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ABA Journal: Modern Law Library

ABA Journal: Modern Law Library is a 2016 Lisagor Award-winning podcast featuring top legal authors and discussions of interesting legal theories and historical events. Join Lee Rawles each month to review a legal publication on ABA Journal: Modern Law Library.

Jun 22, 2016

In ‘The Last Good Girl,’ Allison Leotta tackles the fraught subject of campus rape

Author Allison Leotta has used her 12-year experience as a federal sex-crimes prosecutor in Washington, D.C., to bring real-world issues into her fiction. Leotta has written five novels chronicling the adventures of her protagonist, prosecutor Anna Curtis. The most recent, The Last Good Girl, takes on the issue of campus sexual assault at a fictional private...

May 11, 2016

Before stop-and-frisk there were vagrancy laws; ‘Vagrant Nation’ explores their rise and fall

Lee Rawles speaks with Risa Goluboff about her new book, 'Vagrant Nation: Police Power, Constitutional Change, and the Making of the 1960s.'

Mar 22, 2016

Prosecutor’s book offers first-hand look at ‘Making a Murderer’ subject Steven Avery

A year before Netflix’s viral hit Making of a Murderer was making headlines, Manitowoc County prosecutor Michael Griesbach released his book “The Innocent Killer: A True Story of a Wrongful Conviction and its Astonishing Aftermath”. Griesbach was the prosecutor who worked to free Steven Avery after DNA evidence proved he had been wrongfully convicted of a terrible assault. In...

Dec 21, 2015

Harper Lee Prize winner tells how history and race shaped her Southern gothic novel

The Secret of Magic is a book within a book. It is both the title of Deborah Johnson’s 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction-winning novel, and (in the world of that novel) a reclusive writer’s scandalous 1920s children’s book, which dared to feature black and white playmates solving mysteries together in a magical forest. The...

Aug 26, 2015

Linda Fairstein chats about her Alex Cooper series–and reveals an exciting new project

In the hands of author Linda Fairstein, fictional sex-crimes prosecutor Alex Cooper has enjoyed a career spanning 17 books and almost two decades. Cooper’s 16th adventure, Terminal City, was selected as one of the three finalists for the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. Fairstein spoke with the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles to discuss...

Apr 30, 2015

Grammar nerds, meet your Comma Queen

Mary Norris has been a copy editor for the New Yorker since 1978. In her new book, Between You & Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen, she offers clear and understandable grammar lessons for some of the most common conundrums faced by English speakers. Along the way, she also lifts the veil on the editorial...

Jan 28, 2015

Author Tells Tangled Tale of the $19B Verdict Against Chevron in ‘Law of the Jungle’

In February 2011, an Ecuadorean court found the Chevron Corporation liable for environmental damage caused by oil-drilling activities in the rainforest region El Oriente in the 1970s and 1980s. Chevron, which in 2001 purchased Texaco (the company which had actually operated the oil wells), was ordered to pay $19 billion to the class-action plaintiffs who brought...

Dec 17, 2014

All is not as it seems for 9th Circuit clerk in ATL founder’s new novel (podcast)

In this episode of the Modern Law Library, moderator Lee Rawles chats with Above the Law’s David Lat about his novel Supreme Ambitions, his career, and his time as the anonymous author of the sometimes-scandalous blog Underneath Their Robes. Read more about Lat and his book at the ABA Journal.

Sep 30, 2014

How a series of attacks by a breakaway Amish sect became a landmark hate-crimes case

The Amish religion is a branch of Christianity that adheres to a doctrine of simplicity, nonviolence and forgiveness. How then did a breakaway group come to be implicated in the first federal trial to prosecute religiously motivated hate crimes within the same faith community? From September to November in 2011, there was series of five...

Aug 28, 2014

Boies and Olson reveal the backstory of the case against California’s Proposition 8

Before their successful partnership on Hollingsworth v. Perry, the federal case that overturned California’s anti-same-sex-marriage law, the most prominent case Ted Olson and David Boies had been involved in together was Bush v. Gore. Olson, who argued on behalf of George W. Bush, prevailed over Al Gore, who was represented by Boies. But people who...

Jul 28, 2014

Growing up during BTK serial-killing spree informed author’s new crime novel (podcast)

Alafair Burke’s fascination with crime stories came far before her career as a novelist, or her work as first a prosecutor and then a law professor. “When I was growing up in Wichita, there was an active serial killer there who called himself ‘BTK,’ which stood for ‘Bind, Torture and Kill,’ which is kind of...

Jun 30, 2014

Why should 9/11 terrorism trials be held at ‘Mother Court’ in New York? Author explains (podcast)

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York goes so far back in our nation’s history that it predates the U.S. Supreme Court by several weeks, says author James D. Zirin. Established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, it is known as the “Mother Court.” The Manhattan courthouse has seen some of...

May 29, 2014

How 50 children were saved from Nazi Germany by a Philadelphia lawyer and his wife (podcast)

Gil Kraus was a Jewish business lawyer in Philadelphia. But when the head of the Jewish fraternal order Brith Sholom approached him in 1939, it wasn’t for business advice. Instead, Louis Levine had a proposition for Kraus. Brith Sholom (of which Kraus was a member) had recently built a 25-bedroom dwelling in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. It...

Apr 30, 2014

This 18th-century British judge helped SCOTUS decide the fate of Guantanamo detainees (podcast)

How did an 18th-century British judge whose advice on how to treat American revolutionaries was “if you do not kill them, they will kill you” come to be cited in more than 330 U.S. Supreme Court opinions? William Murray was born in 1705 to a Scottish family in decided disfavor with the crown due to...

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Lee Rawles

Lee Rawles joined the ABA Journal in 2010 as a web producer. She has also worked for the Winston-Salem...

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