Popular author Steven Lubet brings his signature blend of humor, advocacy, and legal ethics toThe 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 theAmerican Lawyer, theChicago Tribune, and many other national publications, Lubet explores the complex aspects of honesty in the legal world.The Importance of Being Honestis 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.
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 2008 Reed Business Information.
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New York University Press
April 30, 2008
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