Minding the Law


Author: Anthony G. AMSTERDAM,Jerome S. Bruner,Anthony G Amsterdam
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 0674020200
Category: Law
Page: 468
View: 3254

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In this remarkable collaboration, one of the nation's leading civil rights lawyers joins forces with one of the world's foremost cultural psychologists to put American constitutional law into an American cultural context. By close readings of key Supreme Court opinions, they show how storytelling tactics and deeply rooted mythic structures shape the Court's decisions about race, family law, and the death penalty. Minding the Law explores crucial psychological processes involved in the work of lawyers and judges: deciding whether particular cases fit within a legal rule ("categorizing"), telling stories to justify one's claims or undercut those of an adversary ("narrative"), and tailoring one's language to be persuasive without appearing partisan ("rhetorics"). Because these processes are not unique to the law, courts' decisions cannot rest solely upon legal logic but must also depend vitally upon the underlying culture's storehouse of familiar tales of heroes and villains. But a culture's stock of stories is not changeless. Amsterdam and Bruner argue that culture itself is a dialectic constantly in progress, a conflict between the established canon and newly imagined "possible worlds." They illustrate the swings of this dialectic by a masterly analysis of the Supreme Court's race-discrimination decisions during the past century. A passionate plea for heightened consciousness about the way law is practiced and made, Minding the Law/tilte will be welcomed by a new generation concerned with renewing law's commitment to a humane justice. Table of Contents: 1. Invitation to a Journey 2. On Categories 3. Categorizing at the Supreme Court Missouri v. Jenkins and Michael H. v. Gerald D. 4. On Narrative 5. Narratives at Court Prigg v. Pennsylvania and Freeman v. Pitts 6. On Rhetorics 7. The Rhetorics of Death McCleskey v. Kemp 8. On the Dialectic of Culture 9. Race, the Court, and America's Dialectic From Plessy through Brown to Pitts and Jenkins 10. Reflections on a Voyage Appendix: Analysis of Nouns and Verbs in the Prigg, Pitts, and Brown Opinions Notes Table of Cases Index Reviews of this book: Amsterdam, a distinguished Supreme Court litigator, wanted to do more than share the fruits of his practical experience. He also wanted to...get students to think about thinking like a lawyer...To decode what he calls "law-think," he enlisted the aid of the venerable cognitive psychologist Jerome Bruner...[and] the collaboration has resulted in [this] unusual book. --James Ryerson, Lingua Franca Reviews of this book: It is hard to imagine a better time for the publication of Minding the Law, a brilliant dissection of the court's work by two eminent scholars, law professor Anthony G. Amsterdam and cultural anthropologist Jerome Bruner...Issue by issue, case by case, Amsterdam and Bruner make mincemeat of the court's handling of the most important constitutional issue of the modern era: how to eradicate the American legacy of race discrimination, especially against blacks. --Edward Lazarus, Los Angeles Times Book Review Reviews of this book: This book is a gem...[Its thesis] is easily stated but remarkably unrecognized among a shockingly large number of lawyers and law professors: law is a storytelling enterprise thoroughly entrenched in culture....Whereas critical legal theorists have talked among themselves for the past two decades, Amsterdam and Bruner seek to engage all of us in a dialogue. For that, they should be applauded. --Daniel R. Williams, New York Law Journal Reviews of this book: In Minding the Law, Anthony Amsterdam and Jerome Bruner show us how the Supreme Court creates the magic of inevitability. They are angry at what they see. Their book is premised on the conviction that many of the choices made in Supreme Court opinions 'lack any justification in the text'...Their method is to analyze the text of opinions and to show how the conclusions reached do not always follow from the logic of the argument. They also show how the Court casts its rhetoric like a spell, mesmerizing its audience, and making the highly contingent shine with the light of inevitability. --Mitchell Goodman, News and Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina) Reviews of this book: What do controversial Supreme Court decisions and classic age-old tales of adultery, villainy, and combat have in common? Everything--at least in the eyes of [Amsterdam and Bruner]. In this substantial study, which is equal parts dense and entertaining, the authors use theoretical discussions of literary technique and myths to expose what they see as the secret intentions of Supreme Court opinions...Studying how lawyers and judges employ the various literary devices at their disposal and noting the similarities between legal thinking and classic tactics of storytelling and persuasion, they believe, can have 'astonishing consciousness-retrieving effects'...The agile minds of Amsterdam and Bruner, clearly storehouses of knowledge on a range of subjects, allow an approach that might sound far-fetched occasionally but pays dividends in the form of gained perspective--and amusement. --Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn, Washington Times Reviews of this book: Stories and the way judges-intentionally or not-categorize and spin them, are as responsible for legal rulings as logic and precedent, Mr. Amsterdam and Mr. Bruner said. Their novel attempt to reach into the psyche of...members of the Supreme Court is part of a growing interest in a long-neglected and cryptic subject: the psychology of judicial decision-making. --Patricia Cohen, New York Times Most law professors teach by the 'case method,' or say they do. In this fascinating book, Anthony Amsterdam--a lawyer--and Jerome Bruner--a psychologist--expose how limited most case 'analysis' really is, as they show how much can be learned through the close reading of the phrases, sentences, and paragraphs that constitute an opinion (or other pieces of legal writing). Reading this book will undoubtedly make one a better lawyer, and teacher of lawyers. But the book's value and interest goes far beyond the legal profession, as it analyzes the way that rhetoric--in law, politics, and beyond--creates pictures and convictions in the minds of readers and listeners. --Sanford Levinson, author of Constitutional Faith Tony Amsterdam, the leader in the legal campaign against the death penalty, and Jerome Bruner, who has struggled for equal justice in education for forty years, have written a guide to demystifying legal reasoning. With clarity, wit, and immense learning, they reveal the semantic tricks lawyers and judges sometimes use--consciously and unconsciously--to justify the results they want to reach. --Jack Greenberg, Professor of Law, Columbia Law School

Minding Your Own Business

The Solo and Small Firm Lawyer's Guide to a Profitable Practice
Author: Ann M. Guinn
Publisher: American Bar Association
ISBN: 9781604427899
Category: Law
Page: 215
View: 2122

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Small firm lawyers often get caught in the crossfire of practicing law and managing a business all at the same time. Commitments and interests levels may weigh more heavily on defending the freedoms guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution vs. calculating overtime pay for staff. They may be more interested in ensuring our legal system works, but not so interested in developing marketing strategies to attract new business.

Minding Justice

Laws that Deprive People with Mental Disability of Life and Liberty
Author: Christopher Slobogin
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674022041
Category: Law
Page: 381
View: 7658

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"Minding Justice" offers a comprehensive examination of the laws governing the punishment, detention, and protection of people with mental disabilities. A milestone in criminal mental health law, this book provides innovative solutions to ancient problems associated with criminal responsibility, protection of society from "dangerous" individuals, and the state's authority to act paternalistically.

Storytelling for Lawyers


Author: Philip Meyer
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199910618
Category: Law
Page: 256
View: 3300

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Good lawyers have an ability to tell stories. Whether they are arguing a murder case or a complex financial securities case, they can capably explain a chain of events to judges and juries so that they understand them. The best lawyers are also able to construct narratives that have an emotional impact on their intended audiences. But what is a narrative, and how can lawyers go about constructing one? How does one transform a cold presentation of facts into a seamless story that clearly and compellingly takes readers not only from point A to point B, but to points C, D, E, F, and G as well? In Storytelling for Lawyers, Phil Meyer explains how. He begins with a pragmatic theory of the narrative foundations of litigation practice and then applies it to a range of practical illustrative examples: briefs, judicial opinions and oral arguments. Intended for legal practitioners, teachers, law students, and even interdisciplinary academics, the book offers a basic yet comprehensive explanation of the central role of narrative in litigation. The book also offers a narrative tool kit that supplements the analytical skills traditionally emphasized in law school as well as practical tips for practicing attorneys that will help them craft their own legal stories.

Visualizing Law in the Age of the Digital Baroque

Arabesques and Entanglements
Author: Richard K. Sherwin
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415612934
Category: Art
Page: 256
View: 5579

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Visualizing Law in the Age of the Digital Baroque explores the profound impact that visual digital technologies are having on the practice, theory, and teaching of law. Today, lawyers, judges, and lay jurors face a vast array of visual evidence and visual argument. From videos documenting injuries, crimes, and accidents, to computer displays of their digital simulation, increasingly, the search for fact-based justice inside the courtroom is becoming an offshoot of visual meaning- making'. But when law migrates to the screen it lives there as other images do, motivating belief and judgment on the basis of visual delight and unconscious fantasies and desires as well as actualities. Law as image also reflects current cultural anxieties concerning not only the truth of the image, but also the mimetic capacity itself, the human ability to represent reality. What is real, and what is simulation? This is the hallmark of the baroque, when dreams fold into dreams, like an all too vivid video game or immersion in a seemingly endless matrix of digital appearances. As the reality of fact-based justice recedes, laws proliferate within a field of uncertainty and longing. Left unchecked, this condition of ontological and ethical uneasiness threatens the legitimacy of law's claim to power. To meet this crisis, Visualizing Law in the Age of the Digital Baroque offers both a cultural diagnostic, identifying the contemporary cultural conditions in which law lives as a digital image on the screen, and a normative response, arguing for an affirmative, post-positivist jurisprudential paradigm that is adequate to the challenge these conditions present.

Are the Lips a Grave?

A Queer Feminist on the Ethics of Sex
Author: Lynne Huffer
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231535775
Category: Literary Criticism
Page: 264
View: 6118

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Lynne Huffer's ambitious inquiry redresses the rift between feminist and queer theory, traversing the space of a new, post-moral sexual ethics that includes pleasure, desire, connection, and betrayal. She begins by balancing queer theorists' politics of sexual freedoms with a moralizing feminist politics that views sexuality as harm. Drawing on the best insights from both traditions, she builds an ethics centered on eros, following Michel Foucault's ethics as a practice of freedom and Luce Irigaray's lyrical articulation of an ethics of sexual difference. Through this theoretical lens, Huffer examines everyday experiences of ethical connection and failure connected to sex, including queer sexual practices, sodomy laws, interracial love, pornography, and work-life balance. Her approach complicates sexual identities while challenging the epistemological foundations of subjectivity. She rethinks ethics "beyond good and evil" without underestimating, as some queer theorists have done, the persistence of what Foucault calls the "catastrophe" of morality. Elaborating a thinking-feeling ethics of the other, Huffer encourages contemporary intellectuals to reshape sexual morality from within, defining an ethical space that is both poetically suggestive and politically relevant, both conceptually daring and grounded in common sexual experience.

Minding the Machines

Preventing Technological Disasters
Author: William M. Evan,Mark Manion
Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional
ISBN: 9780130656469
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 485
View: 325

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A provocative and authoritative guide to understanding the questions surrounding technology disasters that occur, with a blueprint for the prevention of future disasters, this book looks at over three dozen case studies and the lessons learned from them.

Who is Minding the Federal Estate?

Political Management of America's Public Lands
Author: Holly Lippke Fretwell
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 9780739131015
Category: Political Science
Page: 157
View: 985

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Who Is Minding the Federal Estate? takes the reader on a tour of America's public lands from their history to their current state. Looking from the inside-out and the outside-in, this book helps those interested in conservation and environmental protection gain an understanding of the logic behind public land management. The author invites the reader to be daring and innovative, opening a box of new tools for potential reform that would advance public land stewardship.

Minding the Helm:

Marine Navigation and Piloting
Author: Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences,Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems,Marine Board
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 030904829X
Category: Technology & Engineering
Page: 530
View: 9825

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Large ships transporting hazardous cargoes, notorious marine accidents, and damage to marine ecosystems from tanker spills have heightened public concern for the safe navigation of ships. This new volume offers a complete, highly readable assessment of marine navigation and piloting. It addresses the application of new technology to reduce the probability of accidents, controversies over the effectiveness of waterways management and marine pilotage, and navigational decisionmaking. The book also explores the way pilots of ships and tugs are trained, licensed, and held accountable. Minding the Helm approaches navigational safety from the perspectives of risk assessment and the integration of human, technological, and organizational systems. Air and marine traffic regulation methods are compared, including the use of vessel traffic services. With a store of current information and examples, this document will be indispensable to federal and state pilotage and licensing authorities and marine traffic regulators, the Coast Guard, pilot associations, and the shipping and towing industries. It will also interest individuals involved in waterway design, marine education, and the marine environment.

Older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans People

Minding the Knowledge Gaps
Author: Andrew King,Kathryn Almack,Yiu-Tung Suen,Sue Westwood
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131724110X
Category: Health & Fitness
Page: 218
View: 8048

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What does it mean to grow older as a lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans (LGBT) person? What gaps in knowledge about LGBT ageing remain? This timely and innovative book reports on a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council which aimed to address gaps in knowledge about older LGBT people and their experiences of ageing. The book discusses the project and contains chapters either specially commissioned or written by leading researchers and activists in the field. Informed by a range of theoretical perspectives, empirical research studies, critical observations as well as lived experiences, this book explores areas of LGBT ageing that have been under-studied. These include: bisexual ageing; trans ageing and older trans people’s mental health; ethnicity, culture and religion in the lives of older LGBT people and gaps in knowledge about older LGBT people from minority ethnic communities; intergenerational networks; residential and end-of-life care; and the effects of austerity on services. Written in an accessible style, this book is essential for researchers and policy makers interested in the lives of older LGBT people, people who work with older people and teachers and students interested in ageing, gender identity and sexuality.

Power and Legitimacy

Law, Culture, and Literature
Author: Anne Quéma
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
ISBN: 1442619295
Category: Law
Page: 376
View: 1951

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An interdisciplinary analysis of the ways in which symbolic acts create social norms, Power and Legitimacy is an important contribution to the growing body of scholarship on law and literature. Drawing on the theoretical insights of Judith Butler and Pierre Bourdieu, Anne Quéma demonstrates the effect of symbolic violence on the creation of social and political legitimacy. Examining modern jurisprudence theory, statutory law, and the family within the modern Gothic novel, Quéma shows how the forms and effects of political power transform as one shifts from discourse to discourse. An impressive integration of the scholarship in these three fields, Power and Legitimacy is a thought-provoking analysis of the basis of power and the law.

Minding the Future

Revitalizing Learning Cultures Through Teacher Leadership
Author: Angeline A. Anderson,Susan K. Borg,Stephanie L. Edgar
Publisher: Corwin Press
ISBN: 1544318308
Category: Education
Page: 168
View: 6515

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Harness the power of teacher collaboration and engagement to see real results for students! Welcome to Transform Academy, a boundary-breaking professional-learning process that challenges schools to move beyond accountability standards and toward innovative learning that ignites student engagement. Centered on teacher voice and grounded in foundations of collaboration and data-informed planning, Transform Academy comes to life through its stories, while accompanying action steps help you implement the process along with strategies to inspire personalized instruction and redesign learning environments. Other supports include: Detailed and inspiring vignettes Relevant research connections Questions for discussion Activities and prompts for individuals and teams Links to professional-learning standards

The Law


Author: Frederic Bastiat
Publisher: Cosimo, Inc.
ISBN: 1596059648
Category: Business & Economics
Page: 68
View: 1350

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French political libertarian and economist CLAUDE FRDRIC BASTIAT (1801-1850) was one of the most eloquent champions of the concept that property rights and individual freedoms flowed from natural law. Here, in this 1850 classic, a powerful refutation of Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto, published two years earlier, Bastiat discusses: . what is law? . why socialism constitutes legal plunder . the proper function of the law . the law and morality . "the vicious circle of socialism" . the basis for stable government . and more.

Law and Literature


Author: Richard A. Posner
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674032460
Category: Law
Page: 570
View: 1600

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Law and Literature is the only book-length treatment of a widely popular subject that is drawing considerable academic attention. Leading legal scholar Richard Posner believes that courses and scholarship in law and literature provide an attractive alternative to courses and scholarship in jurisprudence (philosophy of law), especially since the study of literature can assist lawyers and judges by sharpening their rhetorical skills. The revised edition features considerable new material, including a consideration of plagiarism as well as discussions of novels that grapple with issues very pertinent today, such as illegal immigration, global warming, bioterrorism, surveillance, artificial reproduction, and virtual reality. Posner also discusses the role of the law in popular literature, movies, and television.