Customer Reviews for

The Handy Law Answer Book

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  • Posted May 12, 2012

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    A useful resource for laypersons

    One of more than a dozen books in the Visible Ink Press “Handy” series, The Handy Law Answer Book by David L. Hudson Jr. surveys legal history in the United States and summarizes six prominent practice areas of the law: constitutional, criminal, bankruptcy, employment, family, and personal injury. The book provides a practical overview of these areas, including leading principles, seminal court rulings, and numerous “LegalSpeak” sidebars with specific examples and helpful explanations. Also useful are the glossary of more than 150 terms, the extensive index, and three appendices explaining how to cite cases and statutes, the complete text of the U.S. Constitution, and ten pages of online resources. The author is well-qualified to address the subject and follows the question-and-answer format of the “Handy” series.

    The book’s two principle shortcomings are those you might expect from the enormity of the undertaking. The book claims to be an exhaustive overview of U.S. law without touching on areas such as property, immigration, business entities, or intellectual property. Professor Hudson simplifies the issues, but sometimes struggles to be both legally precise and intelligible to laypersons. Consider this sentence on page 21: “It is essential to just construction that many words which import something excessive should be understood in a more mitigated sense—in the sense which common usage justifies.” This sentence may be understandable to lawyers, but would surely puzzle the average person. The section on “sequestered juries” never defines “sequester,” and the glossary also omits the term. Additional editing could improve text readability.

    Overall, The Handy Law Answer Book does a nice job of introducing readers to the rules that govern our society and the practice of law. It is probably most useful as a general reference tool for those with a strong interest in history, government, politics, or legal studies.

    Laurie A. Gray
    Reprinted from the Christian Library Journal (Vol. XV, No. 1, February 2011); used with permission.

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  • Posted June 14, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Reference Book

    David Hudson has written a useful and informative law reference book that will make a good addition to any family's library. Hudson works as First Amendment Scholar for the Forst Amendment Center and teaches classes at Vanderbilt Law School, Nashville School of Law and Middle Tennessee State University. His degrees are from Duke University and Vanderbilt Law School.

    The book is organized into nine key legal areas. Areas included are Constitutional Law, The Bill of Rights and 14 Amendment, The Court System, Lawyers and Lawsuits, Criminal Procedures, Credit and Bankruptcy Law, Employment Law, Family Law and Personal Injury Law. Each chapter is written in a question and answer format. Along with this basic legal knowledge, there are pertinent cases that illustrate specific legal points and that serve as precedent for situations following that case. Numerous illustrations add to the reader's understanding of the principles being discussed.

    The book starts out with explanations about how our law system was established by the Founding Fathers, goes on to explain how courts are organized today and then gets more specific. The reader can find the answer from everything from how to find a lawyer to who is entitled to your credit report to who is eligible and who isn't for overtime pay. Knowledge about common-law marriages, retirement accounts as marital property and how tort law differs from criminal law is discussed. The book is an exhaustive source of answers to the legal issues any family may encounter in their daily life.

    This book is recommended to readers both as an enjoyable book to expand their legal knowledge and to serve as a reference book going forward.

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    Posted March 25, 2011

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    Posted July 6, 2011

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    Posted May 22, 2012

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