Wisconsin Lawyer: Book Reviews:

State Bar of Wisconsin

Sign In

Top Link Bar

    WisBar.org may be unavailable on December 13 between 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. for system maintenance.​​​​​​

    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer

News & Pubs Search


    Book Reviews

    Sarah HatchErik GuentherDan BaskinPaul Cherner

    Share This:

    Wisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 76, No. 4, April 2003

    Book Reviews

    Book: Endangered species actEndangered Species Act: Law, Policy, and Perspectives

    Edited by Donald C. Baur & Wm. Robert Irving (Chicago, IL: ABA Environment, Energy & Resources Section, 2002). 606 pgs. $119.95. Order, (800) 285-2221.

    Reviewed by Mary Elliott Rollé

    Environmental law attorneys often find federal environmental protection statutes difficult to understand, even overwhelming. Moreover, environmental statutes increasingly affect other areas of law. Because of the complexity and pervasive effects of certain environmental statutes, it is important that practitioners have comprehensive manuals available to help them grasp major issues as quickly as possible. Endangered Species Act: Law, Policy, and Perspectives provides just such an overview for those dealing with the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

    The editors rightfully coin the text "the Endangered Species Act Deskbook." The book extensively reviews the ESA, providing different perspectives on several important issues written by legal experts from virtually every corner of the field. The book provides discussions of specific sections of the law and broader points, such as critical habitat, take prohibitions and exemptions, experimental populations, and property rights. The book offers a historical overview of the ESA and of the goals behind the law's creation and its continued necessity, but it is most effective in its coverage of the current state of the law. By reviewing the recent history of case law on the ESA's most contested sections, the authors provide the reader with a timely understanding of the statute's real-world impacts.

    The ESA is a complex and confusing law that attorneys sometimes face unexpectedly. I recommend this book to anyone looking to develop or update their working knowledge of the ESA. It is well-written, interesting, and easy to understand.

    M.E. Rollé, U.W. 2000, completed her LL.M. in Environmental Law at Vermont Law School in 2002. She practices with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Office of General Counsel for Ocean Services in Silver Spring, Maryland.

    Family Foundation Handbook

    By Jerry J. McCoy & Kathryn W. Miree (Baltimore, MD: Aspen Publishers Inc., 2002). 720 pgs. $185 (plus annual supplements). Order, (800) 234-1660.

    Reviewed by Erik R. Guenther

    The authors bring their considerable expertise in tax exempt organizations and charitable gift-planning to the table in creating this excellent resource. This book is written for a broad audience of attorneys, financial planners, accountants, foundation administrators, and potential donors and directors of family founda-tions, but the broad scope does not detract from its value to lawyers in this field.

    The book provides an overview of the topic in the more general chapters and then, to aid the legal professional, includes one or more appendices following each chapter that cover specific sections in detail. (For example, a step-by-step guide to completing Form 1023 for nonprofit status is appended to the chapter covering the creation of a family foundation.) The format aids in comprehending the general topics and makes the more detailed issues easier to navigate.

    The advantages and disadvantages of the family foundation are laid out in detail along with alternative forms of charitable planning, including donor-advised funds and outright contributions. The chapters cover a historical overview of private foundations; a "how-to" guide to create and design family foundations; the use of charitable trusts to fund family foundations; restrictions on family foundations, grant-making and grant administration; and guidance on special tax issues.

    Clear explanations are given for problematic issues such as self-dealing, distributions, tax reporting, and how to advise your clients in these and other difficult areas. The book also provides practical tools such as checklists, sample forms, and sample policies that can be used as models when setting up a family foundation for your client.

    The National Center for Family Philanthropy reports that there are approximately 40,000 private foundations in the United States today. Despite the significant decline in the formation of family foundations after the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1969, more foundations are now being created each year. The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 is unlikely to notably lessen that number, so this handbook will continue to be useful to assist your clients in charitable planning issues.

    Attorneys in this area will benefit from the comprehensive coverage of legal, tax, and business aspects of forming and operating a family foundation in order to more effectively serve their clients in charitable estate planning issues.

    Erik R. Guenther, U.W. 2002, focuses his practice on business and employment law and is an associate with Hostak, Henzl & Bichler S.C., Racine.

    Hereof, Thereof, and Everywhereof

    By Howard Darmstadter (Chicago, IL: ABA Business Law Section, 2002). 179 pgs. $39.95. Order, (800) 285-2221.

    Reviewed by Sarah M. Hatch

    Howard Darmstadter writes "Legal-Ease" for Business Law Today, the magazine of the ABA Section of Business Law. In this book, he expands upon topics addressed in that column.

    Hereof, Thereof, and Everywhereof uses humor to challenge attorneys to draft documents in a style readily accessible to their audience, not themselves. Darmstadter acknowledges that some lawyers may disagree with his suggestions (for example, not capitalizing defined terms). Regardless, this book is worth reading because it provides a critical look at legal drafting that surpasses the usual lament for legalese.

    This book educates while it entertains. Darmstadter provides numerous illustrations and exercises that effectively encourage better language use. He dispenses practical advice, such as which organizational methods increase the utility of transactional documents to businesspeople and which typefaces and page formats are read most easily. The author describes how to resolve problematic drafting issues, such as the selection of boilerplate and the creation of comprehensible mathematical formulae. In addition, Darmstadter examines the following specific document types: securities prospectuses, amendments, promissory notes, and guarantees.

    Whether one's drafting style is conservative or innovative, every transactional practitioner can find something of value in Hereof, Thereof, and Everywhereof. At only 179 pages, it is too short to miss.

    Sarah M. Hatch, Illinois College of Law 1999, is an associate focusing her practice on intellectual property transactional matters at Quarles & Brady LLP, Milwaukee.

    Book: Endangered species actDoctored Evidence

    By Michael Biehl (Bridgehampton, NY: Bridge Works Publishing, 2002). 273 pgs. $24.95. Order, (631) 537-3418.

    Reviewed by Dan Baskin

    Michael Biehl's novel, Doctored Evidence, is an enjoyable addition to the repertoire of lawyer-authored tales of suspense. In this story, there are sinister forces at work behind the scenes at Shoreview Hospital. The hospital's chief financial officer dies under mysterious circumstances while undergoing what should be a routine medical procedure, and the hospital lawyer, Karen Hayes, who is initially concerned only with the hospital's malpractice defense, soon finds herself unwillingly drawn into a much larger investigation of corruption, fraud, and worse at Shoreview Hospital.

    The author paints the picture of a world that the reader profoundly hopes does not mirror reality, but suspects probably does on occasion. This is a
    world of unethical medical practitioners. A world of hospital administrators overlooking criminal conduct on the part of physicians because of the money to be made from the physicians' admitted patients. A world of billing fraud and financial skullduggery. In short, a health care system itself badly in need of treatment.

    The author has a background in health care law and infuses the novel with authentic detail. Readers of this entertaining novel are not likely to look at our health care system again in quite the same way.

    Dan Baskin, U.W. 1989, is a health care professional and lives in Milwaukee.

    Rude Awakenings: Overcoming the Civility Crisis in the Workplace

    By Giovinella Gonthier (Chicago, IL: Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2002). 229 pgs. Order, (312) 894-0525.

    Reviewed by Paul J. Cherner

    While many professionals in industry recognize that today's workplace has significant problems that were not previously encountered, there have not been many articles or books identifying these problems or offering practical
    advice as to how to resolve them. With the publication of Rude Awakenings, there is now an effective guide to assist those who care about correcting this situation.

    The groundbreaking theories set forth in this well-written book, along with practical advice for everyday situations, are invaluable for all professionals dealing with employment law and human resources issues. Indeed, it would not be hyperbole to state that this book is an invaluable resource for anyone who has employees, deals with employees, or counsels anyone with employees.

    The author, Giovinella Gonthier, has served as an ambassador in many countries and in the United Nations, and is regarded as a foremost expert on civility. This book makes a major contribution to the subject of managing today's workforce.

    During the past two decades, we have witnessed the explosion of charges and lawsuits claiming unlawful sexual harassment and other prohibited forms of harassment. We have recently begun to see the filing of lawsuits claiming damages as a result of abusive behavior that is not based on traditional protected categories. It is likely that Rude Awakenings may be the seminal work on these incivility lawsuits and have the same impact on our legal system that Catherine MacKinnon's book, Sexual Harassment of Working Women, had when it was published in 1979.

    Aside from the potential for legal liability, this book also addresses sound management skills needed for dealing with employees in this millennium.

    Multinational companies need to be aware of the growing international trend of enacting laws that prohibit incivility in the workplace. A compelling argument is made for the adoption of a new civil code of conduct for the diverse workforce of today.

    This book offers practical advice with respect to the myriad of technological devices that workers must interact with on a daily basis. There are chapters addressing the current work environment, from cubicle behavior to videoconferencing protocol. Particularly valuable is the concluding chapter, which details how employers can implement a civility policy at their workplace.

    I highly recommend this book for labor and employment law practitioners, human resources professionals, and progressive, caring managers.

    Paul J. Cherner, U.W. 1968, practices in labor and employment law with Altheimer & Gray in Chicago.

    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

    • Attorney and Law Firm Guide to the Business of Law: Planning and Operating for Survival and Growth, 2nd ed., by Edward Poll (Chicago, IL: ABA General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section, 2002). 642 pgs., with diskette of forms.
    • The Election Law Primer for Corporations, Third Ed., by Jan Witold Baran (Chicago, IL: ABA Business Law Section, 2002). 280 pgs.
    • International Franchising in Industrialized Markets: North America, the Pacific Rim, and Other Countries, edited by Dianne H.B. Welsh & Ilan Alon (Riverwoods, IL: CCH Inc., 2002). 368 pgs.
    • State Public Construction Law Source Book, by Michael K. Love & Douglas L. Patin (Riverwoods, IL: CCH Inc., 2002). 1,616 pgs.