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

November/December Acquisitions

Selective Listing of Recent Acquisitions

Divergent Paths: The Academy and the Judiciary

by Richard A. Posner, Harvard University Press, 2016

Judges and legal scholars talk past one another, if they have any conversation at all. Academics couch their criticisms of judicial decisions in theoretical terms, which leads many judges—at the risk of intellectual stagnation—to dismiss most academic discourse as opaque and divorced from reality. In Divergent Paths, Richard Posner turns his attention to this widening gap within the legal profession, reflecting on its causes and consequences and asking what can be done to close or at least narrow it.

The shortcomings of academic legal analysis are real, but they cannot disguise the fact that the modern judiciary has several serious deficiencies that academic research and teaching could help to solve or alleviate. In U.S. federal courts, which is the focus of Posner’s analysis of the judicial path, judges confront ever more difficult cases, many involving complex and arcane scientific and technological distinctions, yet continue to be wedded to legal traditions sometimes centuries old. Posner asks how legal education can be made less theory-driven and more compatible with the present and future demands of judging and lawyering.

Law schools, he points out, have great potential to promote much-needed improvements in the judiciary, but doing so will require significant changes in curriculum, hiring policy, and methods of educating future judges. If law schools start to focus more on practical problems facing the American legal system rather than on debating its theoretical failures, the gulf separating the academy and the judiciary will narrow.


A Parent-Partner Status for American Family Law

by Merle H. Weiner, Cambridge University Press, 2015

Despite the fact that becoming a parent is a pivotal event, the birth or adoption of a child has little significance for parents' legal relationship to each other. Instead, the law relies upon marriage, domestic partnerships, and contracts to set the parameters of parents' legal relationship. With over forty percent of American children born to unwed mothers and consistently high rates of divorce, this book argues that the law's current approach to regulating parental relationships is outdated. A new legal and social structure is needed to guide parents so they act as supportive partners and to deter uncommitted couples from having children. This book is the first of its kind to propose a new “parent-partner” status within family law. Included are a detailed discussion of the benefits of the status as well as specific recommendations for legal obligations.

Justices on the Ballot: Continuity and Change in State Supreme Court Elections

by Herbert M. Kritzer, Cambridge University Press, 2015

Justices on the Ballot addresses two central questions in the study of judicial elections: How have state supreme court elections changed since World War II? And, what effects have those changes had on election outcomes, state supreme court decisions, and the public's view of the courts? To answer these questions, Herbert M. Kritzer takes the broadest scope of any study to date, investigating every state supreme court election between 1946 and 2013. Through an analysis of voting returns, campaign contributions and expenditures, television advertising, and illustrative case studies, he shows that elections have become less politicized than commonly believed. Rather, the changes that have occurred reflect broader trends in American politics, as well as increased involvement of state supreme courts in hot-button issues.

Exporting Freedom: Religious Liberty and American Power

by Anna Su, Harvard University Press, 2016

Religious freedom is widely recognized today as a basic human right, guaranteed by nearly all national constitutions. Exporting Freedom charts the rise of religious freedom as an ideal firmly enshrined in international law and shows how America’s promotion of the cause of individuals worldwide to freely practice their faith advanced its ascent as a global power.

Anna Su traces America’s exportation of religious freedom in various laws and policies enacted over the course of the twentieth century, in diverse locations and under a variety of historical circumstances. Influenced by growing religious tolerance at home and inspired by a belief in the United States’ obligation to protect the persecuted beyond its borders, American officials drafted constitutions as part of military occupations—in the Philippines after the Spanish-American War, in Japan following World War II, and in Iraq after 2003. They also spearheaded efforts to reform the international legal order by pursuing Wilsonian principles in the League of Nations, drafting the United Nations Charter, and signing the Helsinki Accords during the Cold War. The fruits of these labors are evident in the religious freedom provisions in international legal instruments, regional human rights conventions, and national constitutions.

In examining the evolution of religious freedom from an expression of the civilizing impulse to the democratization of states and, finally, through the promotion of human rights, Su offers a new understanding of the significance of religion in international relations.

The Business Guide to Law: Creating and Operating a Successful Law Firm

by Kerry M. Lavelle, ABA Publications, 2015

There are many books out there about starting a law firm and growing your practice. What makes The Business Guide to Law stand out is the focus on the business aspect. It answers all those necessary questions (and more) that are important in creating and growing a unique law firm business. Author Kerry M. Lavelle is a lawyer that started and grew a law practice, and this book grows from his experience and wisdom. This book covers, in great detail, the time needed by you, and how best to spend it to grow your law firm.

The Shale Energy Revolution: A Lawyer's Guide

by Barclay Nicholson and Sarah Casey, ABA Publications, 2015

Written by members of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Energy Litigation committee, this book addresses the explosion of litigation issues stemming from the growth of the shale gas industry. The book begins with an overview of the geology, exploration, drilling, and production of shale plays, and introduces the shale plays and their individual properties regionally. Common litigation issues in shale plays are identified, including recovery of personal injury and property damages related to hydraulic fracturing, lawsuits between governmental entities, and challenges to disclosure regulations related to the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing. Also highlighted are water rights and water use, as competition for water and a significant uptick in regulation related to the use of water will generate litigation related to the use of water in oil and gas operations. The authors also provide a broad regional overview of the statutory and regulatory schemes that govern water use in oil and gas producing states, and highlight potential areas for disputes.

Patents Demystified: An Insider's Guide to Protecting Ideas and Inventions

by Dylan O. Adams, ABA Publications, 2015

For tinkers, entrepreneurs, investors and any business with products or processes that can be patented, Patents Demystified provides an easy-to-understand insider guide to patents, patent law, and the patent application process. Based on the author’s first-hand experience with both successful and failed companies of all sizes, readers learn the secrets of maximizing patent protection on any budget, with strategies that can be tailored to companies with any business plan or product. Instead of being intimidated and confused by patents, readers will discover how to proactively work with a patent attorney to craft a customized patent strategy, thereby taking the mystery out of what can be an arduous and complicated process.

From the Trenches: Strategies and Tips from 21 of the Nation's Top Trial Lawyers

by John S. Worden, ABA Publications, 2015

Trial practice is more art than science. Some are born with an ability to tell a story through witnesses and evidence and persuade others to reach a desired result. Time and experience, however, can improve a person’s capacity to succeed at trial. Following the suggestions in this book will help to develop and optimize trial skills to achieve favorable outcomes for your clients.