DIVORCED FROM JUSTICE

THE ABUSE OF WOMEN BY DIVORCE LAWYERS AND JUDGES

A useful if somewhat naãve assessment of the labyrinthine divorce system. In the early 1990s, Winner, now a private consultant on women's rights and the courts, investigated complaints filed with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs by women who felt that they had been abused by judges and lawyers in divorce court; many of her recommendations for reform were later adopted by the state. She found rampant overbilling, clear instances of conflict of interest, and repeated failures to disclose information on the part of lawyers, particularly those representing the nonprofessional women least likely to have the resources and sophistication to cope with such conduct. Winner also discovered what she considers to be persistent failure by family court judges to follow the law. The result of this pattern of malfeasance, she argues, is that well-off men find it easy to take advantage of the women they are divorcing. Most of her proposed reforms are debatable, but plausible: reducing judicial discretion, creating citizen review boards to monitor judges and lawyers, applying rules requiring clearer disclosure by lawyers of what they have done to earn their fees, and bringing lawyers under the authority of consumer protection agencies. An outsider to the legal profession, Winner has sharp perceptions of some strange lawyer customs, such as failing to itemize fees and having young associates perform the work for which a high-profile partner has contracted. She also, however, underestimates the degree to which bad judicial and legal practice are caused by sloth or incompetence, rather than avarice or cruelty. She seems shocked that lawyers share the general population's regard for profit, and she ignores the rapaciousness of many clients, including abandoned wives. That said, however, this book has much good advice on protecting oneself from unscrupulous or sloppy lawyers. ($50,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-06-039184-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1996

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD

A LIFETIME OF RECORDINGS

Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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