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June Book of the Month: How to Succeed as a Trial Lawyer

San Francisco Law Library June Book of the Month - How to Succeed as a Trial Lawyer

How to Succeed as a Trial Lawyer includes everything you need to know that you didn’t learn in law school. It does not purport to be an academic treatment of the subject, but rather it provides practical pointers on everything from dealing with clients and adversaries to managing ethical dilemmas to marketing one’s practice. It is filled with practical and informational advice about litigation practice from pretrial practice to discovery, mediation and arbitration, and trials and appeals.

This useful book also includes tables of rules and a detailed index for quick references to find what you need. Each chapter concludes with a helpful checklist summarizing the major points of that chapter.

This text is a welcome addition to any litigator’s library, either to read cover to cover, or to use as a reference on a particular litigation task. It is an essentially practical, enjoyable, and useful volume.

How to Succeed as a Trial Lawyer is part of the Library’s Law Practice Management Collection.

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Law Library May Book of the Month

5.1 May BotM

Law firms are enticing targets for hackers, given the wealth of sensitive and confidential information with which they are entrusted. Moreover, hackers know that law firms have notoriously weak security. In fact, authors Daniel Garrie and Bill Spernow cite that at least 80% of leading U.S. law firms have experienced a cybersecurity breach, and many others could be completely unaware that their data has been compromised. Notwithstanding this striking vulnerability, the majority of law firms remain woefully unprepared to prevent a cyberattack or manage the resulting fallout, including ethical violations, malpractice liability, tarnishing of the firm’s reputation, and the enormous costs of investigation and lost productivity.

Law Firm Cybersecurity—a brand new publication from the ABA—guides law firms of all sizes through the “Ten Commandments” of cybersecurity and surveys the types of cyberattacks that have plagued law firms. It is essential to understand that everyone is a potential target for hackers—accordingly, the authors stress ways to frustrate hacking attempts and avoid being low-hanging fruit. They explain in plain language the security controls provided by the various types of cryptography and encryption, as well as the information security management standards promulgated by the International Organization for Standardization. There is also discussion of the role of the Legal Services Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (LS-ISAO) in defending against cybersecurity threats, as it builds a knowledge base by encouraging communication about breaches, and it collaborates with law enforcement to thwart cyberattacks and develop stronger controls. Finally, the authors set forth a comprehensive cybersecurity framework to implement at your firm, and an analysis of how to best structure your firm with internal network controls and staffing to prevent cyberattacks.

Law Firm Cybersecurity is part of the Library’s Law Practice Management Collection.

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Law Library April Book of the Month

Attorney’s Handbook of Accounting, Auditing and Financial Reporting

By D. Edward Martin, MBA, CPA, CFE

While attorneys seem to use nothing but words, words, words, sometimes even they need to use numbers too. Luckily the Law Library has the Attorney’s Handbook of Accounting, Auditing, and Financial Reporting by D. Edward Martin, a desktop reference dealing with fundamental and straightforward financial issues. True to its name, the Attorney’s Handbook helps attorneys gain a basic familiarity with major accounting, auditing, and financial reporting topics. In clear, plain language, the Handbook offers a selection of up-to-date business subjects of interest to attorneys, and also explains the various services and specialized support accountants provide for the legal profession. The text features chapters on accountants’ legal liability, reporting for not-for-profit organizations, and Securities and Exchange regulations, as well as practical examples, including sample letters, forms, and financial statements. Look for this great resource at the Library today!

The Attorney’s Handbook was part of our February 2017 Book Drive, and Vincent O’Gara generously contributed towards the purchase of this book, which we had to stop updating in 2015. Please check our website for more Book Drives throughout the year. To donate, please contact sflawlibrary@sfgov.org or call (415) 554-1791.

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Law Library March Book of the Month

Point Taken: How to Write Like the World’s Best Judges

By Ross Guberman

This terrific new book by Ross Guberman evaluates the work of 34 of the best judicial opinion-writers from Learned Hand to Antonin Scalia, and offers a step-by-step method to transform “great judicial writing” into “great writing.”
The author offers strategies for pruning clutter, adding background, guiding the reader by emphasizing key points, and adopting a narrative voice with the assistance of visual cues.
Guberman shares his style of “Must Haves,” meaning a largess of edits at the word and sentence level that make opinions more vivid, varied, confident, and enjoyable. He also outlines his style of “Nice to Haves”—similes, examples, and analogies.
The author also addresses the onerous problem of dissents, finding the best practices for dissents based on facts, doctrine, or policy.
An appendix provides the biographies of the featured judges, as well as a list of practice pointers.
This book is an entertaining read, which is relatively rare for such an informative resource.
Even if you are not a judge or a judge’s clerk, check this book out and give yourself a well-earned learned hand!
Point Taken was part of our January Book Drive, and was kindly donated to the law library by Shannon Miller at Duane Morris LLP.


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February Book of the Month

Law Library Book of the Month:

Federal Intellectual Property Codes Plus (2016-2017)

By Paul Fulbright et. Al.

Practitioners who are familiar with California Practice, Civil Pretrial will quickly recognize O’Connor’s comprehensive-yet elegant style in this compact Intellectual Property resource. Federal IP Codes Plus is a first stop for general and IP practitioners researching the Trademark Act, Copyright Act, Patent Act, Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and Regulations of the USPTO and Copyright Office. The codes are annotated with related case summaries and extensive citations to major intellectual property treatises, including McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair Competition and Nimmer on Copyright (available for further research at the San Francisco Law Library). Use the quick tabs or the extensive index to find sections—frequently broken down into annotated subsections for even quicker pinpoint referencing. Enhanced intuitive features include flag symbols that alert readers to changes, a primer on the American Invents Act, and other miscellaneous laws relating to Federal Intellectual Property. Save time by making O’Connor’s your first stop when researching Federal Intellectual Property.

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January Book of the Month

Immigration Law & The Family

By Sarah Ignatius & Elisabeth Stickney,
under the auspices of the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild

Against all obstacles of time, place, and circumstance, the major source of immigrants to the United States in any given year is comprised of the spouses, parents, children, and other relations of American citizens and legal residents. Indeed, as the authors explain in this clear and well-structured presentation of the legal labyrinth of immigration law, policy, and procedure, the stated Congressional objective of the Immigration & Nationality Act is family reunification. While the system gives preferential treatment to family members over all other classes of immigrant applicants, there is still a deep and wide sea to navigate of rules, regulations, changes in the law, special provisions for specific countries, myriad agency publications and instructions, and a welter of definitions. For immigration purposes, for example, there are six different categories for who is eligible as a “child” to acquire legal status through a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Enforcement policies raise other issues and concerns, disrupting families, through deportation or removal. All of these policies and procedures have historically evolved in the face of social, political, and humanitarian pressures and will most certainly continue to change.

Immigration Law & The Family provides a framework to analyze the INA preference system, immigration based on marriage, conditional residents, derivative beneficiaries and special cases, children, adoption, and orphans, along with procedures such as filing the visa petition, consular processing, revocation, rescission, and waivers. Useful appendices include charts outlining changes in the law and the dates within which they apply to certain classes of visas applicants, as well as forms such as sample cover letters to accompany visa petitions. A final chapter covers the rights to citizenship and naturalization.


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December Book of the Month

Collaborative Reform Initiative: An Assessment of the San Francisco Police Department

(The COPS Report)

By Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice

In response to community concern about recent SFPD officer-involved shootings, Mayor Ed Lee and former Police Chief Greg Suhr asked the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Policing to assess the SFPD’s policies and practices. The Collaborative Reform Initiative is now available in print in the Law Library and also online. In the study, the Department of Justice (DOJ) analyzed SFPD incidents and made 94 findings and 272 recommendations.

The DOJ found that the SFPD had a “lack of accountability” and used antiquated “use of force” policies. In the report, the DOJ concluded that there were “numerous indicators of implicit and institutionalized bias against minority groups.”

Disturbingly, between 2000 and 2015, the report found that there were 95 officer-involved shootings, 40 of which were fatal, but no charges were filed against officers for any of the shootings.

The report noted that there were six fatal police shootings in 2015—double the year before and the highest count in 15 years—and of the eight people fatally shot by SFPD officers since last January, four were Latino, two were black, and two were white. More than 60 percent of fatal police shootings since 2010 involved suspects with a history of mental illness. About 160 officers, or roughly 7 percent of the 2,200-strong force, were involved in the shootings. Six officers were involved in more than one.

The report includes an executive summary and detailed analyses, findings, and recommendations. For more information about police conduct and liability, the Law Library’s collection includes Police Misconduct: Law and Litigation and Police Civil Liability.