Books, we've got books! Book stack book review

Books, we’ve got books!

My editor’s column in the June issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine offers a few reading suggestions for the long hot summer. Each of the three I mention is compelling in its own way. I’m sure I’ll have some more suggestions as we move into the fall.

One of the books I mention is titled The Widow Wave. If you’d like an excellent and more substantial review of that book, head over to the Tennessee Bar Journal, where lawyer-reviewer David Wade explains what makes the book terrific.

It’s summer, and the reading is easy. Here are a few suggestions.

Yes, you are allowed to read books in the fall too—or any other season. But it’s a magazine mainstay to offer summer-reading choices. So sue me. But first read these books, after which you’ll be able to sue me better.

If you like your legal works legally accurate and insightful, launch into a book written by an Arizona lawyer and former law prof, aptly named Law Prof. Author Kenney Hegland takes us on a jaunty ride.

Law Prof by Kenney Hegland book cover

Hegland may have taught many of our readers when he professed at the UA Law School, and he impresses and intrigues in this novel. The book tells the tale of a retired law professor who re-emerges from retirement to assist his trial-lawyer daughter with a wrongful-death case. And so he plays the role—armchair adviser—that all of us readers play. He is one of us, our navigator.

Hegland may have had law students in mind as he wrote. The “law” parts are carefully explained, and the discursive sidebars make all the issues—even clear ones—more clear.

The ride may not be highly challenging for experienced trial lawyers, but it is rewarding and well written. And if there is a young lawyer in your life, passing on a copy of Law Prof could amuse and educate all in one.

The Rules of Action by Landon Napoleon came out last year but remains a favorite. It’s 1970s Phoenix, and a lawyer doggedly pursues a case regarding terrible neglect in nursing homes. Ripped from the headlines, it will satisfy the reader who wants the legal details correct but imbued with noir pot-boiling.

The Rules of Action by Landon Napolean book cover_opt

Adding to readers’ pleasure is the accurate Arizona legal history and the suspicion that you know the lawyer described within. Muse away.

Finally, The Widow Wave is a nonfiction retelling of a trial following the death of five men on a commercial fishing boat off in the Pacific Ocean off San Francisco. The author is Jay Jacobs, an attorney and former sailor and officer in the merchant marine. He represented the captain’s widow when she was sued by one of the men’s survivors.

No physical evidence, no eyewitnesses, and a three-week jury trial make for great reading. Just as gripping is Jacobs’s willingness to reveal his trial missteps. Experienced lawyers will appreciate tracking the trials’ shifting fortunes. And younger ones will benefit from a true tale of trial tactics, warts and all.

The Widow Wave by Jay Jacobs book cover_opt

What are you reading this year? Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

The Bill of Rights, illustrated and elucidated in a new book by Bob McWhirter and published by the American Bar Association.

The Bill of Rights, illustrated and elucidated in a new book by Bob McWhirter and published by the American Bar Association.

For years now, we at Arizona Attorney Magazine have been big fans of Bob McWhirter’s legal history and scholarship. He has published many of his “illustrated histories” in our pages—and that even led to a book, now published by the American Bar Association. (I wrote about it here.)

Now, we’ve learned that his book—the cover, specifically—has won an esteemed award. It received honors from Graphic Design USA in its American Inhouse Design Awards.

No wonder: The cover is beautifully done, a worthy and accurate preview of the visually complex volume that comes behind it. Congratulations!

(Buy the book? Sure you can! Go here for the paperback version, or here for the hard-cover version.)

In other Bob news, you can watch a video interview with him and the Legal Broadcast Network. As you listen to the dialogue, I think you’ll understand how infectious is his love for legal history.

Bills, Quills and Stills book cover honored with a national design award.

Bills, Quills and Stills book cover honored with a national design award.

And you can also watch a preview of a “CLE Snippet” video I taped with Bob. (The complete video, which costs money but gives you CLE, is here.)

Ties that bind: Bob McWhirter, left, and Arizona Attorney Editor Tim Eigo (me!) after taping of a "CLE Snippet" on Bob's Second Amendment article.

Ties that bind: Bob McWhirter, left, and Arizona Attorney Editor Tim Eigo (me!) after taping of a “CLE Snippet” on Bob’s Second Amendment article.

Most recently, we ran a two-part article by Bob on the topic of the Second Amendment. That yielded a robust series of letters to the editor in the magazine, as well as this online commentary.

What were your thoughts on Bob’s article, or on his visual approach to history generally? Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Attorney Rodney Glassman speaks to educators at the Madison Elementary District offices, Sept. 15, 2014.

Attorney Rodney Glassman speaks to educators at the Madison Elementary District offices, Sept. 15, 2014.

On Monday, educators gathered at a school district office to hear about an initiative that aids literacy—environmental and otherwise.

Attorney Rodney Glassman spoke to the group at the Madison School District offices about the series of books featuring Jeremy Jackrabbit—a creation of his and his wife Sasha Glassman (also a lawyer, as well as a school board member in Madison).

Glassman Jeremy Jackrabbit 4 book character

Jeremy Jackrabbit

An upcoming issue of Arizona Attorney Magazine will describe the book project—the fourth in the series. When the student illustration contest is complete and the book is done next spring, almost 60,000 kindergartners around the state will be treated to a free copy of this year’s “Jeremy Jackrabbit Saves Every Drop.”

For more information (for you or the youth artists in your life):

Once the story in our October issue is live, I’ll share that here too. And then, come spring, we’ll tell you how the initiative is hip-hopping along.

What, the IKEA catalog is a bookbook? What could be better?

What, the IKEA catalog is a bookbook? What could be better?

Yesterday, I admired the writing and images in a national magazine. Today, I’m all about a consumer catalog. (You may start to think I like print products or something.)

On this Change of Venue Friday, I take you to IKEA. Not literally to IKEA, of course, but to an online offering of theirs that makes you smile.

The video the company created (see below) is in honor of its iconic print catalog—hundreds of pages of dead trees that modern thinking suggests is decidedly passe. But—no surprise—IKEA doesn’t agree. Enjoy its take, not an an ebook, but on a “bookbook.”

 

You can read more about the video in this Adweek story.

The “creative” behind the video is very, very smart. It skewers and parodies the manner of selling modern digital products. By the time they’re done you not only want to get your hands on the print catalog. You also will never be able to watch a solemn and self-important technology commercial ever again.

Have a wonderful weekend, and maybe stop by IKEA – now there’s a Stockholm syndrome I can get behind.

Disrobed cover by Fred BlockThis past month, I wrote about a great new book—and a terrific lunch with judges that introduced me to it.

Below, I share my column from a recent Arizona Attorney Magazine. I encourage you to enjoy Judge Fred Block’s new book, and to dig into some Chinese food. Here’s the column:

Candor and courts go together like professional and conduct.

That’s true from the attorney’s side, where we understand that statements uttered to judges must be true and accurate.

But the return flow of information from judges may not always be quite so candid.

Before anyone yells “Contempt,” understand I’m not viewing candor’s opposite as dishonesty. Instead, it’s guardedness and caution—characteristics that describe many judges.

Judges have good reason to hesitate before speaking about courts and the justice system. Nonetheless, most people appreciate the occasional glimpses they offer into a system often shrouded in mystery.

And that’s why I’m glad I accepted an April lunch date with two judges.

The first was the wonderful Judge Bob Gottsfield, of the Superior Court for Maricopa County. Accompanying him was a federal district judge from New York, Fred Block. Judge Block was presiding at a trial at the federal courthouse in Phoenix.

We met at Sing High Chop Suey House—a first for me. What brought us together was a conversation about the legal system—and a book that Judge Block had penned.

Sing High Chop Suey HouseAs I tucked into my white-meat chicken chow mein (a house specialty), I listened with pleasure to the law practice stories Judge Block told. He avoided commentary about his book, politely preferring to have a conversation rather than a press junket.

So impressed was I by the chat and by the judge that I ordered the book from Amazon the next day. And I urge you to do the same.

Disrobed: An Inside Look at the Life and Work of a Federal Trial Judge is that rarest of animals: a candid book written by a sitting judge. His story—from a solo law practice to an Article III Judge—makes for enjoyable reading. And the cases he analyzes range from front-page fodder to colorful New York. Scanning the index gives an education: “Bondi, Richard ‘The Lump,’” “Madoff, Bernie,” “Casso, Anthony ‘Gaspipe.’”

Judge Frederic Block

Judge Frederic Block

In between bites, the judge explained that too few people understand anything about the justice system, let alone what a district judge does. He hoped his book would go some distance in educating the public.

I haven’t finished the book, but what comes through is voice with a capital V. As I prepare for May, when I’ll be writing a lawyer profile, I will devour and learn from Disrobeda masterful rendition of a profession, a time, a man and his many chapters.

Plus, I can’t wait to get to “Gravano, Salvatore ‘Sammy the Bull,’” and “Simpson, O.J.”

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor

By now, you’ve heard about a new book being launched, written by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. It’s titled Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court.

Happy Change of Venue Friday. For those of you (OK, me) hoping for the excavation of a few skeletons from the Court’s many closets, we’re likely to be disappointed. Here’s how an ABA Journal news story opens:

“Readers hoping for juicy revelations about controversial Supreme Court cases or ‘tell all’ insights won’t find them in Sandra Day O’Connor’s latest book.”

“But those looking for a ‘succinct, snappy account’ of the Supreme Court’s history should pick up the latest book by the retired justice, the New York Times reports. The Christian Science Monitor also has a review of the book, Out of Order: Stories from the History of the Supreme Court.”

(The whole story is here.)

Out of Order Sandra Day OConnor bookSuccinct and snappy are grand, just grand. But throw us a bone. I’m not expecting garish displays or jaw-dropping pronouncements. But something. Anything.

  • Does Justice Scalia slurp his soup?
  • Does Justice Kennedy irritate other Justices by earmarking the pages of books? (And is that really why Justice Souter retired?)
  • Does Justice Ginsberg sneak extra Jell-O in the Court’s dining room?
  • Does Chief Justice Roberts park badly, causing his next-door parker to put nasty notes on his windshield, and maybe, just maybe, to dissent more often as retribution?

You see where I’m going here. We want a little insight. But I suppose I’ll have to wait for a less courteous member of the Court to retire for that enticing volume to appear.

That said, I too will likely read the book. (Or, as the Justices stoutly declare, “I join.”) And if I know anything about Justice O’Connor, I’ll learn quite a bit in the process.

And if you want to buy what looks like a great book, it is available here.

Have a great weekend.

Former Arizona Chief Justice Lorna Lockwood

Former Arizona Chief Justice Lorna Lockwood

I’ve written before about how much I enjoy a good book review. And as January is about to close, I point to another great review in this month’s Arizona Attorney.

The author this month is esteemed lawyer (and past State Bar President) Mark Harrison. He is a good writer, but to make his task easier, he wrote about a great woman—Lorna Lockwood.

Arizona’s first woman Chief Justice is described well in the book Lady Law, by author Sonja White David. Here is how Mark opens his review:

Lady Law Lorna Lockwood book cover“In 1960, Lorna Lockwood became the first female Justice on the Supreme Court of Arizona. In 1965, she became the first female Chief Justice of any state Supreme Court in the nation. Justice Lockwood’s remarkable story is beautifully captured in Lady Law, a book written by Sonja White David, a resident of Mesa. In a way that Justice Lockwood surely would have appreciated, the author describes how a small-town girl from Douglas and Tombstone, Arizona, defied the odds and blazed the way for women in the law. In the process, Justice Lockwood left a significant and indelible mark on the law of Arizona.”

“Lady Law would be an enriching read for all Arizona lawyers, but it will be an inspiration for young girls and women. As Ms. David describes Justice Lockwood’s journey, she explains how Justice Lockwood was rebuffed and discouraged, not surprisingly by the male establishment, from pursuing her ambition to become a lawyer. As we now know, the pioneering role of Justice Lockwood was a harbinger of things to come; in the half century since Justice Lockwood was elected to the Supreme Court, the percentage of women in law schools has equaled and occasionally exceeded the percentage of men. In addition, women have come to play an increasingly influential role in the profession and on the judiciary.”

Read the entire book review here. And if you’re interested, the book is available here.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,018 other followers