The Importance of Being Honest: How Lying, Secrecy, and Hypocrisy Collide with Truth in Law

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Steven Lubet brings his signature blend of humor, advocacy, and legal ethics to this incisive analysis of the intricate interplay between honesty and law in current affairs and ... historical events. Drawing on original work as well as op-ed pieces and articles that have appeared in The American Lawyer, the Chicago Tribune, and many national publications, this book explores the complex aspects of truth seeking (and avoidance) in the legal world. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Popular author Steven Lubet brings his signature blend of humor, advocacy, and legal ethics to The Importance of Being Honest, an incisive analysis of how honesty and law play out in current affairs and historical events. Drawing on original work as well as op-ed pieces and articles that have appeared in the American Lawyer, the Chicago Tribune, and many other national publications, Lubet explores the complex aspects of honesty in the legal world.

The Importance of Being Honest is full of tales of questionable practices and poor behavior, chosen because negative examples are much richer, and often more remarkable, in their ultimate lessons. Wyatt Earp’s shootout with Billy Clanton, Bill Clinton’s disastrous decision to lie under oath, Oscar Wilde’s self-destructive perjury in a 1896 libel trial, and the dubious resolution of Justice Scalia’s duck hunting trip with Dick Cheney are only a few of the cases Lubet use to illustrate that law is a vague and boggy realm where truth, and falsehood, is seldom absolute. With his lively, insightful, and sometimes hilarious prose, Lubet takes readers on a tour of the law in our everyday lives, and forces us to rethink how we really feel about honesty and truth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Lubet probes some of the thorniest ethical and legal questions facing us, and respects both his reader and the law enough to avoid simplistic answers. Whether hes scrutinizing Bill Clinton’s relationship to his lawyer, reassessing what we know about the Scopes Monkey trial, or evaluating the demotion of Pluto, Lubet’s book offers a fresh lens through which to view legal questions.”
-Dahlia Lithwick,Slate.com
Publishers Weekly

Lubet, a law professor at Northwestern (Lawyers' Poker: 52 Lessons That Lawyers Can Learn from Card Players) tackles a series of subtle and thorny ethical questions that lawyers and judges face each day. These questions can challenge their integrity, determine their effectiveness and affect how the public views the legal profession. Lubet chooses a few notorious examples to showcase his points, such as the ethical questions raised by Supreme Court Justice Scalia's duck-hunting trip with Vice President Cheney (should the justice have recused himself in Sierra Club v. Cheney?) and Bill Clinton's infamous Monica Lewinsky deposition (did he lie to his lawyer?). Many of Lubet's examples are about less public conundrums, such as what lawyers should do if they make a mistake and the problem of judicial bullies. Lubet's central concern, which he mines adeptly, is with actions that are arguably legal but may also be strategically or morally wrong. Lubet's writing is a great strength: straightforward, funny, intelligent and devoid of legalese. Like a good color analyst, he conveys an insider's knowledge in an entertaining and informative way. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814752210
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven Lubet is the Williams Memorial Professor of Law at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. He is the author of a dozen books, including Nothing but the Truth: Why Lawyers Don't, Can't, and Shouldn't Have to Tell the Whole Truth (NYU Press) and over 100 articles. He also writes an award-winning column for the American Lawyer magazine. His commentaries have been head on National Public Radios Morning Edition, and his op-ed columns have appeared in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other major national newspapers.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
I Clients
II Lawyers
III Judges
IV Academics
V Medical Practice
Afterword
Notes and Sources
Index
About the Author

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