California State University, Dominguez Hills
University of Wisconsin, Parkside
Soka University Japan - Transcend Art and Peace
Created: July 27, 2003
Latest Update: November 8, 2007
You will be held accountable for the readings and discussion questions listed here. There will be no "testing." That means that you will not have to live in anxious anticipation of what we will ask and how much you will have to know. Instead, we will provide weekly discussion questions, lectures, essays, and concepts we feel that you should know as a result of having taken this course. You will assure us of that learning and receive your grade for the questions and concepts about which you choose to write and talk with us. In addition you will find detailed explanations and examples on our grading policies in the first week's reading.
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Week 11: Week of November 11, 2007
- Bonsignore . Before the Law. Chapters 11,12, and 13.
- Bellow and Minow. Law Stories. Ogletree and Smith.
- Documentary, "Ethics on Trial" to be shown in class.
- Curran and Takata. Sociology of Law Handbook. Chapter 1 & 2 (see links below)
-- Chapter 1, part 1
-- Chapter 1, part 2
-- Chapter 2
Lecture related links:
- Index on Structural Violence
- Metaphor and Theory links to "The Blind Men and the Elephant." Eric K. mentioned this metaphor when we were discussing several concepts relating to our class.
- "Who's Habermas? Why Habermas?"
- W.I. Thomas "Definition of the Situation
- Those Infamous Grades and Letters of Recommendation
- "The Case Against Gold Stars" by Alfie Kohn.
Concepts to be covered:
- reproduction of hierarchy
- the Socratic method
- "fight" theory v. "truth" theory
Note: Incorporate this week's readings and the documentary, "Ethics on Trial" into your answers to the discussion questions below.
- In Ogletree's "Public defender, public friend...", what is the most important message that the author is trying to convey? Why. What would Howard Becker, an interactionist, and Habermas say is the important message here? Why.
- In Smith's "On Representing a Victim of Crime," what is the tension between facts and norms? What might you suggest to relieve the tension? Why.
- In an earlier edition of Bonsignore's book, Florynce Kennedy said, "[T]he law is a hustle..." What did she mean by this? How would the four sociological perspectives explain/interpret this statement? Which interpretation do you agree with the most? Why.
- Kennedy says that people generally accept the idea that hierarchies express the net value of each individual's worth, and thus they also accept not only other people's unequal relationship to themselves, but also their own location in unequal systems. Do you agree? Why. (from Bonsignore, p. 359, Q.3).
- Professor Williams, by taking up the student's cause, comes to suffer the same fate as the student -- ostracism and blaming the victim. What does this imply about the law school culture, pedagogy, and hierarchies, and about advocacy? (from Bonsignore, p. 367, Q.2).
- Relating to the documentary, "Ethics on Trial," and this week's readings (both Bonsignore and the Bellow/Minow book), should there be any lmits to a lawyer's advocacy? Should society have any interest in the lawyer-client relationship so long as the lawyer is ethical? Bonsignore, p. 374, Q.3. You need to read this question in its entirety)
Suggested Creative Measures/Visual Projects:
Note: Start thinking about ideas for your creative measures. Must relate to "law and society" Must be approved before starting your creative measure. Cannot be something that you are doing or have done for another course. Research cannot be 100% online (i.e., google, askjeeves). Must conduct library research using scholarly works, (not the popular press -- Time Magazine, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated). A bibliography must be attached to your visual presentation. No term papers! Allow time to dialogue and present your creative measure in class. Email me your ideas ASAP.
- Make an explosion box , and decorate it to reflect an issue relating to lawyers, the legal profession, law school, and so forth.
- Select a controversial issue focusing on lawyers:
-- law school rankings
-- the ethics of the legal profession
-- the public defender
- Interview a lawyer. Find out his/her law school experience. His/her observations inside and outside of court.
- Visit the county court house. Observe "law in action."
- View a movie (old and new) that depicts the legal profession. How realistic are these portrayals? Why.
- View "Paper Chase." Is this typical of today's law schools? Why or why not.
- Come up with your own "law story".
--- Paula DiPerna. Juries on Trial.
--- Alan Dershowitz. The Best Defense.
--- Steve Bogira. Courtroom 302: A Year Behind the Scenes in an American Courthouse.
--- Deborah L. Rhode. Access to Justice.
--- Mark Weiner. Black Trials.
--- Dan T. Carter. Scottsboro: A Tragedy of the American South.
--- Anthony Lewis. Gideon's Trumpet.
--- Harriet Ziskin. The Blind Eagle.
--- Jonathan Casper. Criminal Courts: The Defendant's Perspective.
--- Samuel Walker. Taming the System: The Control of Discretion in the Criminal Justice System.
--- Kenneth Culp Davis. Discretionary Justice.
--- James P. Levine. Juries and Politics.
--- Jurgen Habermas. Between Facts and Norms.
--- Martha Minow. Making All the Difference: Exclusion, Inclusion and American Law. Check out this link Martha Minow on the Dear Habermas site.