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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 81, No. 3, March 2008

    Book Reviews

    LLCs and LLPs: A Wisconsin Handbook, 3rd Edition

    By Steven R. Battenberg, Joseph W. Boucher, Debra Sadow Koenig, Marcus S. Loden, Sarah E. McNally, Douglas J. Patch, Bret A. Roge & William R. West (Madison, WI: State Bar of Wisconsin CLE Books, 2007). 515+ pgs. Forms on CD. $180 members / $225 nonmembers. Order, www.wisbar.org.

    Reviewed by Clarence W. Malick

    The eight authors write with authority, aided by six skilled reviewers. Mr. Boucher was a drafter of the original 1994 Wisconsin LLC Law (WLLCL), the first edition of this handbook, and the 1999 revision. The handbook was extensively cited by both majority and dissent in 2005 in the Wisconsin Supreme Court's first opinion that applied the WLLCL.

    The book uses State Bar CLE Books' typical loose-leaf three-ring binder to facilitate supplementation and replacement. To give a sense of the book's scope and depth, the chapter titles and the chapters' respective page lengths are: Introduction, 19 pages; Choice of Business Entity, 21 pages; Organization and Formalities of LLCs, 38 pages; Operational Issues of LLCs, 48 pages; Tax Issues, 82 pages; Limited Liability Partnerships, 23 pages; Limited Liability Entities for Lawyers and Other Professionals, 21 pages; and Forms, 173 pages.

    There are five appendices: 1) Wisconsin LLC and LLP statutes; 2) the federal check-the-box regulations; 3) Wisconsin Department of Revenue Publication 119; 4) a table of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions filings and fees; and 5) a "State Tax Treatment of Limited Liability Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships" table that shows key features of the laws of all states and the District of Columbia.

    The book also contains a table of statutes, regulations, and rules and a 13-page index. The CD-ROM contains a checklist for member agreements, five types of member agreements, one LLP partnership agreement, and a generic engagement letter with an example of the client disclosure required of limited liability practices by the ethics rules. The CD-ROM does not have the comments contained in the forms chapter (8), so the user is advised to use them together.

    As I wrote in 1995, business lawyers will find this book worthwhile. Because the area of practice is evolving, I advise ordering automatic supplementation.

    C.W. "Buck" Malick, Harvard 1971, provides small business and estate planning legal services in the Hudson vicinity.

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    American Religious Democracy: Coming to Terms with the End of Secular Politics

    By Bruce Ledewitz (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2007). 243 pgs. $49.95. Order, www.praeger.com.

    Reviewed by Kenneth Krause

    American secularism continues to face serious challenges. Perhaps Establishment Clause litigation cannot, depending on your perspective, either save or advance the secular ideal. To most spectators, plaintiffs appear to behave like spoiled, jealous children, begrudging religionists insignificant if not nonexistent advantages. In a constitutional democracy, many wonder, how can any expression _ including religious expression _ deserve judicial suppression? As for politicians, few, if any, can achieve national office after confessing their atheism. But do such facts necessarily portend the demise of American secular democracy?

    When Americans reelected George W. Bush in 2004, answers Duquesne law professor Bruce Ledewitz, they officially and permanently abandoned a secular government loath to endorse religion in favor of a "religious democracy" wherein policies actually are designed to reflect and advance the overwhelming majority's faith. Thus, Ledewitz advises his secular audience to join those whom they cannot beat _ in the end, to accept and assert a vague, diluted, but politically opportune biblical devotion allowing them not merely to tolerate, but also to embrace, the formerly unpalatable concept of "God."

    To be convincing, Ledewitz must demonstrate first, that American secularism is both dying and unrevivable, and second, that religious democracy can emerge as its successor. Although the author rightly observes that, eventually, legislation and constitutional interpretation must bow to popular opinion, he arguably misjudges either the character or the historical persistence of that opinion.

    Contrary to the "secular consensus," Ledewitz claims that as Americans have grown more educated, they have failed to become less religious. Although he equates education with occupational training, others might insist that more worldly enlightenment does indeed tend to frustrate supernaturalism. After all, while 90 percent of Americans profess belief in a personal God, more than 90 percent of America's leading scientists do not. Secularism's continued success, in other words, might depend only on a deeper commitment to popular education.

    Although Ledewitz demonstrates appropriate knowledge of First Amendment jurisprudence, his grasp of religious history is suspect. Despite very recent trends, the civilized world has clearly grown more secular over the centuries. As for the propriety of religiously based government, readers might wonder why Ledewitz ignores the facts of Islamic jihad and dhimmitude, European crusades, inquisitions, and pogroms, as well as American bible riots and witch hunts.

    American Religious Democracy is timely, but, in the end, its substance is lacking. Once again, political rhetoric thrives despite history, and, once again, the political season is on us.

    Kenneth W. Krause, Drake 1996, has recently contributed more than 30 nonfiction articles and book reviews to various local, national, and international periodicals.

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    A Lawyer's Guide to Networking

    By Susan Sneider (Chicago, IL: ABA Young Lawyers Division & ABA-CLE Career Resource Center, 2006). 132 pgs. $29.95. Order, (800) 285-2221.

    Reviewed by Nilesh Patel

    Networking is a crucial skill for professional success. A good legal practice is built by developing solid relationships with clients and other attorneys, who in turn recommend you to potential clients, refer new business your way, and point you toward resources for difficult or novel cases. Many job opportunities also come about through good networking when people hear of an opportunity and think you are perfectly suited for the position.

    Even though networking is a crucial skill, attorneys are left to figure out the basic norms of good networking through trial and error. However, A Lawyer's Guide to Networking provides a very good roadmap on the basic premises behind successful networking and practical exercises to start thinking about how to develop networking skills.

    The book is a short 126 pages and a very easy read. Sneider uses two formats _ the first provides advice and insights from other attorneys on topics such as what is networking, why networking is beneficial and even necessary, and even what networking is not. The second format uses exercises to help define who already is in your personal and professional networks, personal barriers to effective networking, and developing conversation starters at networking events or even in the elevator.

    Sneider intended the book to be a workbook, and she manages to cover the basic skills without making the process sound tedious and without preaching. The advice she offers is complemented by examples from practitioners and their tips on how to develop networking skills. Some of the best advice deals with defining networking: building relationships through helping people. As one practitioner states, networking is not a sales tactic _ you don't network with the express objective of developing sales because then, you are just using people and it will be obvious that you are not genuine in your interactions.

    I would recommend this book to anyone who does not consider herself an expert networker. The book is clearly useful for law students and new attorneys who have not thought about or experienced all the aspects of networking. However, the book also provides a quick review for experienced attorneys and discusses relevant topics such as networking issues of in-house counsel and networking for a new job.

    Nilesh Patel, U.W. 2002, is an advisor in the Career Services Office at the U.W. Law School and principal attorney of the Mahadev Law Group LLC, focusing on employment law issues.

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    The Negotiator's Fieldbook: The Desk Reference for the Experienced Negotiator

    Edited by Andrea Kupfer Schneider & Christopher Honeyman (Chicago, IL: ABA Dispute Resolution Section, 2006). 800 pgs. $79.95. Order, (800) 282-2221.

    Reviewed by Roger W. Palek

    The title of this book says it all: This is a resource for the experienced negotiator. Its chapters are arranged by broad topic, are extensively referenced, and cite to source material that provides more in-depth explanations. At the beginning of each chapter, the editors pose difficult negotiation dilemmas that are answered within the chapter. These questions are conveniently arranged in the annotated table of contents by topic and subtopic, providing a road map for targeted access. The book's strength is its accessible format and ease of use. While it may not be a book to enjoy while sitting in front of a fire and sipping your favorite vintage port, you will reach for it for guidance during perplexing or frustrating negotiations. One good example is the chapter "Internal and External Conflict" by psychologist Morton Deutsch. Deutsch uses Freud's psychodynamic theory to provide a framework for understanding the conflicts inherent within difficult negotiations. Using this framework to understand the "whys" of the individuals involved in the negotiations is an invaluable technique.

    One of my favorite chapters is Ambassador John W. McDonald's "A New Future For Kashmir." It addresses the India-Pakistan standoff, a situation that does not appear amenable to any plausible long-term solution. McDonald outlines some of the citizen-based strategies he employed to bring the parties together before undertaking more formalized governmental talks. While the ultimate success of his strategies may have been limited, his discussion offers helpful insights into tackling what appears to be a completely unsolvable issue and making it incrementally better. In some negotiations, this is the measure of success.

    If you would like an overview of basic negotiation techniques, please look elsewhere. However, if you are an experienced negotiator who has "seen it all," you will benefit from the book. You are almost guaranteed to find more than a nugget or two of gold in this overflowing collection of expertise.

    Roger W. Palek, Thomas M. Cooley 1991, is a labor and employment attorney with Lawton & Cates S.C., Madison. He formerly was a teacher and a labor negotiator for the Wisconsin Education Association-Fox Valley.

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    Slips, Trips, Missteps and Their Consequences, 2nd Edition

    By Gary M. Bakken, H. Harvey Cohen, Jon R. Abele, Alvin S. Hyde & Cindy A. LaRue (Tucson, AZ: Lawyers & Judges Publishing Co., 2007). 375 pgs. $129. Order, (800) 209-7109.

    Reviewed by Martin A. Blumenthal

    The authors of this treatise include a lawyer and experts in ergonomics, safety research, physiology, biophysics, and medicine. Each contributed important insights concerning the topic of accidental falls.

    The reader first learns how people walk. The special problems of elderly persons and their particular susceptibilities are well illustrated. The central nervous system's role in walking is described as well. The physics of friction, walking surfaces, stairs, and hazards is pictorially presented with computer-designed figures.

    The discussion divides falls into several categories and explains how humans react to these falls. The authors included statistics on various injuries and age groups. There is a separate chapter that discusses the biomedical factors, such as heart disease, musculoskeletal system diseases, and age-related changes, that contribute to falls.

    The book also is a handy guide for property owners regarding how to "fall-proof" their premises.

    The legal part centers on tort theory such as premises liability and the standard discussion of the duty owed to the plaintiff, proximate cause, and damages. Specific types of falls are singled out, such as those involving ladders, showers, parking lots, and stairs. There is no mention of the proverbial banana peel, but customer-created hazards are reviewed.

    The treatment of skylight falls is particularly timely; recently, a teenager was trespassing on a roof of a Chicago factory with some friends and fell through a skylight. The autopsy showed she had ethanol in her blood. If it weren't so tragic, it would be the perfect, real-world illustration of 95 percent of the material in the book.

    Any practitioner who handles an occasional slip-and-fall matter may find this to be a comprehensive guide, whether from the plaintiff's or the defendant's perspective.

    Martin A. Blumenthal, Chicago-Kent 1981, is an attorney and CPA in Northfield, Ill.

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    The Military Divorce Handbook: A Practical Guide to Representing Military Personnel and Their Families

    By Mark E. Sullivan (Chicago, IL: ABA Family Law Section, 2006). 600+ pgs. CD-ROM/forms. $149.95. To order, www.abanet.org.

    Reviewed by Lt. Col. Fritz Mielke

    The Military Divorce Handbook is a detailed, comprehensive, and pragmatic guide that addresses the many issues and arcane procedures unique to military divorce. As the officer in charge of a legal assistance clinic at a major Marine Corps base in eastern North Carolina, I constantly use this ABA Family Law Section treatise, as do my subordinate judge advocates. The author, retired reserve Army Col. Mark Sullivan, has taken his more than 30 years of experience as a family law practitioner and lecturer with a focus on military family matters and placed that knowledge into a single, easily readable text. ABA Family Law Section president-elect and noted Milwaukee attorney, Gregg Herman, has this comment: "Attorney Mark Sullivan brings together all the loose ends in his new treatise on military divorce. Comprehensive, yet written with numerous checklists to quickly bring everyone up to speed _ even the attorney with a first-time military divorce case."

    The need for this book is clear. According to a recent USA Today article, the divorce rate of Army officers has gone up 78 percent since the initial invasion into Iraq in 2003 and has more than tripled since 2000, before war efforts began in Afghanistan. Based on the client data that I manage, I believe the Marine Corps generally matches that trend. With Wisconsin's reservists and National Guard members being routinely mobilized, it is only a matter of time before Wisconsin family law practitioners get involved with military divorce issues.

    The book opens with nuts-and-bolts guidance about serving papers on military personnel, including specific addresses and guidance when service must be accomplished overseas under the Hague Service Convention. Another useful practice pointer is Sullivan's discussion concerning counsel for the civilian spouse exploiting a gap in the Servicemembers' Civil Relief Act (SCRA) in situations in which the military spouse faces continuing proceedings, such as visitation or child support. The chapter devoted to the SCRA is characteristic of how various military-oriented matters are handled. Sullivan devotes 38 pages to the SCRA, including a sample stay motion, two flow charts, 10 practice tips set within separately highlighted blocks, and more than 90 footnotes to SCRA citations and other resources. My subordinate judge advocates working on their first military divorces quickly get up to speed by using this text.

    The text particularly shines in its treatment of the handful of legal malpractice issues that are unique to military divorce. Perhaps the most common potential pitfall judge advocates face is the jurisdictional basis for dividing a servicemember's pension. Rather than using traditional state long-arm statutes, a court's jurisdiction over a military pension is instead based solely on 10 U.S.C. § 1408(c)(4). Sullivan's detailed trial guidance for situations when counsel for the civilian spouse should not take a default judgment against a spouse in the military, or conversely how counsel should advocate for a military respondent following a default judgment, presents information that alone is arguably worth the book's purchase price.

    Additional malpractice traps explored at length include: 1) the influence on military pension division of a Veterans Administration disability rating either less than, equal to, or greater than 50 percent; 2) the ease with which counsel for the civilian spouse can fail to protect the civilian client's survivor benefit plan annuity; 3) the effect of a career status bonus reduction on pension calculation; 4) the "20-year rule" for continued military health benefit coverage; and 5) the commonly misunderstood "10-year rule" regarding military pension eligibility.

    As an added bonus, the book includes a useful compact disc with all sample materials and resources. Examples include the Judge Advocate General's military tax outline and state court treatment of veterans' disability benefits.

    Lt. Col. Fritz Mielke, USMCR, Albany 1988, served as Officer in Charge, Legal Assistance at the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, N.C., from September 2005 to May 2007. He now serves as the Staff Judge Advocate, Marine Corps Mobilization Command, Kansas City, Mo.

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    Fundamentals of Bankruptcy Law, Sixth Edition

    Edited by Richard B. Levin (Philadelphia, PA: American Law Institute/ABA, 2006). 543 pages. $129. Order, (800) 253-6397.

    Reviewed by James W. McNeilly Jr.

    Bankruptcy law is a complex and difficult area of the law, largely statutory, practiced primarily by a small number of attorneys who devote a substantial part or all of their practice to the area. However, because bankruptcies are filed by businesses and individuals who often have other legal matters pending at the time of filing, it is likely that every lawyer, regardless of the area of law in which he or she usually practices, will sooner or later be involved in a matter that involves bankruptcy.

    This book, which is intended as an overview of bankruptcy law for students and for attorneys with little or no bankruptcy law experience, would be of benefit to lawyers involved in such matters who do not regularly practice bankruptcy law. As an introductory resource, the book does not contain any case cites or forms. In keeping with its purpose, the book focuses on bankruptcies filed under the most commonly used Chapters of the Code: 7, 11, and 13; it does not cover those filed under Chapters 9, 12, or 15.

    This edition is up to date, incorporating the major provisions of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, and contains a subject matter index for easy reference.

    The book has a unique structure, with the text in a simple narrative style on the right-hand pages and the relevant statutory language on the left-hand pages. This feature makes the book useful for even the seasoned practitioner, who can use it as a quick reference to find the statutes relevant to a particular issue.

    The book provides an easily understood explanation of the basic provisions of the Code that most often come into play in the most common bankruptcy cases.

    James W. McNeilly Jr., U.W. 1981, has been a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Panel Trustee since 1987 and is managing director of Lakelaw Wisconsin, where he focuses on business law.

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    The Cybersleuth's Guide to the Internet: Conducting Effective Investigative & Legal Research on the Web

    By Carole A. Levitt & Mark E. Rosch (Culver City, CA: Internet for Lawyers Press, 2006). 268 pgs. $59.95. Order, www.iflpress.biz.

    Reviewed by Donna M. Jones

    Are you savvy at conducting investigative and legal research on the Internet? The Cybersleuth's Guide to the Internet offers tremendous assistance for accessing vast resources on the Web. After giving a useful primer on using the Web, this detailed guide identifies numerous investigative and legal Web sites, provides specific directions for accessing their information, discusses their strengths and weaknesses, and indicates whether they are free or available for a fee (per use or by subscription).

    Cybersleuth describes how legal portals and directories offer significant resources for substantive legal research. Legal directories categorize Web sites by area of law or jurisdiction and provide links to these Web sites. Legal portals include directories and, more importantly, provide full-text keyword searchable databases of court cases or subject-specific articles about an area of law. Each of the top 10 legal directories and portals, such as FindLaw and Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute (LII), are discussed, as are criteria for assessing the quality of legal directories and portals.

    Legal and nonlegal investigative tools also are useful. Many Web sites help users locate people and background information and find experts and verify their credentials. Pretrieve.com is a meta-search site that searches numerous public records databases simultaneously. Typing in criteria once allows the user to view public records on multiple sites. Anywho.com provides telephone listings for more than 90 million consumers and 10 million businesses and updates the listings every three months and monthly, respectively. MoreLaw.com is a litigation and practice tool that provides a free jury verdicts and settlements database and offers a directory of experts. The Google Advanced Search page provides access to PowerPoint presentations posted on the Internet.

    This informative guide is updated annually. Its extensive table of contents (seven pages) and index (11 pages) reflect its detail. Many black and white illustrations of relevant computer screens are shown but are difficult to see. A sharper color contrast would better serve readers. Cybersleuth cautions that information on the Web can change quickly.

    Donna M. Jones, U.W. 1978, is president of the Nonresident Lawyers Division and a member of the State Bar Board of Governors and Executive Committee. She resides in Austell, Ga.

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    Heuristics and the Law

    Edited by Gerd Gigerenzer & Christoph Engel (Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2007). 465 pgs. $40. Order, http://mitpress.mit.edu.

    Reviewed by Barbara Fritschel

    How does the use of heuristic techniques influence legal problem-solving and decisions? (Webster defines heuristic as "involving or serving as an aid to learning, discovery, or problem-solving by experimental and especially trial-and-error methods.") Does knowing which heuristics are used in various situations help law makers make more effective laws? Are there some areas of legal procedure that are not adaptable to heuristics? Under what conditions does using heuristics produce negative or unintended results?

    This book is the work of the Dahlem Workshop, a program that looks at a variety of topics from a problem-oriented, interdisciplinary approach, and contains papers written by American and European law professors and scientists. The papers seek to address the above questions and indicate areas for future research.

    Heuristics are viewed as a possible way for explaining actual behavior which may be more accurate than other methods of decision making. One study, noted in several of the papers, demonstrated that the "pass the buck" heuristic (in this case the prosecutor's or police recommendation) had a 92 percent predictive rate for how British magistrate judges made bail decisions as opposed to looking at all of the statutory factors they were to actually consider.

    There are some practical implications in this mostly theoretical work. For example, how statistical evidence is framed affects how the statistics are understood. Suggestions also are offered for drafting laws; for example, should drug labels be required to include all possible risks and side effects or, because you believe that most people will not take time to read that information, should labels only highlight the most important or dangerous risks and side effects? Problems with using heuristics in the law also are noted, especially that of applying a heuristic outside the environment in which it arose.

    This book is not for everyone. If you are interested in theories of decision making and how they apply to the law, this is an excellent collection.

    Barbara Fritschel, U.W. 1980, is the law librarian for the U.S. Courts Library for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

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    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. Reviewers may keep the book they review. Reviews are published in the order in which they are received and may be edited for length and clarity.

    Publications available for review:

    • Alive and Kicking: Legal Advice … for Boomers! By Kenney F. Hegland & Robert B. Fleming (Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 2007). 286 pgs.
    • Constructing Core Competencies: Using Competency Models to Manage Firm Talent, by Heather Bock, Ph.D., & Robert Ruyak, JD (Chicago, IL: ABA-CLE Career Resource Center, 2006). 133 pgs.
    • Coeur du Feu / Fireheart, by Michael Cavendish (San Diego, CA: Aventine Press, 2007). 94 pgs.
    • From Law School to Law Practice: The New Associate's Guide, 3d Ed., by Suzanne B. O'Neill & Catherine Gerhauser Sparkman (Philadelphia, PA: ALI-ABA, 2008). 450 pgs.
    • How to Build and Manage an Estates Practice, 2d ed., by Daniel B. Evans (Chicago, IL: ABA Law Practice Management and Real Property, Trust and Estate Law sections, 2008). 232 pgs.
    • The Language of Law School: Learning to Think Like a Lawyer, by Elizabeth Mertz (New York, NY: Oxford Univ. Press, 2007). 308 pgs.
    • Law Lit: From Atticus Finch to the Practice _ A Collection of Great Writing About the Law, edited by Thane Rosenbaum (New York, NY: The New Press, 2007). 320 pgs.
    • Law Makers, Law Breakers, and Uncommon Trials, by Robert Aitken & Marilyn Aitken (Chicago, IL: ABA Litigation Section, 2007). 358 pgs.
    • The People's Guide to the United States Constitution, by Dave Kluge (Glendale, CA: Action Publishing, 2007). 224 pgs.
    • A Practical Guide to Medicare Appeals, by Daniel A. Cody & Kathleen Scully-Hayes (Chicago, IL: ABA Health Law Section, 2007). 412 pgs.
    • Raise the Bar: Real World Solutions for a Troubled Profession, edited by Lawrence J. Fox (Chicago, IL: ABA, 2007). 300 pgs.
    • Trial Manual for Defense Attorneys in Juvenile Court, 2d ed of the Juvenile Delinquency Chapters, by Randy Hertz, Martin Guggenheim & Anthony G. Amsterdam (Philadelphia, PA: ALI ABA, 2008). 882 pgs. w/CD-ROM.
    • Whose Monet? An Introduction to the American Legal System, by John A. Humbach (Riverwoods, IL: CCH, Wolters Kluwer, Aspen Publishers, 2007). 260 pgs.