Most of us know very little about the law. We pick up bits of information from television and newspaper accounts of current legal battles, and from bestselling novels and popular movies. But these pieces do not give us an accurate or complete picture. In Law 101, Jay M. Feinman offers a delightfully clear introduction to law, covering the main subjects found in the first year of law school and giving us a basic understanding of the American legal tradition. 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 laws 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 law is voluminous and complex, but accessible to everyone. Anyone who enjoys Court TV will find this book irresistible. Everyone who wants a better grasp of current legal issues, from students contemplating law school to journalists covering the legislature or the courts, will find here a wonderful source of information--a complete, clear, and colorful map of the American legal system.
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