Book Reviews

Sex and the Constitution: Sex, Religion and Law From America's Origins to the Twenty-First Century

By Jeffrey Winn |

As America's endless culture wars fester, Prof. Geoffrey R. Stone of the University of Chicago Law School has published a powerful history of the constitutional battles over sexual expression, reproductive freedom, and sexual preference. It is a compelling book that masterfully melds together sex, religion, and law into a topical narrative that is readily accessible to both lay readers and lawyers.

'The Greatest Day of My Life': A Human Interest Memoir

By George M. Heymann |

This easy to read memoir, of a fascinating success story, holds your interest on every page.

The Client Decides: A Litigator's Life

By Daniel J. Kornstein |

The eloquence of counsel; the excitement of the courtroom; the art of the cross-examination, litigation strategy and tactics; the tension and uncertainty of outcome; the battle of wits—all these are on display in great profusion in autobiographies of trial lawyers. "The Client Decides," by retired Paul Weiss litigator Martin London, is no exception.

Gender, Psychology, and Justice: The Mental Health of Women and Girls in the Legal System

By Jeffrey Winn |

An ancient Danish proverb posits that an old error has more friends than a new truth. It is a recurring theme in this collection of scholarly articles, each of which analyzes how gender-related stereotypes and practices have negatively influenced law enforcement, courts, and correctional facilities in their treatment of women and girls.

The Soul of the First Amendment

By Joel Cohen |

If you want to read about the First Amendment, you want the book written by a man whose name is virtually synonymous—Floyd Abrams. And that's not hyperbole. As the great Edward Bennett Williams was "The Man To See" for anyone with high stakes in a criminal forum, Abrams is that "Man" when First Amendment principles are at stake, even on unpopular subjects.

Broken Scales: Reflections on Justice

By Sol Wachtler |

In his latest book, Joel Cohen, who practices law at the venerable Stroock law firm, gives us an insight of just how tragically flawed our justice system is.

Religious Freedom in an Egalitarian Age

By Jeffrey Winn |

Mark Twain once stated "it is the difference of opinion that makes horse races." Professor Norman Tebbe has published a new book that focuses on one of the most divisive contemporary clashes of constitutional opinion: egalitarian laws protecting LGBT citizens and women's reproductive freedom versus religious traditionalists asserting rights to accommodation and dissent.

New York Justice: My 40-Year Courtroom Journey From Rookie Prosecutor to Veteran Criminal Trial Judge

By Reviewed by Laura A. Ward |

Whether or not you have ever practiced criminal law, retired Justice Joel Goldberg's book will provide you insight into how cases are investigated, prosecuted, and tried in the Criminal Term in New York City. And you will appreciate the 'war stories.'

Effective Legal Writing: A Guide for Students and Practitioners

By Stephen P. Younger and James D. Yellen |

Professor Douglas Abrams has succeeded in compiling a road map to effective legal writing for readers from all walks of the legal world. The book should be on every lawyer's bookshelf.

Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Fourth Edition

By Paul C. Saunders |

Instead of calling it Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Bob Haig, the editor-in-chief of this now 15 volume work, could just as easily have called it The Law: Everything You Need to Know. It is that comprehensive.

Privacy and the American Constitution: New Rights Through Interpretation of an Old Text

By Jeffrey Winn |

As the Senate prepares to consider the Supreme Court nomination of Neil Gorsuch, an avowed originalist, William Heffernan has published a timely book on the right to privacy, a contentious issue that has bedeviled conservatives. It is a compelling read which not only traces the development of a "right" that is not expressly mentioned in the Constitution, but also analyzes the "practice of interpretive supplementation" on which it relies.

My Own Words

By Jeffrey Winn |

Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, no one has done more to revolutionize the status of women than Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In her new autobiography, Ginsburg describes her Brooklyn roots and the daughter, student, wife, mother, law professor, author, civil rights advocate, and federal judge who created equal opportunity for women and seemingly broke every barrier.

The New Era of Regulatory Enforcement: A Comprehensive Guide for Raising the Bar to Manage Risk

By Barbara Jones |

Richard Girgenti and Timothy Hedley chronicle how the regulatory enforcement landscape changed after 9/11 and how it has changed as the result of events that followed, including the financial reporting crisis uncovered within days of the attacks.

Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon

By Jeffrey Winn |

Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet

By Andrea Alonso |

Justice Louis D. Brandeis fervently believed in economic justice, freedom of speech and freedom against unreasonable search and seizure. His words and opinions are most relevant to the times we live in.

New York Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Law & Practice

By Dan D. Kohane |

From trigger, to consent, to offsets, to stacking, it is all there for the taking, along with a chapter containing the forms, charts and regulations that practitioners need to be close at hand.

Supremely Partisan: How Raw Politics Tips the Scales in the U.S. Supreme Court

By Jeffrey Winn |

In his new book on the U.S. Supreme Court, James Zirin argues that it has become a "political court" because the modern justices' personal factors, such as their background, race, and sex, influence their judgments. He contends that these influences are illegitimate, producing policy choices on ideological grounds that have nothing to do with the Constitution.

The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial Right

By Jeffrey Winn |

Enhanced by revealing passages from the collected papers of three Burger Court members, this is a worthwhile book which reminds us that, in the words of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, the life of the law is not logic, but experiences.

The Butler's Child: An Autobiography

By Christopher Dunn |

Guilt is a powerful human emotion, and white guilt is what Lewis Steel places at the heart of his autobiographical recounting of his storied career as a civil rights lawyer.

Because of Sex: One Law, Ten Cases, and Fifty Years that Changed American Women's Lives at Work

By Jeffrey Winn |

Passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 promised to improve the lives of working women, because it proscribed discrimination "because of sex." As chronicled in Gillian Thomas' new book, however, the protections and opportunities women enjoy in the 2016 workplace have truly been created by a group of courageous women who used Title VII to fight sexism all the way to the Supreme Court.

My Partner, My Enemy: An Unflinching View of Domestic Violence and New Ways to Protect Victims

By Diane Kiesel |

Back in the day, the first stop for any judge newly assigned to a domestic violence part was a field trip to the Brooklyn courtroom of state Supreme Court Justice John Michael Leventhal. Leventhal, the presiding judge of the nation's first felony domestic violence court, was the embodiment of intelligence, compassion and common sense in a twilight zone where mostly male abusers controlled their female victims through physical violence and emotional terror.

Why Torture Doesn't Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation

By Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

Neuroscientist Shane O'Mara's book, "Why Torture Doesn't Work: The Neuroscience of Interrogation," attempts to bridge the gap between what we think we know about how torture works and what neuroscientists and other researchers really do know.

Vigilance: My Life Serving America and Protecting Its Empire City

By Jeffrey Winn |

As the longest serving NYPD commissioner, Ray Kelly diversified the department, created a world-class anti-terrorism operation, and oversaw a proactive program of community policing that contributed to a dramatic reduction of violent crime. In a lively memoir, Kelly recounts his long career and answers his critics.

The Law Book: From Hammurabi to International Criminal Court, 250 Milestones in History of Law

By Saliann Scarpulla |

Examining the history of the law is an important way to understand our current human circumstance. In "The Law Book," Michael H. Roffer, attorney, associate librarian, and professor of legal research at New York Law School, sifts through thousands of years of human history and presents the reader with a chronological collection of 250 milestones in the law.


By Marisa Lenok |

Life in a big law firm is hard. At least that's the case for Mackenzie Corbett, the protagonist of Lindsay Cameron's debut novel, BIGLAW.

She Can Bring Us Home: Dr. Dorothy Boulding Ferebee, Civil Rights Pioneer

By Laura Ward |

While Dr. Dorothy Boulding's name may not be as familiar to us as others who worked in the civil rights movement, her contributions were no less important, and in some cases more life changing, than those of her contemporaries.

Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey Of George Herbert Walker Bush

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, Fourth Edition

By Bernard Fried |

The format of this exhaustive work, in the lingo of the Digital Age, is "user-friendly." Its self-conscious design, as in the past editions, is to enable the commercial litigator, whether novice, journeyman or expert, to navigate swiftly and competently, the currents of commercial litigation in New York.

Notorious R.B.G.: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

By Andrea M. Alonso |

If there is one figure who has paved the way for women attorneys, women in general and the cause of gender equality, it is Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This biography is artistic, featuring charts, cartoons, recipes and timelines. But it is also comprehensive.

Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America

By Jeffrey Winn |

Diversity in the federal judiciary was virtually nonexistent in 1967. Up to that time, only five blacks had ever been appointed to Article III judgeships. The big break with the past occurred when President Lyndon Johnson nominated Thurgood Marshall to the U.S. Supreme Court in June 1967. Wil Haygood has written a compelling book about Marshall's tumultuous confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, the first such extended hearings in history.

Capital Punishment Trials of Mafia Murderers

By P. Kevin Castel |

Since the enactment of the 1994 Federal Death Penalty Act, many indictments have charged crimes that would have allowed the U.S. Department of Justice to seek the death penalty.

Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World

By Emily Jane Goodman |

While the ostensible thesis of the book is that sisterhood is powerful, the main story that author Linda Hirshman tells us is the story of "The Notorious RBG."

Dealing With China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower

By Jeffrey Winn |

In his new book, Henry Paulson describes China's recent rise to global supremacy and the challenges that lie ahead. Foremost amongst these challenges are reform to the legal and capital market systems. The book is must reading for anyone who is interested in the United States' "pivot to Asia."

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

By Jeffrey Winn |

Bryan Stevenson has written a gripping memoir that details his modest upbringing, Harvard education, struggles as a black lawyer in the Deep South, frustrations in representing the poor, building a successful public interest law practice from scratch, and triumphs against a criminal justice system that too often (at least 152 times since 1973) sentences innocent people to die.

On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller

By Jeffrey Winn |

Richard Norton Smith has written a scholarly and balanced biography of Nelson Rockefeller that portrays the former New York governor as a quintessential man of his times, both in action and passion. Since Al Smith, no governor has left a larger or more controversial footprint on New York.

The Children Act

By Walter Loughlin |

The protagonist of Ian McEwan's novel, The Children Act, is Fiona Maye, an English High Court Judge assigned to the Family Division, a court described by McEwan as teeming with "special pleading, intimate half-truths" and "exotic accusations," where parents are "dazed to find themselves in vicious combat with the one they once loved," while their children huddle in courthouse corridors.

The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture

By Daniel J. Kornstein |

By now we have a good idea of what is in the recent Senate Torture Report even without reading it. As soon as it became public in December, the media educated us, and in the process seared our consciences about the awful things done in our name. Even so, it is still well worth reading the actual report.

Racial Reckoning: Prosecuting America's Civil Rights Murders

By Jeffrey Winn |

Over the past 25 years, prosecutors have re-investigated approximately 100 murders that occurred during the 1950s and 1960s struggle to challenge "the racial order" of the South. Thirteen cases eventually produced convictions of 23 men. Professor Renee Romano of Oberlin College has written a perceptive book that analyzes the prosecutions and the phenomenon they created. More importantly, she raises hard questions about the premise that America is now a "color blind" society that has fully reckoned with its history of racial violence.

Battleground New Jersey: Vanderbilt, Hague and Their Fight for Justice

By Jonathan Lazarus |

In 1947, New Jersey created the foundation for its nationally acclaimed court system by drafting a completely new constitution during a dramatic summer convention at Rutgers University. In an instant, what had been one of the most convoluted and user-unfriendly legal networks in the country was transformed into a model of reform and accessibility.

A Must Read Guide to Law School and Lawyering

By Adam Roth |

Gary Muldoon, a politician, attorney and budding author, pulls no punches about the legal profession in his newest compendium of short stories, lists and life lessons. While some of his advice is slightly purple, the majority is sound and some is pure genius.

Too Big to Jail: How Prosecutors Compromise with Corporations

By Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

The United States houses more people in prison than any nation on the planet, incarcerating 716 people for every 100,000 residents. In fact, our incarceration rate is more than five times higher than most of the countries in the world.

New York Contract Law: A Guide for Non-New York Attorneys

By Elliott Scheinberg |

Out-of-state attorneys routinely steeped in contract negotiations, whose breaches or enforcement may ultimately bring them to either of the courthouses on Foley Square or to New York's International Arbitration Center, must, therefore, attain an intimate knowledge of the fundamental and advanced principles of New York contract law. "New York Contract Law: A Guide for Non-New York Attorneys," by Glen Banks of Norton Rose Fulbright, addresses that need in exceptional fashion.

Supreme Ambitions

By Rosemarie Yu |

If you're the type of person who thought "The Devil Wears Prada" would have been better retold by an aspiring Supreme Court clerk in an Armani suit, then "Supreme Ambitions" by blogger David Lat is the book for you.

Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace

By Jeffrey Winn |

Looking back from the high hill of his 50 years of public service, Leon Panetta has written a memoir that contains thoughtful insights on the art of governing and the importance of compromise.

Prosecutor, Defender, Counselor

By Brad S. Karp |

Robert Fiske's "Prosecutor, Defender, Counselor" is a must-read for lawyers, critics of the legal profession, and anyone looking for an uplifting narrative of a life exceptionally well-lived by an individual of extraordinary talents and uncommon virtue.


By Gary Muldoon |

Why does the word "attorney" sound more prestigious than "lawyer"? That is the sort of question that four authors explore in a well-written book entitled Lawtalk.

Blindfolds Off: Judges on How They Decide

By Paul Shechtman |

The Mother Court: Tales of Cases That Mattered in America's Greatest Trial Court

By Thomas E.L. Dewey |

In "The Mother Court," the distinguished trial lawyer James Zirin gives us a richly textured, immensely readable overview of the modern history of the Southern District of New York.

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap

By Eric Dinnocenzo |

In his praiseworthy new book, "The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap," Rolling Stone columnist Matt Taibbi expertly examines how, ever since the 2008 financial crisis, the disparity in treatment between rich and poor in our justice system has increased so that now we have reached the proverbial tipping point.

Loose Sallies—Essays

By Michael Miller |

Stress Test: Reflections on Financial Crises

By Jeffrey Winn |

The Death of Punishment: Searching for Justice Among the Worst of the Worst

By Jeffrey Kirchmeier |

Throughout history, humans have debated how much suffering governments should inflict on criminals, and in his new book, New York Law School Professor Robert Blecker explores the role of retribution in the criminal justice system.

Roy Wilkins: The Quiet Revolutionary and the NAACP

By Jeffrey Winn |

As the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 nears, it is appropriate that the first comprehensive biography has been published of Roy Wilkins, the executive director of the NAACP between 1955 and 1977.

Inferno: An Anatomy of American Punishment

By Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

Echoes of My Soul

By Jeffrey Winn |

The Marble and the Sculptor: From Law School to Law Practice

By Nicole Black |

This recently published book was written for new law graduates and those considering attending law school and is designed to aid them in deciding whether a career in law is for them, and if so, how to go about making the most of their chosen field by becoming the best lawyer that they can be.

A Mayor's Life

By Jeffery Winn |

By David N. Dinkins with Peter Knobler, Public Affairs Books, New York, 385 pages, $29.99

Trying Cases to Win in One Volume

By Reviewed by Phil Schatz |

The Partner Track

By Reviewed by Victor Olds |


By Reviewed by Richard Weinberg |

Reflections on Judging

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

The Great Dissent

By Jeffrey Winn |

Death Angel

By Reviewed by Ina R. Bort |

Baseball as a Road to God: Seeing Beyond the Game

By Reviewed by Ronald W. Meister |

Young Marshall: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Chasing Gideon: The Elusive Quest for Poor People's Justice

By Reviewed by Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

My Beloved World

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Quest for Justice: Defending the Damned

By Reviewed by Michael S. Hiller |

The Law of Superheroes

By Reviewed by Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

The Oath: The Obama White House and The Supreme Court

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |


By Reviewed by Henry G. Miller |

Laughing at the Gods: Great Judges and How They Made the Common Law

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Typography for Lawyers

By Reviewed by Gary Muldoon |

In Doubt: The Psychology of the Criminal Justice Process

By Reviewed by Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

Henry Friendly: Greatest Judge of His Era

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The Passage of Power

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Eisenhower in War and Peace

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

George Kennan: An American Life

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Good Counsel: Meeting the Legal Needs of Nonprofits

By Reviewed by Stephen P. Younger |

No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Rehabilitating Lochner: Defending Individual Rights Against Progressive Reform

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Professor David E. Bernstein of George Mason University School of Law seeks to set the record straight by bestowing respectability on the 'Lochner' case. Not every reader will agree with every step in his reasoning, but it is difficult not to respect his scholarship and conscientious facility of expression.

Defending Corporations and Individuals in Government Investigations

By Reviewed by William F. Johnson and Lisa H. Bebchick |

Five Chiefs: A Supreme Court Memoir

By Reviewed by Lewis Liman |

The Collapse of American Criminal Justice

By Reviewed by Lauren-Brooke Eisen |

The Idea of America: Reflections on the Birth of the United States

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention

By Reviewed by Jeffrey Winn |

Judges Under Fire: Human Rights, Independent Judges, and the Rule of Law

By Reviewed by Helen E. Freedman |

Tangled Webs: How False Statements Are Undermining America

By Reviewed by Joel Cohen |

Convicting the Innocent: Where Criminal Prosecutions Go Wrong

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Nonprofit Law: The Life Cycle Of a Charitable Corporation

By Reviewed by Kenneth H. Ryesky |

Learned Hand: The Man and the Judge (Second Edition)

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Finding the Uncommon Deal

By Reviewed by Barbara Jaffe |

Justice Perverted: Sex Offender Law, Psychology and Public Policy

By Reviewed by Gary Muldoon |

This book examines the interplay of psychology, law and public policy in an exceedingly controversial area of criminal justice: sex offender laws, examining civil commitment, sex offender registration, child pornography and Internet sex offenses.

Lawyer Barons: What Their Contingency Fees Really Cost America

By Reviewed by Dennis Jacobs |

George Washington: A Life

By Jeffrey Winn |

Final Verdict: What Really Happened In the Rosenberg Case

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Commercial Litigation in the New York Courts

By Thomas E. Mercure |

The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Truth Be Veiled, A Justin Steele Murder Case

By Reviewed by Laura A. Ward |

Henry Clay: The Essential American

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Unlikely Muse: Legal Thinking and Artistic Imagination

By Reviewed by Alan Fell |

Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Supreme Power: Franklin Roosevelt vs. the Supreme Court

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Federal Criminal Practice: A Second Circuit Handbook

By Reviewed by Ronald P. Fischetti |

The Crisis of Capitalist Democracy

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

Unbillable Hours: A True Story

By Review By Michael Stern |

The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama

By Reviewed by Andrea M. Alonso |

Initial Public Offerings: A Practical Guide to Going Public

By Reviewed by Richard D. Truesdell Jr. |

The Citizen's Constitution: An Annotated Guide

By Review by Walter Barthold |

Why the Dreyfus Case Matters

By Reviewed by Harold J. Reynolds |

Slavery and the Supreme Court, 1825-1861

By Walter Barthold |

Justice: What's the Right Thing to Do?

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

A Rumpole Christmas

By Ronald W. Meister |

Louis D. Brandeis: A Life

By Walter Barthold |

Old City Hall

By Richard M. Weinberg |

The Defector

By Richard M. Weinberg |

Gaspipe: Confessions of a Mafia Boss

By Reviewed by Theodore Pollack |

Last Lion: The Fall and Rise of Ted Kennedy

By Reviewed by Andrea M. Alonso |

Mannahatta: A Natural History of New York City

By William J. Dean |

The Legal Limit

By Kenneth Crowley |

The Delinquent Girl

By Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. |

The Reflective Counselor: Daily Meditations for Lawyers

By Matthew A. Sciarrino Jr. |

The Speculation Economy: How Finance Triumphed Over Industry

By Alani Golanski and Thomas Comerford |

Long-Term Care at Home Consumer Guide

By Andrew Koski |

Defending Humanity: When Force Is Justified and Why

By Lawrence A. Mandelker |


By Reviewed by Mark C. Zauderer |

The Treason Trials of Aaron Burr

By Reviewed by William B. Stock |

The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State

By Reviewed by Imtiaz Jafar |

I Dissent: Great Opposing Opinions In Landmark Supreme Court Cases

By Reviewed by Lawrence A. Mandelker |

The Scotia Widows: Inside Their Lawsuit Against Big Daddy Coal

By Reviewed by Walter Barthold |

The Seven Deadly Sins of Legal Writing

By Reviewed by William B. Stock |

Understanding Privacy

By Reviewed by Aziz Huq |

Protecting Moscow From the Soviets

By Reviewed by Kenneth P. Nolan |

The Invisible Constitution (Inalienable Rights)

By Reviewed by Aziz Huq |

Corporate Internal Investigations: An International Guide

By Reviewed by Michael R. Young |

The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals

By Reviewed by Harold Reynolds |

Foreigners one day may visit this country to teach our children how our democracy decayed, drop by drop. The text for the course will be Jane Mayer's "The Dark Side." A classically great work of investigative journalism, it is an appalling, profoundly disturbing revelation of the Bush administration's war on terrorism.