Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About American Law : Everything You Need to Know About American Law

Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About American Law : Everything You Need to Know About American Law

3.7 7
by Jay M. Feinman
     
 

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The first two editions of the best-selling Law 101 provided readers with a vividly written and indispensable portrait of our nation's legal system. Now, in this third edition, Jay M. Feinman offers a fully updated survey of American law that incorporates fresh material on 2009 Supreme Court cases, the legal response to the war on terror (including the

Overview

The first two editions of the best-selling Law 101 provided readers with a vividly written and indispensable portrait of our nation's legal system. Now, in this third edition, Jay M. Feinman offers a fully updated survey of American law that incorporates fresh material on 2009 Supreme Court cases, the legal response to the war on terror (including the Guantanamo detainees and electronic surveillance), and to the latest developments in Internet law. In a book brimming with legal puzzles, interesting anecdotes, and thought-provoking questions, Jay M. Feinman's clear introduction to the law provides us with a solid understanding of the American legal tradition and covers the main subjects taught in the first year of law school. Readers are introduced to every aspect of the legal system, from constitutional law and the litigation process to tort law, contract law, property law, and criminal law. Feinman illuminates each discussion with many intriguing, outrageous, and infamous cases, from the scalding coffee case that cost McDonald's half a million dollars, to the sensational murder trial in Victorian London that led to the legal definition of insanity, to the epochal decision in Marbury v. Madison that gave the Supreme Court the power to declare state and federal law unconstitutional. He broadens the reader's legal vocabulary, clarifying the meaning of everything from "due process" and "equal protection" in constitutional law to the distinction between "murder" and "manslaughter" in criminal law. Perhaps most important, we learn that though the law is voluminous and complex, it is accessible to all. Everyone who wants a better grasp of current legal issues--from students contemplating law school, to journalists covering the legislature or the courts, to fans of Court TV--will find here a wonderful source of information: a complete, clear, and colorful map of the American legal system.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"An engaging introduction to just about every aspect of law."--The American Lawyer

"All the benefits of that first year of law school without the tedium, the terror, and the sleep deprivation...These legal lessons are presented in a style nearly always engaging and very often humorous."--Jurist

"An entertaining and informative introduction to the law...For journalists, those interested in the law, and fans of television law dramas, this book should be required reading."--Library Journal

"A layperson's introduction to the legal subjects that assault every first-year law student. From constitutional law to contracts to Dickensian procedures that guide civil suites, the book gives an approachable overview of the cases and concepts that combine to form our legal system."--Newark Star-Ledger

"Though a book is aimed at laypersons, it offers a good refresher course to update legal practitioners and paraprofessionals in areas where they do not specialize. A good read overall for those interested in the law."--Booklist

"Law 101 attempts to teach you how to think like a lawyer--without requiring that you dedicate three years and tens of thousands of dollars to the task. The result? A practical book that is also a pleasure to read."--The Trenton Times

"This basic text offers nonlawyers a concise, accessible overview of topics typically introduced in the first year of law school. Feinman, a law professor at Rutgers, cites seminal cases to highlight key concepts in the fields of constitutional law, civil procedure, torts, contracts, property, criminal law and criminal procedure. He does not minimize the actual complexity of these subjects, conceding variously that contract law has "tormented the most students," property law "most irritates students," conflicts of law "tortures students" and civil procedure is "the most alien." Nevertheless, he distinguishes his book from the various how-to-be-your-own-lawyer manuals on the market: 'This one is fun to read.' ...But many readers, particularly those contemplating law school, will find this a painless introduction to American legal theory and practice."--Publishers Weekly (Praise for the Second Edition)

"Many readers, particularly those contemplating law school, will find this a painless introduction to American legal theory and practice."--Publishers Weekly

"Feinman's style makes for easy reading, and Law101 is chock full of analyses, anecdotes, examples, questions, and legal reasoning set out in lay terms. Overall, the book provides an excellent explanation of what American law is, and it frequently suggests ways in which it might be improved."--The Federal Lawyer

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199752843
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
06/09/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
587,100
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Jay M. Feinman serves as Distinguished Professor of Law at Rutgers University School of Law, Camden. He is the author of five previous books, including 1001 Legal Words and Un-Making Law: The Conservative Campaign to Roll Back the Common Law.

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Law 101 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Brooke22 More than 1 year ago
Law 101, overall was both entertaining as well as informational. Each chapter explains in depth different forms of law including contract law, tort law, criminal law and property law. Within these chapters the author explains the basic rules that are generally applied as well as the thinking process that lawyers actually experience from case to case. Themes throughout this book are primarily focused on the process of litigation (process in court) and problem solving skills that apply to judges and lawyers a like, making every case as fair as possible. Most of the cases presented in the book are well known, making it easier for the reader to connect to them like the famous Mcdonald's case where the woman won $480,000 after receiving third degree burns. The book was well written and easy to understand, Feinman wrote it all as if they were all short stories, like mini episodes of Law & Order but with more explanation. Shortly after reading the first chapter I was skeptical about if I had chosen the wrong book, but trust me once getting past the first chapter you're hooked. Anyone who is obsessed with Law & Order, aspires to be a law student, or just wants a better grasp on the American legal system should definitely read this book. By going into depth on several public and private cases, it will keep your interest while elaborating the type of law you're trying to comprehend.
Jovalle More than 1 year ago
Let me start out by saying that I never had a particular interest in Law before reading this book. If anything, I imagined the subject matter to be boring. With that said I have five words: I LOVE THIS BOOK! It is so well written and interesting. It really made me understand the basics of law, and more importantly, it made me understand how legal theory "works". It turned me into a "law-lover" because I now understand what is at stake, when laws are written and interpreted. With this book YOU WILL LEARN SO MUCH!
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Guest More than 1 year ago
AS I AM GOING TO APPEAR FOR CALIFORNIA BAR EXAM I WAS IN NEED OF A LATEST BOOK ON AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM. AT THAT TIME, AS A BOON PROF.JAY.M.FEINMAN¿S LAW 101 CAME INTO MY HANDS THIS BOOK HAS BEEN PUBLISHED BY OXFORD UNIVERSITY PUBLICATION. THE AUTHOR HAS REASONABLY TRIED TO EXPLAIN THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM TO THE COMMON MEN AND TO THE FRESH LAW STUDENTS. THROUGH 89 QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS HE HAS EXPLAINED AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM. HE HAS RAISED VERY VITAL QUESTIONS ABOUT CONSTITUTIONAL LAWS AND ALSO ABOUT CRIMINAL LAWS. HE HAS DISCUSSED ABOUT CIVIL PROCEDURE, CONTRACT, TORTS, PROPERTY, AND OTHER LAWS. THROUGH SIMPLE LANGUAGE, HE DRAWS THE STUDENTS WORLDWIDE AND SCORES MORE MARKS FROM THE STUDENTS. SOMETIMES HE MADE SUCH AN IMPRESSION AS IF HE TOOK CLASSES IN FRONT OF ME. BECAUSE OF ANALYTICAL QUESTIONS THE VACUM OF THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM IS EXPOSED AND UNDERSTOOD EVEN FOR THE FOREIGN LAW STUDENTS. TALL CLAIM OF THE AMERICAN SCHOLARS ARE TO BE BLAMED NOT THE AUTHOR OF THIS BOOK IF YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH THE EXPLANATIONS. IT IS ALSO EXPOSED HOW MAN IS CRIMINA.L IN NATURE- HE COULD NOT GIVE FOOLPROOF SYSTEM FOR HIS OWN SOCIETY A PROPER LEGAL SYSTEM AND THEN HE CLAIMS HE IS THE TOP OF ALL ANIMALS. I COULD UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INDIAN PENAL CODE AND UNIFROM PENAL CODE OF USA.HOW THE AMERICAN LEGAL SYSTEM TRIES TO PROTECT THE ACCUSED WHILE SENTENCING.THE LEGAL SYSTEM TAKES SO MUCH CARE OF BAISED SENTENCING,THEREFORE POINTS SYSTEM HAS BEEN IMPLEMENTED. AGAIN HE HAS FEW MORE QUESTIONS FOR WHOLE LIFE OF THE READERS TO IMPROVE THEIR KNOWLEDGE.BUT HE HAS NOT ANSWERED THEM. BUT HE ADVISED THE READERS TO FIND ANSWERS THROUGHOUT THEIR LIFE ON THE BASIS OF HIS TEACHINGS.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not that high-strung to worry if this book is leftist or rightist or centerist... I am just courious about the laws that we live by in this country. This book is written in a easy-to-read Q&A format that makes for a fun and entertaining read that is presented in a fair and balanced way. The author allows the reader to apply his/her own ideas to the material. As far as another reviewer implying that 'the law's are whatever the goverment says they are'... well, yeah- that's the purpose of government. Everybodys entitled to their opinion, but if you have a real problem with how the government is being run you should go out and get involved in educating and informing people of their right and duty to vote, and why a certain canidate is a better choice than others... I think that would be much more effective than trashing a book before giving it a fair chance (by only reading 'a few chapters') if you get that worked up over a simple (and bias-free, IMHO) discussion of our laws maybe you should read 'Don't Sweat the Small Stuff'-another book I recommend. Go out and buy this book- it's easily worth more than double it's price.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was so disgusted with this book I had to return it after reading only the first few chapters. The author writes in terms of the contemporary, politically motivated, Godless judicial activist, who views the law as based on whatever a mob (the dominant political culture) says it should be. There is no concept of law above what the courts say. So if 'the courts' say the people have no 'right to keep and bear arms', then presto, they have no rights (to hell with the Constitution and inalienable, God-given rights). If the Supremes say African slaves can be owned by American citizens, well, then that's the law. What will Feinman say when the Supremes say all Jews should be interned for extermination? 'That's the law'? This book is destined for the trash heap of modernistic rubbish. Save your time and money. Don Zimmerman Austin, TX
Guest More than 1 year ago
An excellent work. While the book is written for ordinary American citizens, it is useful and valuable to foreign lawyers interested in acquiring knowledge of the fundamental rules and priciples of American law and the underlying concepts. With the increasing influence of American culture and legal system worldwide, particularly in those newly emerging economies waddling toward industrialization, modernization, democracy, and the rule of law, all politicians as well as lawyers in those countries need to have clear perception and correct understanding of the American legal system and the the civil right principles embodied in the U.S. Constitution as developed and interpreted by the Supreme Court over the past two centuries since Chief Justice Marshall. Prof. Feinman's 'Law 101' is certainly the very book that will properly do the job. More important, the legal and social issues mentioned in the book, e.g. due process of law, freedom of speech, the huge amount of punitive damages in personal injury cases, the execution of death penalty, are especially worthy of thought to be given by lawyers and politicians in the world. While the book is written in an easy-to-read English language, the legal terms contained in it are alien to foreign lawyers with no common law traininig. To benefit more foreign readers, especially lawyers and law students in countries of the 'civil law' system, it is recommended that the book be translated and published in other languages, although it may not be an easy job because of the differences in legal systems and terminologies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Don zimmeran doesnt know what he is talking about, after all your an engineer, and he is a dean, and the laws have to go through the president and congress first.