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

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

by Steven Lubet
     
 

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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

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.

Editorial Reviews

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)

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From the Publisher

“Chock full of information and insight.”
-St. Croix Review

“Collects controversial cases, raises intriguing questions, and describes them in accessible prose and wry wit.”
-The Washington Lawyer

“Lubet is so witty and entertaining that you may not even notice how much you’re learning about the dangers of honesty-deficient lawyers and judges. A real eye-opener!”
-Rachel Maines,author of The Technology of Orgasm: Hysteria, the Vibrator, and Womens Sexual Satisfaction

“Lubet 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’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 insiders knowledge in an entertaining and informative way.”
-Publishers Weekly

“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

“Provides an interesting look at various questions of ethics and the law.”
-Law and Politics Book Review

The Importance of Being Honest is both funny and dangerous. In pulling the lid off the hypocrisy and delusions at virtually every level of the legal profession, he is in danger of touching off a chain reaction that could result in the average Americans understanding and thus his and her ability to reform the legal system.”
-Allen Barra,Wall Street Journal

“Explores the interplay between honesty and candor, or its absence, in the legal profession for a number of years in essays and editorials.”
-New York Law Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814752364
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
05/01/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher

Lubet's book does what a great law school teacher can do with words and arguments: Present all sides with crisp analysis, without self-delusion, and with elegance and grace. Some read to learn; some read for pleasure; this book is highly recommended to those who read to learn with pleasure. It is especially recommended for summer reading for newly minted college graduates becoming 1L's in the fall... Northwestern University is fortunate to have Professor Lubet on its faculty of law."-Journal of Information Ethics,

“Lubet 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’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 insiders knowledge in an entertaining and informative way.”
-Publishers Weekly

,

The Importance of Being Honest is both funny and dangerous. In pulling the lid off the hypocrisy and delusions at virtually every level of the legal profession, he is in danger of touching off a chain reaction that could result in the average Americans understanding and thus his and her ability to reform the legal system.”
-Allen Barra,Wall Street Journal

“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

“Lubet is so witty and entertaining that you may not even notice how much you’re learning about the dangers of honesty-deficient lawyers and judges. A real eye-opener!”
-Rachel Maines,author of The Technology of Orgasm: Hysteria, the Vibrator, and Womens Sexual Satisfaction

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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