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June Book Drive

Book Drive

Each month we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the month of June. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

This month we are hoping to replace two popular resources that have gone missing from our collection:

CEB Construction Contracts Defects and LitigationCalifornia Construction Contracts, Defects, and Litigation, 4th ed.
Written by James Acret et al.
$415, Loose-leaf, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-76262-599-4

California Construction Law ManualCalifornia Construction Law Manual, 2018–2019 ed.
Written by James Acret
$307, Paperback, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-53922-973-5


Thank you to author Heidi K. Brown for generously donating her two books Untangling Fear in Lawyering: A Four-Step Journey Toward Powerful Advocacy (part of the May Book Drive) and The Introverted Lawyer: A Seven-Step Journey Toward Authentically Empowered Advocacy.


To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791. We appreciate your contribution!

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May Book of the Month: Closing the Courthouse Door

51o5FtK+zsL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Closing the Courthouse Door: How Your Constitutional Rights Became Unenforceable
By Erwin Chemerinsky
Reviewed by Andrea Woods, Reference Librarian

Esteemed constitutional law scholar Erwin Chemerinsky wrote Closing the Courthouse Door: How Your Constitutional Rights Became Unenforceable after decades of mounting frustration over how Supreme Court jurisprudence has chipped away at the ability of the federal courts to perform their most important and basic task—to enforce the Constitution. He examines how the Court has limited the ability of a plaintiff to sue state and local governments for constitutional violations, expanded immunity protection for government officers, narrowed the instances where the court will find standing for injured parties, restricted access to habeas corpus, thwarted plaintiffs from suing in class actions, and increased abstention by finding more and more cases are nonjusticiable political questions. The result of the Court’s expansion of these procedural doctrines is that many citizens are left with no remedy when their constitutional rights are violated. Chemerinsky eloquently and passionately argues that the role of the Constitution is to hold the government and its officers accountable to those whose constitutional rights have been infringed upon, and if the federal courts are not able to enforce the Constitution, then it is as if those rights did not exist at all.

Most disturbing in this snowballing trend is that the procedural doctrines the Court has expanded are entirely the Court’s own creation—they are not based on the Constitution, and they are not founded on federal statutes. For example, the defense of immunity for government officers is not found in the language of section 1983, which creates a private right of action against government officials who deprive a person of a constitutional right. Not only did the Court create this defense, but it found that some tasks warrant absolute immunity, even for the most egregious violations of a constitutional right, and even when officials act in a way that clearly exceeded their authority. Chemerinsky maintains that there is no need for absolute immunity at all because all officials have qualified immunity, but even here, the Court has made it increasingly difficult for plaintiffs to recover for their injuries by continually expanding the scope and availability of the defense.

Throughout Closing the Courthouse Door, Chemerinsky cites example after heartbreaking example where a person was left with no recourse after their constitutional rights were trampled. Because of one procedural doctrine or another, the federal courts were left unable to enforce the Constitution. Chemerinsky notes that this should be a bipartisan issue, and in fact, he surmises that many conservatives should theoretically welcome the idea of holding the government accountable for its actions. He optimistically concludes each chapter with a suggested path forward, where either the Court itself or Congress could act to rectify these erroneous doctrines. In many cases, the changes he presses for would only restore the law to what it was several years ago, before more restrictive holdings were announced. Chemerinsky posits that the federal courts have been diminished as a co-equal branch of government as a result of abstaining from hearing many types of cases, and that we as a nation should want our courts to be able to ensure that constitutional wrongs can be righted.


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May Book Drive

Book Drive

Each month we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the month of May. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

Strategic NetworkingStrategic Networking for Introverts, Extroverts, and Everyone in Between
Written by Carol Schiro Greenwald
$65.95, Paperback, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-64105-377-8

Untangling Fear in Lawyering

Donated!
Untangling Fear in Lawyering: A Four-Step Journey Toward Powerful Advocacy
Written by Heidi K. Brown

Sharia LawSharia (Islamic Law) in the Contemporary World: A Legal Research Guide
Written by Christopher Anglim
$79, Paperback, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-83774-005-8 


Thank you to James Michel for generously donating John Lennon vs. The USA: The Inside Story of the Most Bitterly Contested and Influential Deportation Case in United States History, part of our August 2018 Book Drive.

Thank you to Althea Kippes for generously donating both books from our February Book Drive — California Animal Laws Handbook, 2019 and The Art of Fact Investigation.

Thank you to Brenna Moorhead for generously donating Dred Scott v. Sandford: Opinions and Contemporary Commentary, from our May 2018 Book Drive.

Please take a look at our Book Drive page to see Wish List items from prior months. We are still wishing for these books!


To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791. We appreciate your contribution!


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April Book Drive

Book Drive

Each month we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the month of April. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

The Trial Lawyer
The Trial Lawyer: What It Takes to Win, 2nd ed.
Written by David Berg
$99.95, Paperback, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-64105-110-1

The ABA is offering 25% off with promo code REVIEW19

Representing People with Mental Disabilities
Representing People with Mental Disabilities: A Practical Guide for Criminal Defense Lawyers
Edited by Elizabeth Kelley
$49.95, Paperback, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-64105-176-7

The ABA is offering 25% off with promo code REVIEW19

Internet of ThingsInternet of Things (IoT): Legal Issues, Policy, & Practical Strategies
Edited by Cynthia H. Cwik, Christopher A. Suarez, and Lucy L. Thomson
$89.95, Paperback, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-64105-364-8


Thank you to James Michel for generously donating John Lennon vs. The USA: The Inside Story of the Most Bitterly Contested and Influential Deportation Case in United States History, part of our August 2018 Book Drive.

Thank you to Althea Kippes for generously donating both books from our February Book Drive — California Animal Laws Handbook, 2019 and The Art of Fact Investigation.

Thank you to Brenna Moorhead for generously donating Dred Scott v. Sandford: Opinions and Contemporary Commentary, from our May 2018 Book Drive.

Please take a look at our Book Drive page to see Wish List items from prior months. We are still wishing for these books!


To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791. We appreciate your contribution!


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April Book of the Month: The Library Book

library-book-medThe Library Book
By Susan Orlean
Reviewed by Courtney Nguyen, Reference Librarian

Fire. Stolen books. Lawsuits. Threats of eviction. Lack of funding.

Susan Orlean writes about nearly everything that a library fears in The Library Book, her fascinating and deeply researched account of the 1986 fire that destroyed the Central Public Library of Los Angeles. Like the best modern public libraries, Orlean’s extraordinary book is difficult to define: The Library Book is a true crime story of an unsolved arson case from the 1980s; a chronicle of the Los Angeles Public Library and her colorful directors, librarians, and patrons; a study of the evolving role of the library in American society; and a memoir of a lifelong reader and library patron. The sprawling cast of characters includes an aspiring actor with a penchant for lying (and perhaps fire); an eighteen-year-old female library director whose father had to walk her home from work because of her age; and a librarian who sneakily read “dangerous” books kept locked in a metal cage in the basement during her lunch break. All of these elements and more come together to form a sweeping panorama of the public library’s unique place in the community and people’s lives.

Just as a library contains different subjects and genres to appeal to a wide audience, so too does Orlean offer something for everyone by looking at the fire and the institution of libraries from various and oftentimes surprising angles. The chapter devoted to the actual April 29, 1986 blaze rivals the intensity of any action film, while her sobering examination of the practice of book burning frames the fire in a new devastating light. Orlean’s search for the possible arsonist is as riveting as any true crime serial, and her journalism background moves to the forefront as she follows suspects, detectives, firemen, city attorneys, and those charged with dealing with the aftermath of the destruction. Library enthusiasts can delight in the (often cheeky) card catalog headings that open each chapter before reading about the inner workings of a modern public library and what librarians actually do all day. Orlean’s book also serves as a history of the library and Los Angeles from the 1800s to the present-day, for a history of a public library will inevitably also be a history of a city and a community.

Orlean writes that “[A] library is as much a portal as it is a place—it is a transit point, a passage.” The same could be said of her book, which serves as both a record of fires and eccentric librarians as well as a portal to thinking about the importance and future of libraries. The book makes a strong case for the idea that libraries are embedded in a city physically and mentally—physically in the form of the actual buildings as well as through the constant transportation of library materials to the different branches, running like veins through the city; and mentally in the knowledge they guard and the memories they hold for both lifelong and casual patrons. Perhaps we are biased, but The Library Book is essential reading for everyone in any community. Find this book in its natural habitat at a public library today, including ours.


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March Book of the Month: The Legal Career

The Legal CareerThe Legal Career: Knowing the Business, Thriving in Practice
By Katrina Lee
Reviewed by Andrea Woods, Reference Librarian

The Legal Career: Knowing the Business, Thriving in Practice is a useful new book from West Academic Publishing that provides a thorough examination of the state of the legal industry today. It is oriented toward law students and aims to help them understand the business of law and how to navigate within the legal profession as they set out on their careers. This book is also appropriate for new lawyers or those with an interest in evaluating the changes that have occurred in law and better positioning themselves for a successful career.

Author Katrina Lee is well-versed in the legal profession. She is a San Francisco native who attended UC Berkeley, became an equity partner in a large law firm, served on the Board of Directors of the Bar Association of San Francisco, and is now an associate clinical professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. With her vast experience, she takes readers on an insiders’ tour of the legal industry, beginning with the traditional law firm business model, and then exploring how legal process outsourcing and legal services outsourcing have transformed the modern practice of law. Lee goes on to examine how in-house practice is evolving and also drives further change in the legal field in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Subsequent chapters cover the seismic advances in legal technology that have transpired, changes in ethics and the unauthorized practice of law as some states move to allow legal technicians, how the legal field is changing to serve low and middle income people, innovations in legal education to equip new lawyers for this brave new world, and finally, how to find satisfaction and even happiness amid the pressures and stress of law practice.

In all, The Legal Career is exceptional in the amount of detail and insight it provides into the inner workings of the legal profession and the fast-paced changes that are currently shaking it up. Most notable are the in-depth interviews that Lee conducts with industry insiders that span everyone from knowledge management professionals and legal tech entrepreneurs, to Big Law associates and “alternative model law firm” founders. This invaluable insider information is the gem of the book.

The Legal Career was kindly donated to the Law Library by author Katrina Lee.


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March Book Drive

Book Drive

Each month we will seek donors to purchase a new title for the Law Library. Here is our Wish List for the month of March. Growing our collection is about so much more than a single book—it is a living demonstration of how the Library expands the public’s access to justice and provides legal practitioners with the tools they need to represent members of our local community. Please see our Donation Guide for more ways to support the Law Library.

Entertainment Law
Entertainment Law: Fundamentals and Practice
Written by Corey Field
$122.95, Paperback, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-51652-429-7

2019 Legal Technology Guide
The 2019 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide
Written by Sharon D. Nelson et al.
$89.95, Paperback, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-64105-375-4

CA Administrative Law

California Administrative Law: A Legal Research Guide
Written by Caitlin Hunter
$79, Paperback, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-8377-4088-1


Thank you to Althea Kippes for generously donating both books from our February Book Drive — California Animal Laws Handbook, 2019 and The Art of Fact Investigation.

Thank you to Brenna Moorhead for generously donating Dred Scott v. Sandford:
Opinions and Contemporary Commentary
, from our May 2018 Book Drive.

Please take a look at our Book Drive page to see Wish List items from prior months. We are still wishing for these books!


To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.orgor call (415) 554-1791. We appreciate your contribution!