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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review: The Handy Law Answer Book by David L. Hudson Jr.

The Handy Law Answer Book by David L. Hudson Jr.
Publisher: Visible Ink Press
Genre: non-fiction, law, history
Paperback, 450 pages
Book Source: Online Publicist
My Rating: 90 (It's non-fiction)

From the publisher:

Combining practical legal tips with an exhaustive overview of the law in the United States, The Handy Law Answer Book provides a history of the U.S. legal system, including the personalities who shaped it.

Chapters include: The Bill of Rights (including James Madison's speech to Congress in which he argued for the Bill of Rights), Criminal Procedures, Employment Law, and Family Law. Through these, as well as others, you get an introduction to various laws, important cases, court opinions, and how they might affect you.

You'll learn how to find a lawyer; what happens when you file a lawsuit or are sued by someone; what your rights in the workplace are; and what you can expect when you have your day in court. Plus, you'll get tips on how to read those legal citations, as well as discover some fascinating--and quirky--legal cases.

My Thoughts:

So you are probably thinking, what in the world is this book and why is Jenny reviewing it?  Well, I agreed to review this book because it includes the history behind the birth of our Constitution and system of law.  In addition,  law cases of note are highlighted in each chapter, and I like reading that kind of stuff.  Way back when, I had an intro to law class at Temple U. (where I obtained my Masters in Pinochle) and the law has always interested me.  So what exactly does this book contain?  Lets get to it.

The book has nine chapters which cover topics that people are most likely to encounter during their life time:
  • Constitutional law
  • Bill of Rights and 14th Amendment
  • Court System
  • Lawyers and Law Suits
  • Criminal Procedures
  • Credit and Bankruptcy
  • Employment 
  • Family Law  
  • Personal Injury 
The chapters are presented in a question and answer format which is easy and simple to read and understand.  This is a good thing, because when it comes to the law, I think the eyes of most people tend to glaze over.  The writing is also done in an easy to understand language.  It is not legalese, which again can be discouraging to most people, except lawyers.

The first couple of chapters deal with the birth of our Constitution and legal system, so there is more history here than in later chapters.  These were the most interesting to me, but that is because of my interest in history.  Due to the current economic climate, some may find the latter chapters more interesting, because it can be tough talking to someone about bankruptcy or family matters.  I think these chapters provide a good background for research when looking for a lawyer for a particular problem.  If you have medical issues you consult the Internet first before going to your physician, don't you?  Well if you have some legal questions, you can check this book first, before seeking a lawyer.  Although it should not replace the services or expertise of a lawyer.

This book is easy reading and is something you can pick up and down at any time.  People who enjoy TV programs such as Law and Order, or may be considering a career in law, would probably benefit from this book. This book also contains a full copy of the Constitution in the back.  This is for all you Americans who don't know what the electoral college is.  My opinion may be knit-picky, but I think as an American, you should know the basic rules of the land you live in.

If you want to learn more about legal system and it's history, check this book out.  As final food for thought, I leave you with a quote, albeit lengthy, from Billings Learned Hand.  I had never heard of him before, but he is considered to be of the best judges in history.  And he never served on the Supreme Court.

"Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it.  While it lies there it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it.  And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women?  It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes.  That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow. 

A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few; as we have learned to our sorrow.  The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the mind of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs interests alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of Him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned but never quite forgotten; that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side by side with the greatest."  (pg. 107)

My sentiments exactly!

My Rating: 90/100.  It's non-ficiton so it's tough to rate.

Thanks to Lisa the Online Publicist for sending me a copy.

I am an Amazon Associate.


Staci said...

My 18-year-old would totally love to read this one!!

The Bookworm said...

Great review Jenny, it does sound interesting. I read and reviewed the Handy Dandy Answer Book for Kids. I think its from the same publishers.

Toni said...

I think it sounds really good Jenny. I am glad you reviewed it otherwise I wouldn't know of it. The quote is amazing. Good job on your review.

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