New Books Page

For a complete list of acquisitions for a particular week, please select a link from the list below. Full monthly listings can be found in the Acquisitions List Archive.

MU Law Acquisitions Lists

September/October Acquisitions

Selective Listing of Recent Acquisitions

Beyond Deportation: The Role of Prosecutorial Discretion in Immigration Cases

by Shoba Sivaprasad Wadhia, New York University Press, 2015

When Beatles star John Lennon faced deportation from the U.S. in the 1970s, his lawyer Leon Wildes made a groundbreaking argument. He argued that Lennon should be granted “nonpriority” status pursuant to INS’s (now DHS’s) policy of prosecutorial discretion. In U.S. immigration law, the agency exercises prosecutorial discretion favorably when it refrains from enforcing the full scope of immigration law. A prosecutorial discretion grant is important to an agency seeking to focus its priorities on the “truly dangerous” in order to conserve resources and to bring compassion into immigration enforcement. The Lennon case marked the first moment that the immigration agency’s prosecutorial discretion policy became public knowledge. Today, the concept of prosecutorial discretion is more widely known in light of the Obama Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or DACA program, a record number of deportations and a stalemate in Congress to move immigration reform.

Beyond Deportation is the first book to comprehensively describe the history, theory, and application of prosecutorial discretion in immigration law. It provides a rich history of the role of prosecutorial discretion in the immigration system and unveils the powerful role it plays in protecting individuals from deportation and saving the government resources.

The Relevant Lawyer: Reimagining the Future of the Legal Profession

edite by Paul A. Haskins, ABA Publications, 2015

Sharing expert insights on how and why the profession of law is changing in fundamental ways and how it will impact lawyers, the authors of this thought-provoking 20-chapter book will advance and sharpen the dialogue within the bar about accelerating disruption of the legal services marketplace, and how best to adapt. The collected wisdom and legal expertise in this book will help individual lawyers, law firms, law students, and bar associations better visualize and plan for their own futures in the law. 

As many chapters underscore, for the legal profession to endure as a profession, and all that term represents, lawyer professionalism must endure as well.  The lawyer’s commitment to public service and the justice system, and in particular access to justice, will be paramount in an era when so many citizens are legally underserved.  The formation of a lawyer’s professional identity will be indispensable if young lawyers are to develop the resilience and independent judgment they need to succeed in a change environment as professionals committed to serving clients, the cause of justice, and the public interest.

Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law

by Dean Spade, Duke University Press, 2015

It is usually assumed that trans and gender nonconforming people should follow the civil rights and “equality” strategies of lesbian and gay rights organizations by agitating for legal reforms that would ostensibly guarantee equal access, nondiscrimination, and equal protection under the law. This approach assumes that the best way to address the poverty and criminalization that plague trans populations is to get recognized by law and included in the state's institutions. But does changing what the law says about a targeted and marginalized population bring material relief? And what if many of the problems that shorten trans people's lives stem from the ordinary, banal ways that gender norm categories are administered by virtually every state and private institution?  

In Normal Life Dean Spade presents revelatory critiques of the legal equality framework for social change and points to examples of transformative grassroots trans activism that is raising demands that go beyond traditional civil rights reforms. Spade explodes the assumptions about what legal rights can do for marginalized populations and describes transformative resistance processes and formations that address the root causes of harm and violence. Setting forth a politic that goes beyond the quest for mere legal inclusion, Normal Life is an urgent call for justice and trans liberation, and the radical transformations it will require.

Stolen Legacy: Nazi Theft and the Quest for Justice at Krausenstrasse 17/18, Berlin

by Dina Gold, Ankerwycke, 2015

A riveting story of a Jewish family’s legal battle to reclaim a building stolen from them by the Nazis in the 1930s. Written by the daughter of one of the original owners of the building, it details the history of its confiscation by the Nazis, and the family’s legal fight to reclaim ownership. This is the first written account of a successful claim of a property seized by the Nazis in Germany.

The Education of a Lawyer: Essential Skills and Uncommon Advice for Building a Successful Career

by Gary Muldoon, ABA Publications, 2015

Derived from the author’s decades of experience as a lawyer and teacher, the book is filled with stories and telling anecdotes. Some are hilarious, some are cautionary, but nearly all contain a nugget of practical insight that readers can apply to their own practice. Decidedly original and consistently entertaining, this book will make readers laugh, think, and nod in recognition. And most importantly, it will help readers to become better lawyers.

The Grasping Hand: "Kelo v. City of New London" and the Limits of Eminent Domain

by Ilya Somin, University of Chicago Press, 2015

In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that the city of New London, Connecticut, could condemn fifteen residential properties in order to transfer them to a new private owner. Although the Fifth Amendment only permits the taking of private property for “public use,” the Court ruled that the transfer of condemned land to private parties for “economic development” is permitted by the Constitution—even if the government cannot prove that the expected development will ever actually happen. The Court’s decision in Kelo v. City of New London empowered the grasping hand of the state at the expense of the invisible hand of the market.
In this detailed study of one of the most controversial Supreme Court cases in modern times, Ilya Somin argues that Kelo was a grave error. Economic development and “blight” condemnations are unconstitutional under both originalist and most “living constitution” theories of legal interpretation. They also victimize the poor and the politically weak for the benefit of powerful interest groups and often destroy more economic value than they create.Kelo itself exemplifies these patterns. The residents targeted for condemnation lacked the influence needed to combat the formidable government and corporate interests arrayed against them.  Moreover, the city’s poorly conceived development plan ultimately failed: the condemned land lies empty to this day, occupied only by feral cats. The Supreme Court’s unpopular ruling triggered an unprecedented political reaction, with forty-five states passing new laws intended to limit the use of eminent domain. But many of the new laws impose few or no genuine constraints on takings. The Kelo backlash led to significant progress, but not nearly as much as it may have seemed.

Despite its outcome, the closely divided 5-4 ruling shattered what many believed to be a consensus that virtually any condemnation qualifies as a public use under the Fifth Amendment. It also showed that there is widespread public opposition to eminent domain abuse. With controversy over takings sure to continue, The Grasping Hand offers the first book-length analysis of Kelo by a legal scholar, alongside a broader history of the dispute over public use and eminent domain and an evaluation of options for reform.

Avoiding Bad Depositions: A Simple Guide to Complex Issues

by Janet S. Kole, ABA Publications, 2015

Janet Kole provides another short and helpful guide to litigation, this time to help you avoid mistakes--and malpractice claims--when preparing for depositions. The guide covers everything from what a deposition is, to the key issues that arise both during witness preparation and the deposition itself.

Lawyer Interrupted: Successfully Transitioning from the Practice of Law and Back Again

by Amy Impellizzeri, ABA Publications, 2015

This book covers both the practical and ethical considerations for lawyers taking a break in service for a variety of (voluntary and involuntary) reasons, including temporary leaves of absence, taking care of family, changing careers, disciplinary actions, and retirement. The book focuses on the importance of pre-planning, addresses the considerations unique to each reason for a break, and shares stories and advice from a broad population of lawyers who have taken a break from service for each of these reasons.