, yet contains a wealth of important information - information that is important not just to lawyers, but to everyone.

    David Feiss, U.W. 1985, is an assistant district attorney in Milwaukee County.

    Guide to Homeland Security, 2003 Edition

    Edited by Charlotte Stichter (Danvers, MA: Thomson West, 2003). 808 pgs. $95. Order,

    Reviewed by Natalia Walter

    The rush of anti-terrorism legislation passed after September 2001 led to a similar rush by publishers to keep up with the myriad of sweeping new laws. The Guide to Homeland Security is a compilation of the major statutes on homeland security and anti-terrorism, current up to April 2003, as well as selected administrative materials, some helpful organizational charts for the new Department of Homeland Security, and a bibliography of law review articles that provide a topical overview.

    The guide includes the full text of the Homeland Security Act (almost 200 pages), with a 165-page section-by-section analysis by Westlaw research attorneys. Margin annotations direct readers to the U.S. code sections implicated. Other laws, including the full text of the USA PATRIOT Act, are reprinted in full, but without annotation or analysis. The guide collects a large amount of reference material in a trade size paperback. The annotations, analysis, and organizational charts in the book's first sections offer valuable insights. The later sections that reproduce the law with little annotation and no analysis are less handy as a reference guide. The list of law review articles provides an introduction to the far reach and range of legal controversies affected by these laws - aviation, immigration, science and technology, privacy, and government contracts, for example.

    As a stand-alone research tool, the book is limited by its lack of a subject index. Future editions, promised annually, also would be improved by the addition of page headers specifying the statutory sections found on each page. The guide is more useful for those with Westlaw access. Westlaw has launched several specialized homeland security databases; used in conjunction with these databases, the guide becomes a convenient hard copy research companion.

    Natalia Walter, U.W. 1994, has practiced immigration law on the U.S.-Mexico border and in Dallas, Texas since 1996.

    Theater Tips and Strategies for Jury Trials, Third Edition

    By David Ball (Notre Dame, IN: National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2003). 380 pgs. $49.95. Order, (800) 225-6482.

    Reviewed by Donna M. Jones

    Lights! Cameras! Action! "Jury trials and plays share one primary goal: audience persuasion," states playwright, director, producer David Ball. "Every moment that jurors are in the box they are being persuaded." A nationally known jury and trial consultant, Ball believes trial lawyers can benefit tremendously from principles underlying scriptwriting, directing, and performance to successfully persuade jurors to find in favor of their clients.

    Ball shares theater tips and strategies through 12 methods and 12 applications that cover leading character (lawyer), cast (witnesses), audience (jury), props (evidence), plot (story), camera angle (point of view), and closing. "The Lead Character: You" addresses the lawyer's body, movements, and clothing. The author recommends voice strengthening by reading something new aloud daily for 10 minutes at courtroom volume and cautions against using "didn't, shouldn't, wouldn't, couldn't" because you will never know whether the jury heard "did," and so on. Avoid paraphrasing and only repeat someone's answer for emphasis. And, never ever turn your back to the jury! Instead, carefully watch and listen to prospective jurors during voir dire and learn to "read" the jury during trial.

    Numerous strategies are offered for effectively conducting voir dire and for presenting your case story and evidence in ways that arm favorable jurors with information to sway other jurors your way. One "plot" strategy involves creating a 10-word "telegram" of your case to guide your overall presentation. The telegram contains the wrong, the harm it did, and what you want the jury to do about it. Another strategy, "humanizing," lowers the barriers between your client and the jury. It can even be used to humanize "nonhuman" cases, because "human behavior is the jury's only common area of expertise." Always refer to your client by name; however, refer to the other party as "opponent."

    Regarding "props," double the size of 11x14 photos to quadruple their impact, never use glossy photos because they can glare from unpredictable angles, and avoid using Power Point. "Never rely solely on spoken or printed words for an important issue. In deliberations, the memory and review of good images becomes pivotal."

    This book provides great insight, especially for lawyers who welcome going to trial. Yet, it could also benefit from a crisper format with more consistent use of font to signal topical demarcation.

    Donna M. Jones, U.W. 1978, is a member of the Nonresident Lawyers' Division Board and is a past member of the State Bar Board of Governors. She resides in Atlanta, Ga.

    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

    • Child Friendly Divorce: A Divorce(d) Therapist's Guide to Helping Your Children Thrive, by Diane M. Berry (Manitowoc, WI: Blue Waters Publications, 2004). 312 pgs.
    • Eat What You Kill: Ethics, Law Firms, and the Fall of a Wall Street Lawyer, by Milton C. Regan Jr. (Ann Arbor, MI: Univ. of Michigan Press, 2004). 326 pgs.
    • 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.
    • Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law, Fifth Ed., by George M. Treister, J. Ronald Trost, Leon S. Forman, Kenneth N. Klee, and Richard B. Levin (Philadelphia, PA: ALI-ABA, 2004). 454 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.

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