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The Essential Dictionary of LawThe Essential Dictionary of Law
Amy Hackney Blackwell ’97
Barnes & Noble Books

The Essential Dictionary of Law is an up-to-date reference, featuring over 3,000 entries that explain legal language, often impenetrable even for lawyers. The book focuses on defining the words that people today are most likely to encounter when dealing with the law, or even reading the newspaper or watching television news. The definitions are clear, concise, and avoid “legalese.”

AMY BLACKWELL ’97 ON HER WRITING LIFE: Blackwell worked as an LSAT test-prep instructor and as an attorney before becoming a full-time writer. “At first I continued to practice law and wrote in the evenings and on weekends, but the success of my writing career has allowed me to give up the practice of law entirely. Now my legal work consists of writing articles on legal topics for various publications and serving as an arbitrator for the Better Business Bureau’s Autoline Program (I hear cases in which consumers claim that their new cars are defective). I find these jobs interesting, but I love the fact that I can write about other topics as well. I also love the freedom that I have in my daily life, freedom to travel, raise my two young children, and pursue my hobbies. My work can go anywhere with me. I love what I do.”

LAURA LEEDY GANSLER ’89 ON HER BOOKS: “I guess I am drawn to stories about women pushing limits and challenging assumptions that could otherwise define them. My last book, Class Action, which I wrote with Clara Bingham, was about a group of women who went to work in the iron mines in Minnesota and encountered intense hostility from their male co-workers for taking what were supposedly ‘men’s’ jobs. They became the plaintiffs in what was the first sexual harassment class action. (Our book inspired the upcoming movie North Country, with Charlize Theron.) This book is about another woman doing something only men were supposed to be able to do—in this case, soldiering and nursing during the Civil War. It’s different because it’s not about the law, but it is similar because it’s about a woman looking at the limited options offered to her by her society and saying ‘no, thanks. I think I will try something else.’ I thought that was pretty cool.” Gansler practices law, and writes, in Chevy Chase, MD.

LSAT For DummiesLSAT For Dummies
Amy Hackney Blackwell ’97

One of the Dummies Series of how-to books, LSAT For Dummies aims to be a “fun and easy way to maximize scores on the Law School Admissions Test.” And there’s plenty of need in the marketplace for such a book. Each year, more than 100,000 people take the LSAT. This unintimidating guide is written for people who want to score their best on the LSAT and get in to the law school of their choice. It features complete practice exams with answer explanations, guidance on playing logic games, and lots of savvy test-taking tips, including time-management strategies and special help with Logical Reasoning and Analytical Reasoning, the LSAT sections people fear most.

The Mysterious Private ThompsonThe Mysterious Private Thompson: The Double Life of Sarah Emma Edmonds, Civil War Soldier
Laura Leedy Gansler ’89
Simon & Schuster

Sarah Emma Edmonds was a young Canadian woman who adopted the guise of a man to escape an arranged marriage at 17. For two years, living as Franklin Thompson, she enjoyed the freedoms that men enjoyed, traveling the country at will as a successful book salesman. In 1861, President Lincoln asked for 75,000 volunteers to suppress the “rebellion” and most of Thompson’s friends would answer the call. For Thompson, the question was more complicated—but she didn’t hesitate before enlisting in the Second Michigan Infantry at 19. Drawing on Emma’s journals and those of the men she served with, Laura Leedy Gansler recreates Edmonds’ experience through some of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War—including both the First and Second Battles of Bull Run (known as First and Second Manassas in the South), the Peninsula Campaign, and the Battle of Fredericksburg—during which she served with distinction in combat as a “male” nurse, and braved enemy fire as a mail carrier. Gansler also investigates Edmonds’ claim to have been a spy—going behind enemy lines disguised as a slave (by staining her skin with silver nitrate), as a Confederate soldier, and ironically, as a peddler woman. After two years of valiant service, the young soldier, who twice rejected medical attention for injuries sustained in the line of duty for fear of being discovered, was struck down with malaria. Rather than risk detection, Thompson disappeared, marked down as a deserter. Twenty years later, having resumed her female identity to marry and settle down in Kansas, she emerged from obscurity to fight for her pension and reunite with her surprised former comrades, who had not known their brother-in-arms was a woman. “This small book is a gem of history, scholarship, and storytelling,” said filmmaker Ken Burns. “Against the epic backdrop of the most defining event in American history, here is a personal story of a human being struggling to define herself in just the sort of paradoxical way the country was, tearing herself in two in order to be one. Wonderful.”

The Future of the Global Economic OrganizationsThe Future of the Global Economic Organizations: An Evaluation of Criticisms Leveled at the IMF, the Multilateral Development Banks, and the WTO
John W. Head ’79
Transnational Publishers

This book offers an arms-length evaluation, from a legal perspective, of the main criticisms that have been leveled recently at the key global economic organizations—the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and its fellow multilateral developmental banks, and the World Trade Organization. The future of the global economic organizations stands out from most of the growing body of literature on the IMF, MDBS, and the WTO in two main respects: the book’s scope and the author’s experience. Whereas numerous commentators have focused on particular strengths and weaknesses of one or the other of the GEOs, and have argued for changes on the basis of specific areas of operation, this book takes a wider view to examine all the GEOs at once. This broader scope reveals commonalities in the criticisms. For example, complaints about so-called “democracy deficit” obviously can be applied to all GEOs but with different nuances in emphasis and sting. Against the background of his own experience as a legal counsel for one of the regional MDBs and for the IMF and a legal career that has focused on international economic law, Head distills the swarm of complaints leveled at the IMF, MDBS, and the WTO into 25 specific criticisms and then offers succinct explanations of why some of those criticisms should be dismissed, why some of them are valid, and how those valid criticisms should form the basis for an important restructuring of the institutions, including amendments to the charters that establish and govern their operations. The book includes several appendices: an extensive annotated survey of literature expressing and explaining criticisms of the GEOs and others reprinting the charters of all the GEOs under scrutiny.

Law Codes in Dynastic China, A Synopsis of Chinese Legal History in the Thirty Centuries from Zhou to QingLaw Codes in Dynastic China, A Synopsis of Chinese Legal History in the Thirty Centuries from Zhou to Qing
John W. Head ’79 with Yanping Wang
Carolina Academic Press

Law Codes in Dynastic China offers a bird’s eye view of Chinese legal history from the earliest dynasties to the last. The authors survey the majestic sweep of China’s legal tradition by allowing the details to emerge from the works of many scholars and then connecting those details in a storyline that revolves around a unifying theme: legal codification. In this way, Law Codes in Dynastic China brings to life such characters as the Duke of Zhou, Confucius, Khubilai Khan, and dozens of other emperors, rebels, scholars, and eunuchs. The book also illuminates the great movements and philosophies of China—Imperial Confucianism, Legalism, correlative cosmology, Daoism, and others—all in order to reveal both the spirit and the practicalities of law in dynastic China. This text will prove valuable not only for researchers in the areas of Chinese law, legal history, and Chinese history, but also for students and for legal practitioners whose work calls for them to have a historically-based understanding of China’s legal culture. The book provides comprehensive citation to authorities and sources for further study—with special emphasis on recent findings and translations. Moreover, for the general lay reader, the book offers a look at the intersection of three paths of literature and learning: law, history, and China. In doing so, it facilitates a broader appreciation of contemporary China as well.

John W. Head ’79 is Professor of Law at the University of Kansas. Previously, he was Legal Counsellor with the IMF and the Asian Development Bank (Manila, Philippines). Find out more about Professor Head and his scholarship at

Bullies, Tyrants and Impossible PeopleBullies, Tyrants and Impossible People
Mark A. Jankowski ’90
and Ronald M. Shapiro
Crown Business (of Random House)

The impossible people who make life’s journey so difficult are everywhere—at the office, in restaurants, on airplanes, living next door, members of your own family. They’re …

Using colorful stories from all walks of life—“He called me the scum of the earth and it went downhill from there,” “First, lock all your vendors in a small room,” and “The boss from hell”—the authors bring their lessons to life, from business life to family life. Following up on The Power of Nice, the authors reiterate that book’s tenets (the acronym NICE): Neutralize your emotions and stay rational; Identify the type of difficult person; Control the encounter; and Explore options. Using examples from their own lives as well as pop culture, they offer anecdotes and tips for analysis. The “situationally difficult” person may be temporarily overreacting, so empathy can be a sure road to cordial defusion. The “strategically difficult” are calculating (passive-aggressive, take it or leave it, etc.), but can be countered if you pleasantly, even humorously make them aware you’re onto their game. The “simply difficult,” using power as an imperative (irrational, bullying, duplicitous, etc.) are the toughest, but those facing them must recognize their own power—including the option to just walk away, a decision that must be approached carefully.

Mark A. Jankowski ’90 has lectured on negotiation and dispute resolution at Johns Hopkins University and the Wharton School. He has worked with some of America’s leading businesses, including GenRe (a Berkshire Hathaway company), Gillette, MBNA America, and Black & Decker. Jankowski and co-author Shapiro are founders of the Shapiro Negotiations Institute.

CCBCCB The Life and Century of Charles C. Burlingham, New York’s First Citizen, 1858–1959
George Martin ’53
Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Though he held no elected or appointed office and courted no constituency at the polls, the New York City lawyer Charles C. Burlingham had great influence with those who did, and he used it in unusual ways. George Martin’s biography of this irrepressible, extraordinary man shows how one citizen, working quietly behind the scenes, could effect tremendous improvement in public affairs and, like a benign power broker, help to transform America’s civic character for the better. Growing up after the Civil War, CCB—as everyone called him—was enthralled by the dynamism of his city, but he was shocked by the social costs of modernization, and he deplored the endemic corruption of city politics. Eventually he let his admiralty law practice take a backseat to civil reform work, his first love. This second career in “meddling,” as he called it, made him even more famous than his defense of the White Star Line had during the Titanic litigation. He was particularly skillful as a sort of fixer of legal matters, instrumental in advancing the careers of Felix Frankfurter, Benjamin Cardozo, and other jurists. Martin’s narrative of this high-spirited, good-hearted, and talented lawyer includes not only an account of his relationships with Mayor La Guardia and others, but also fascinating details about Burlingham’s private life—his eccentric wife; his tragically afflicted son; and his daughter-in-law Dorothy Tiffany Burlingham, who took CCB’s grandchildren off to Vienna, where she was analyzed by Sigmund Freud and her children by Anna Freud. Kirkus Reviews said, “Martin closes his comprehensive biography by suggesting that Burlingham, a skilled practitioner of the arts of reasoned discourse, might fit in nicely today as a blogger—an opinionated shaper of opinion who, as one grudgingly admiring contemporary said, ‘was always aboveboard.’ A meticulously researched, substantial contribution to New York history.”

George Martin ’53 is the author of a dozen books, including biographies of Frances Perkins and Giuseppe Verdi. He lives in Kent Square, PA.

Sweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being InterviewedSweaty Palms: The Neglected Art of Being Interviewed
H. Anthony Medley ’65
Warner Business Books

The second revised edition of the successful Sweaty Palms was released in May. Introduced by Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show in 1978, the book has sold more than 500,000 copies and is the first ever written about the job interview for the interviewee. A pioneer of the videotape interview, Medley conducted and videotaped thousands of interviews at major law schools nationwide for law firms around the country. As an attorney and businessman he has conducted countless selection interviews to hire employees, evaluate witnesses and clients, and retain consultants.

Medley works as an attorney, businessman, and writer. In addition to Sweaty Palms, his writings include other books, UCLA Basketball: The Real Story (1972), and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Bridge (Alpha Books, 1997, 2004). His articles have been published in numerous newspapers and magazines such as The Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Magazine, and Good Housekeeping, among others. He is a film critic accredited by the Motion Picture Association of America and his critiques appear in several newspapers and on the Internet.

Law and the Administrative ProcessLaw and the Administrative Process
John M. Scheb LL.M. ’84 and John M. Scheb II
Wadsworth Publishing Co.

A current text for an Administrative Law course, Law and the Administrative Process provides edited cases and examination of both state and federal law. Furthermore, the book addresses both practical and theoretical issues for a comprehensive and thorough text that is accessible to students who need guidance and structure when taking this course at the undergraduate or graduate level.

John M. Scheb LL.M. ’84 is a Senior Judge for the Florida Court System and Distinguished Professorial Lecturer at Stetson University College of Law in St. Petersburg, FL.

Judges Say the Darndest ThingsJudges Say the Darndest Things
Fred Shackelford ’83
William S. Hein & Co.

Judges Say the Darndest Things is a compilation of humorous excerpts from American legal cases. The collection is divided into 22 categories, with imaginative titles such as “fat chance,” “10 points for style” and “metaphorically speaking,” and culminates with two appellate decisions written entirely in poetic verse. Shackelford’s excerpts reveal judicial wit, eloquence, exasperation, and the occasional poetic soul. The book proves that amusing quotes sometimes emerge from the dusty tomes of precedent. Some of the entries are interesting for the uncanny fact patterns that judges are called upon to puzzle out, and the literary style with which they describe them. Others show the exasperation that a judge can feel with a burdensome case, such as the court trying to explain why it blew a raspberry at one of the parties before it. Among the various examples of judicial wit that appear in the book, the reader will glean these little-known principles of law: if you throw a skunk into the jury box you can’t instruct the jury not to smell it, and a trial decision is wrong if the appellate court thinks it smells like a five-week-old, unrefrigerated dead fish.

Fred Shackelford ‘83 collected the quotes and anecdotes that make up Judges Say the Darndest Things during his 18-year tenure as an attorney with the National Legal Research Group in Charlottesville, VA. Find more on the book

Workplace Justice Without UnionsWorkplace Justice Without Unions
Hoyt N. Wheeler ’61
with Brian S. Klaas and Douglas M. Mahony
W.E. Upjohn Foundation for Employment Research

Justice in the U.S. nonunion workplace operates within the tenets of employment-at-will. Based on the late nineteenth century “Wood’s rule,” this concept led courts to recognize the right of an employer to fire a worker at any time, for any reason. Fortunately for nonunion workers, a workplace justice system has evolved that provides them some recourse when they have been let go without just cause. This is a complex and not widely understood system, but now Workplace Justice Without Unions clarifies its workings and compares its effectiveness and fairness to a variety of other workplace justice systems. The authors provide a thorough analysis of organizational justice systems by exploring nonunion systems of workplace justice and comparing them with the union system, American courts, and systems in 11 other countries. The U.S. nonunion workplace justice system includes protective federal legislation, labor arbitration, and a host of management-initiated procedures including the use of open-door policies, ombudsmen, mediation, peer review panels, and the most recent and controversial method, employment arbitration. The latter method—arbitration of workplace disputes in a nonunion setting—receives special attention from the authors, who include a discussion of the law concerning employment arbitration along with an intensive survey that investigates its practice. Determining whether any of these procedures provides due process requires studying each of them in some detail. The authors use a combination of literature search and survey questions posed to the various decision makers. Their empirical analysis focuses on the overall win/loss rates by employees in termination cases in labor arbitration, employment arbitration, and the federal courts. The result is a body of data and analysis that permit the authors to discern the differences among these systems in both outcome and procedure, and to compare them on the basis of their merits.

Hoyt N. Wheeler ’61 is Professor of Management and Business Partnership Foundation Fellow, Moore School of Business, University of South Carolina. You’ll find his faculty profile page at


Freddy and the French Fries: Fries Alive

DAVID BALDACCI ’86 ON LITERACY: With all the literacy programs I’ve been involved with, and my experiences with Wish You Well, the novel, and Wish You Well, the Foundation, I believe that I know how to reach kids through books. Built into the Freddy stories are strong examples of friendship and teamwork and the idea that simply because people may look different from you and me doesn’t mean they’re somehow bad people; it celebrates the strength and excitement of diversity. It also highlights using your brain in a “smart is definitely cool” way. Also in Freddy are viable reading tools, so subtly placed into the story that kids won’t even know they’re learning. While I‘ve learned in my speeches that the best way to make a serious point is to attach it to a bit of humor, I’ve found that a “not knowing you’re learning anything experience,” can be some of the most fertile ground in education.

Freddy and the French Fries: Fries Alive
David Baldacci ’86
Little, Brown & Company

Freddy Funkhouser, an offbeat nine-year-old with a knack for science, embarks on an ambitious plan to win new customers for the family business, The Burger Castle. But when his secret invention ends up working better than he’d ever dreamed his plans go wildly awry as his kooky companions wreak havoc in every corner of Freddy’s world. Bestselling novelist David Baldacci has turned his talent to storytelling in this adventure about fame, friends, and family. The book takes advantage of the web, and at readers will find interactive games and activities, as well as reading guides for parents and educators, and character profiles.

Something BlueSomething Blue
Emily Giffin ’97
St. Martin’s Press

Booklist writes, “Readers who enjoyed Giffin’s stellar debut, Something Borrowed (2004), might be surprised to find that the villainess of that novel is the heroine of this one.” Darcy Rhone thought she had it all figured out: the more beautiful the girl, the more charmed her life. Never mind substance. Never mind playing by the rules. Never mind karma. But Darcy’s neat, perfect world turns upside down when her best friend, Rachel, the plain-Jane “good girl,” steals her fiancé, while Darcy finds herself completely alone for the first time in her life…with a baby on the way. Darcy tries to recover, fleeing to her childhood friend living in London and resorting to her tried-and-true methods for getting what she wants. But as she attempts to recreate her glamorous life on a new continent, Darcy finds that her rules no longer apply. It is only then that Darcy can begin her journey toward self-awareness, forgiveness, and motherhood. Something Blue is a novel about one woman’s surprising discoveries about the true meaning of friendship, love, and happily-ever-after. It’s a novel for anyone who has ever, even secretly, wondered if the last thing you want is really the one thing you need. “Making an unsympathetic character likable isn’t an easy thing to do, but that’s just what Giffin succeeds at in her second outing. Giffin’s writing is warm and engaging; readers will find themselves cheering for Darcy as she proves people can change in this captivating tale.”

The week after September 11, 2001, Giffin left her law practice and moved from New York to London to pursue her dream of being a novelist. “It was the best decision I ever made. After living two years overseas, traveling as much as I could, and completing Something Borrowed, I moved back to the States. I now live in Atlanta with my husband and twin sons who were born on New Year’s Eve. My current challenge is balancing my two passions—writing and motherhood.” Giffin is working on Baby Proof, her next novel. It tells the story of a couple who marry with the mutual agreement they don’t want kids. But years down the road, the husband decides he does want children, but the wife still does not. It’s due out next June.

You Poor Monster

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO BE UP FOR A PULITZER?: “If the book wins, even I will demand a recount,” swears Michael Kun ’88. While maintaining a law practice in Los Angeles, Kun still finds the time to watch a lot of baseball and write for pleasure. With his upcoming publications list, there’s something for every reader: The Baseball Uncyclopedia, a non-fiction baseball book that comes out in February. After that, You Poor Monster comes out in paperback next June. His first novel, A Thousand Benjamins, is being reprinted in September. And, he is working on a short story collection called The Handwriting Patient. Find the latest on Kun’s books, as well as other gems, (including: “Why Lawyers Write Novels”) at

You Poor Monster
Michael Kun ’88

Michael Kun’s narrator is Hamilton Ashe, a young corporate attorney who takes a case he doesn’t much want: the contentious divorce of a charming but mercurial neighbor, Sam Shoogey—a man who will not, under any circumstances, take “no” for an answer. Unable to resist this larger-than-life persona, Hamilton becomes drawn into the extraordinary world of Sam Shoogey, a self-described war hero, former college football star, and current bestselling author. But the truth of Shoogey’s life has become increasingly difficult for Hamilton to ascertain, forcing him to question his client’s integrity. If Shoogey is a writer, why can’t Hamilton find any of his books? He has no official war record, and the university he claims to have attended denies any of his legendary achievements on the field. Has Shoogey woven a web of indefensible falsehoods? As Hamilton becomes further involved in the exciting and unpredictable daily adventures of Shoogey, he fights the notion that his own life—wife, house, kids—might fade over time into increasingly dull shades of gray. But this fear is extinguished forever when the final, poignant truth about Sam Shoogey becomes known, a moment too late. “While comedy sits on the surface of the narrative, a poignancy that borders on tragedy lies beneath in a novel that ‘tells the truth and lies in the same voice,’” writes Publishers Weekly. “Kun manages to make Ham’s life, with its routines and lassitude, seem just as engaging as Shoogey’s speedy, high-octane antics; he conveys just as much feeling for moments of quiet familial grace as he does for comic extravaganzas. When Shoogey’s house of cards begins to collapse, You Poor Monster becomes sadder and grows more resonant as a result. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, this is a refreshingly humane comedy about the lies people tell themselves—and others—just to survive,” says Kirkus Reviews.

Seeing EmilySeeing Emily
Joyce M. Lee ’95 (publishing as Joyce Lee Wong)
Harry N. Abrams

This free verse novel introduces readers to 16-year-old Emily, one of three Asian students at her high school in Richmond, Virginia, and the only child of protective, ambitious parents. She loves her parents and has always strived to please them, but her interest in a sexy new student, her growing passion for art, and her need to break away without breaking her tightly-knit family apart, force Emily to create a web of lies that ultimately traps her just as tightly as her circumstances. Through her art she finds a key to freedom and a new understanding of her place in the world. Joyce Lee Wong’s debut addresses the complexities of the contemporary Asian American experience, the pressures of American high school, and the age-old clash between teens and parents. This touching novel takes readers on a journey in which parents, peers, and readers ultimately find new ways of seeing Emily.

Joyce Lee Wong has devoted herself to giving the disempowered a voice in her work as an attorney, interpreter, teacher, and writer. Wong speaks English, Chinese, and Spanish. After law school she practiced union-side labor law in Southern California, representing Spanish-speaking carpenters, janitors, and other workers in their struggle to protect their labor rights. Desiring to work with young people, she earned a teaching credential and taught elementary school students from Mexico and Central America. Wanting to focus more on writing, she completed a PEN Center USA West Emerging Voices fellowship and is a recipient of a UCLA Extension Writer’s Program Community Access scholarship. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. This is her first novel.

Boardroom ConspiraciesBoardroom Conspiracies
Frank Warren Swacker ’49
James A. Rock & Co.

Unlike Frank Swacker’s prior books that deal with various legal aspects of foreign trade and investment, Boardroom Conspiracies is a Wall Street murder mystery and an exciting courtroom drama of greed. The author guides you through the trial from a front row seat in a New York City courtroom. Issues from today’s headlines, insider trading and corporate greed, form the sinews of this exciting combination of courtroom drama and thrilling murder mystery. Allegations of malfeasance by former corporate directors during a shareholders civil trial vie with tales of murder and infidelity in this modern day Philadelphia story of greed and retribution. Corporate directors are accused not only of civil crimes; but of the, seemingly related murder of the board chairman. Was he murdered on board a cruise ship? Was he murdered to prevent him from making a deal with authorities at the expense of his colleagues? Or, were there more intimate and personal influences at work? The fictional star trial lawyer, Orville Taylor, Esq., is a graduate of the UVA School of Law. A diverse jury deliberates. Each member weighs the evidence, bringing their unique perspectives to the deliberations. The author leads you through this tale of intrigue and murder to an exciting resolution of the legal drama and a surprising solution to the murder mystery.

Swacker is a second generation Wall Street lawyer. The author served for a decade as the International Counsel of a multibillion dollar conglomerate and as a director of both private and public corporations. He has acted as an advisor to major corporations, law firms and governments on trade and investment matters both here and abroad. As a former member of the Stetson University, College of Law faculty he taught international commercial arbitration. He and his wife live in St. Petersburg, FL. Swacker says, “Although it’s written for entertainment, Boardroom Conspiracies may nevertheless be viewed by some readers as a prelude to Martha Stewart’s forthcoming book on her prison life.”

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