Closest to the Fire: A Writer's Guide to Law and Lawyers

Closest to the Fire: A Writer's Guide to Law and Lawyers

by Karen A. Wyle

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Overview

Closest to the Fire: A Writer's Guide to Law and Lawyers by Karen A. Wyle

Write about the law -- and get it right!

The world of law and lawyers, with its suspense, its moral quandaries, and its ripped-from-the-headlines subject matter, provides wonderful material for fiction. This guide will help writers explore these many story possibilities, while avoiding the pitfalls awaiting the unwary.

Included throughout the book are ideas for stories or story elements based on the content and available for the readers' use.

Karen A. Wyle is an award-winning appellate attorney with more than thirty years' experience. A cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, she worked for law firms and the California Court of Appeal before establishing her solo practice in Bloomington, Indiana. Wyle has filed amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and seven state supreme courts. She has also written and published five novels. One-quarter of her novel Division is set in a near-future courtroom.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780990564140
Publisher: Oblique Angles Press
Publication date: 10/13/2015
Pages: 656
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.32(d)

About the Author

Karen A. Wyle is an award-winning appellate attorney with more than thirty years' experience. A cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, she worked for law firms and the California Court of Appeal before establishing her solo practice in Bloomington, Indiana. Wyle has filed amicus briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and seven state supreme courts. She has also written and published six novels, with a seventh coming out in December 2016. Portions of several novels, including one-quarter of her novel Division, are set in near-future courtrooms.

Table of Contents

1. Why the Title, and Why This Book?
2. Attorneys: Substance and Style
3. Fees
4. The Rules for Attorneys
5. Judges
6. Who, What, and Where
7. Some Basics of Civil and Criminal Procedure
8. Are We There Yet?, Part One: The Pace of Legal Proceedings
9. Alternatives: Plea Bargains, Settlement, and ADR
10. Surprise: No Surprises
11. Waiting Too Long: Statutes of Limitations and Repose
12. Arrest Basics
13. What's It All About: Substantive Principles (Criminal)
A. An Introductory Note about Criminal Intent
B. Having it Both Ways: Prosecutorial Inconsistency
C. Categories
D. The Model Penal Code
E. Murder Most (and Less) Foul
F. Rape
G. Robbery versus Burglary
H. Theft
I. The Truth, and Not the Truth: Perjury
J. The Wide Net of 18 USC §1001
K. Blackmail
L. Intimidation and Threat
M. Trespass - Criminal Version
N. Resisting Arrest
O. Disorderly Conduct and Sometimes-Separate Related Offenses
P. Close but No Cigar: Attempt as a Crime
Q. Conspiracy and Related Crimes
R. Necessity and Duress
S. Ignorance Won't Help
T. Entrapment
U. Citizen's Arrest
V. Involuntary Commitment
W. Delinquency - Like and Unlike Crime
X. Criminal Contempt
14. What's It All About: Substantive Principles (Civil)
A. Introduction: Civil Law
B. Models and Uniforms
C. Promises, Promises: Contract Law
D. Property, or What is Real
E. Water Rights in the East and West
F. Torts: Introduction and Intentional Torts
G. Negligence and Related Tort Concepts
H. All in the Family
I. Guardianship
J. Children with Money
K. Will We, Won't We: Wills and Trusts
L. Employment
M. Intellectual Property
N. Second-Hand Claims, aka Choses in Action
O. Taxes
P. Fiduciary Duty
Q. Blame the Boss - Respondeat Superior
R. Bankruptcy
S. Green Pastures: Pensions and Other Retirement Benefits
T. Soldiers' and Sailors' Relief Act
U. Corporations: What Makes Them Special
15. Federal Law with Both Civil and Criminal Aspects
A. Antitrust
B. Securities Regulation
C. You Too May be Treated Like a Gangster: RICO
D. Admiralty
16. Sovereign Immunity: Suing the State
17. Fairness in Action: Equitable Estoppel
18. Choice of Law
19. Judges and Juries
A. The Other Kind of Jury
B. Judge or Jury?
C. A Dozen - or Not
D. Picking the Jury
E. Controlling the Jury
F. Alternate Jurors
G. Jury Nullification and Other Shenanigans
20. Burdens of Proof
21. Open and Shut: Opening and Closing Statements
22. Order in the Court: How Trials Work
A. The Exception: Small Claims Court
B. Battle Inside, Buddies Outside
C. Quaint Legal Customs
D. Confidential Filings
E. Stipulations
F. Testimony is Evidence - But Not Always Enough
G. What Evidence?: Spoliation
H. Witnesses
I. Privileges that Can Prevent Testimony
J. "Bad Acts"
K. "Well, He Said to Her...": Hearsay and Its Exceptions
L. Judicial Notice
M. Objections
23. Prosecutorial Misconduct
24. Lost in Translation: Foreign Language Interpreters
25. Motions
26. The Original, Whatever that Means
27. Instructions, Verdicts, and Judgments
28. You Had Your Chance!: Res Judicata and Collateral Estoppel
29. Criminal Penalties
30. Civil Remedies
31. Military Justice
32. Are We There Yet?, Part Two: Appeals and Other Post-Judgment Relief
33. Collecting the Spoils: Enforcement of Judgments
34. The Constitution in the Courtroom
A. First, Some Constitutional Rights Not Directly Courtroom-Related
B. Limits on Search and Seizure and on Arrests
C. Excessive Bail versus No Bail
D. The Right to Remain Silent
E. The Exclusionary Rule
F. The Right to Confront Witnesses
G. Due Process, Procedural and "Substantive"
H. Equal Protection
I. Double Jeopardy
J. More Time Travel: Ex Post Facto Laws
K. Judgments that Follow People Around the Country: Full Faith and Credit
L. The Elastic Commerce Clause
M. Section 1983: Civil Suits for Violations of Civil Rights
N. Obscure Constitutional Oddities
35. Tricks and Tactics: A Small Sampler
36. Technology on the March
37. Last Words

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