The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Felony and the Guilty Mind in Medieval England by Elizabeth Papp Kamali (Cambridge Univ. Press, Oct. 31, 2019).
Wednesday, November 13, 2019, at noon Harvard Law School Milstein East B/C (Directions) 1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA No RSVP required
Intisar A. Rabb, Professor of Law, a Professor of History, and the faculty director of the Program in Islamic Law at Harvard Law School
Nicholas Watson, Henry B. and Anne M. Cabot Professor of English Literature, Harvard University.
About Felony and the Guilty Mind in Medieval England
“This book explores the role of mens rea, broadly defined as a factor in jury assessments of guilt and innocence from the early thirteenth through the fourteenth century – the first two centuries of the English criminal trial jury. Drawing upon evidence from the plea rolls, but also relying heavily upon non-legal textual sources such as popular literature and guides for confessors, Elizabeth Papp Kamali argues that issues of mind were central to jurors’ determinations of whether a particular defendant should be convicted, pardoned, or acquitted outright. Demonstrating that the word ‘felony’ itself connoted a guilty state of mind, she explores the interplay between social conceptions of guilt and innocence and jury behavior. Furthermore, she reveals a medieval understanding of felony that involved, in its paradigmatic form, three essential elements: an act that was reasoned, was willed in a way not constrained by necessity, and was evil or wicked in its essence.” — Cambridge University Press
About Elizabeth Papp Kamali
Elizabeth Papp Kamali is an Assistant Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, where she teaches criminal law and English legal history. Professor Kamali’s research focuses on the medieval English common law and the history of criminal law, with a particular interest in the early criminal trial jury. Her current projects include studies of the role of criminal intent in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century English felony cases, medieval understandings of anger’s operation in felony adjudication, conflict between urban customary law and the English common law in the early fourteenth century, and the influence of Roman law on the early development of the common law.
The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Equity and Law: Fusion and Fission, edited by John C.P. Goldberg, Henry E. Smith & Peter G. Turner (Cambridge Univ. Press, Oct. 31, 2019).
Tuesday, November 5, 2019, at noon Harvard Law School Milstein East B/C (Directions) 1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA No RSVP required
John C.P. Goldberg is Deputy Dean and Carter Professor of General Jurisprudence, Harvard Law School.
Henry Smith is the Fessenden Professor of Law and Director, Project on the Foundations of Private Law, Harvard Law School.
About Equity and Law: Fusion and Fission
“The fusion of law and equity in common law systems was a crucial moment in the development of the modern law. Common law and equity were historically the two principal sources of rules and remedies in the judge-made law of England, and this bifurcated system travelled to other countries whose legal systems were derived from the English legal system. The division of law and equity – their fission – was a pivotal legal development and is a feature of most common law systems. The fusion of the common law and equity has brought about major structural, institutional and juridical changes within the common law tradition. In this volume, leading scholars undertake historical, comparative, doctrinal and theoretical analysis that aims to shed light on the ways in which law and equity have fused, and the ways in which they have remained distinct even in a ‘post-fusion’ world.” — Cambridge Univ. Press
Wednesday, October 30, 2019, at noon Harvard Law School Milstein East B/C (Directions) 1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA No RSVP required
About In Hoffa’s Shadow: A Stepfather, a Disappearance in Detroit, and My Search for the Truth
“As a young man, Jack Goldsmith revered his stepfather, longtime Jimmy Hoffa associate Chuckie O’Brien. But as he grew older and pursued a career in law and government, he came to doubt and distance himself from the man long suspected by the FBI of perpetrating Hoffa’s disappearance on behalf of the mob. It was only years later, when Goldsmith was serving as assistant attorney general in the George W. Bush administration and questioning its misuse of surveillance and other powers, that he began to reconsider his stepfather, and to understand Hoffa’s true legacy. In Hoffa’s Shadow tells the moving story of how Goldsmith reunited with the stepfather he’d disowned and then set out to unravel one of the twentieth century’s most persistent mysteries and Chuckie’s role in it. Along the way, Goldsmith explores Hoffa’s rise and fall and why the golden age of blue-collar America came to an end, while also casting new light on the century-old surveillance state, the architects of Hoffa’s disappearance, and the heartrending complexities of love and loyalty.” — Farrar, Straus and Giroux
About Jack Goldsmith
Jack Goldsmith is Henry L. Shattuck Professor of Law at Harvard University. He is the author, most recently, of The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside The Bush Administration (W.W. Norton 2007), as well as of other books and articles on many topics related to terrorism, national security, international law, conflicts of law, and internet law. Before coming to Harvard, Goldsmith served as Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel, from October 2003 through July 2004, and Special Counsel to the General Counsel to the Department of Defense from September 2002 through June 2003. Goldsmith taught at the University of Chicago Law School from 1997-2002, and at the University of Virginia Law School from 1994-1997. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, a B.A. and M.A. from Oxford University, and a B.A. from Washington & Lee University. He clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Court of Appeals Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson, and Judge George Aldrich on the Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal.
“This is an incredible story, plainly rebutting the clear understanding of many that Charles O’Brien drove Jimmy Hoffa to his death, and offering a profoundly beautiful recognition of the nature of paternal love. This book will make you weep, repeatedly, for the injustice, and for the love.” —Lawrence Lessig, Harvard Law School Professor and author of They Don’t Represent Us and Republic, Lost
“In Hoffa’s Shadow is a masterpiece and a page-turner—I couldn’t put it down. Brilliant, suspenseful, and deeply moving, it offers a personal view of one of the greatest unsolved crimes in American history. At the same time, it offers startling insights into organized crime, the labor movement, and the surprising origins of today’s surveillance state. Beautifully written and full of unexpected turns, this book is gripping and revelatory from start to finish.” —Amy Chua, Law School Professor and author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and Political Tribes: Group Instinct and the Fate of Nations
thrilling, unputdownable story that takes on big subjects—injustice,
love, loss, truth, power, murder—and addresses them in sentences of
beauty and clarity informed by deep thought and feeling. Goldsmith, one
of the finest minds of his generation, has told an insane tale with a
storyteller’s flair. This is one of the best works of autobiography that
I’ve read in a very, very long time.” —Bill Buford, former fiction editor of The New Yorker and author of Heat and Among the Thugs
The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Taiwan and International Human Rights: A Story of Transformation, edited by Jerome A. Cohen, William P. Alford & Dr. Chang-fa Lo (Springer, June 8, 2019).
Tuesday, October 8, 2019, at noon Harvard Law School Milstein East A/B (Directions) 1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA No RSVP required
Jerome A. Cohen, Professor, NYU School of Law and Faculty Director, NYU U.S.-Asia Law Institute.
Dr. Chang-fa Lo, former Grand Justice of the Constitutional Court of the ROC (Taiwan) and former Dean, National Taiwan University Law School.
William P. Alford,
Vice Dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies,
Jerome A. and Joan L. Cohen Professor of Law, Director, East Asian Legal
Studies Program, and Chair, Harvard Law School Project on Disability.
Steven Goldstein, Sophia Smith Professor of Government, Emeritus, Smith College and Fellow, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies.
Dan Zhou, LL.M. ’16 and SJD candidate, Harvard Law School.
About Taiwan and International Human Rights: A Story of Transformation
“This book tells a story of Taiwan’s transformation from an authoritarian regime to a democratic system where human rights are protected as required by international human rights treaties. There were difficult times for human rights protection during the martial law era; however, there has also been remarkable transformation progress in human rights protection thereafter. The book reflects the transformation in Taiwan and elaborates whether or not it is facilitated or hampered by its Confucian tradition. There are a number of institutional arrangements, including the Constitutional Court, the Control Yuan, and the yet-to-be-created National Human Rights Commission, which could play or have already played certain key roles in human rights protections. Taiwan’s voluntarily acceptance of human rights treaties through its implementation legislation and through the Constitutional Court’s introduction of such treaties into its constitutional interpretation are also fully expounded in the book. Taiwan’s NGOs are very active and have played critical roles in enhancing human rights practices. In the areas of civil and political rights, difficult human rights issues concerning the death penalty remain unresolved. But regarding the rights and freedoms in the spheres of personal liberty, expression, privacy, and fair trial (including lay participation in criminal trials), there are in-depth discussions on the respective developments in Taiwan that readers will find interesting. In the areas of economic, social, and cultural rights, the focuses of the book are on the achievements as well as the problems in the realization of the rights to health, a clean environment, adequate housing, and food. The protections of vulnerable groups, including indigenous people, women, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals, the disabled, and foreigners in Taiwan, are also the areas where Taiwan has made recognizable achievements, but still encounters problems. The comprehensive coverage of this book should be able to give readers a well-rounded picture of Taiwan’s human rights performance. Readers will find appealing the story of the effort to achieve high standards of human rights protection in a jurisdiction barred from joining international human rights conventions.” — Springer
The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of Democracy and Dysfunction by Sanford Levinson and Jack M. Balkin (Univ. Chicago Press, Apr. 2019).
Thursday, October 3, 2019, at noon Harvard Law School Milstein East B (Directions) 1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA No RSVP required
The book talk discussion will include:
Sanford Levinson is Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and W. St. John Garwood and W. St. John Garwood, Jr. Centennial Chair in Law, University of Texas Law School.
Jack M. Balkin is the Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Yale Law School.
Jennifer L. Hochschild is the H.L. Jayne Professor of Government, Professor of African and African American Studies, and Harvard College Professor, Harvard University.
“It is no longer controversial that the American political system has become deeply dysfunctional. Today, only slightly more than a quarter of Americans believe the country is heading in the right direction, while sixty-three percent believe we are on a downward slope. The top twenty words used to describe the past year include “chaotic,” “turbulent,” and “disastrous.” Donald Trump’s improbable rise to power and his 2016 Electoral College victory placed America’s political dysfunction in an especially troubling light, but given the extreme polarization of contemporary politics, the outlook would have been grim even if Hillary Clinton had won. The greatest upset in American presidential history is only a symptom of deeper problems of political culture and constitutional design.
Democracy and Dysfunction brings together two of the leading constitutional law scholars of our time, Sanford Levinson and Jack M. Balkin, in an urgently needed conversation that seeks to uncover the underlying causes of our current crisis and their meaning for American democracy. In a series of letters exchanged over a period of two years, Levinson and Balkin travel—along with the rest of the country—through the convulsions of the 2016 election and Trump’s first year in office. They disagree about the scope of the crisis and the remedy required. Levinson believes that our Constitution is fundamentally defective and argues for a new constitutional convention, while Balkin, who believes we are suffering from constitutional rot, argues that there are less radical solutions. As it becomes dangerously clear that Americans—and the world—will be living with the consequences of this pivotal period for many years to come, it is imperative that we understand how we got here—and how we might forestall the next demagogue who will seek to beguile the American public.” — University of Chicago Press Books
Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at noon Harvard Law School Milstein East B/C (Directions) 1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA No RSVP required
About Fidelity & Constraint: How the Supreme Court Has Read the American Constitution
“The fundamental fact about our Constitution is that it is old — the oldest written constitution in the world. The fundamental challenge for interpreters of the Constitution is how to read that old document over time.
In Fidelity & Constraint, legal scholar Lawrence Lessig explains that one of the most basic approaches to interpreting the constitution is the process of translation. Indeed, some of the most significant shifts in constitutional doctrine are products of the evolution of the translation process over time. In every new era, judges understand their translations as instances of “interpretive fidelity,” framed within each new temporal context.
Yet, as Lessig also argues, there is a repeatedly occurring countermove that upends the process of translation. Throughout American history, there has been a second fidelity in addition to interpretive fidelity: what Lessig calls “fidelity to role.” In each of the cycles of translation that he describes, the role of the judge — the ultimate translator — has evolved too. Old ways of interpreting the text now become illegitimate because they do not match up with the judge’s perceived role. And when that conflict occurs, the practice of judges within our tradition has been to follow the guidance of a fidelity to role. Ultimately, Lessig not only shows us how important the concept of translation is to constitutional interpretation, but also exposes the institutional limits on this practice.
The first work of both constitutional and foundational theory by one of America’s leading legal minds, Fidelity & Constraint maps strategies that both help judges understand the fundamental conflict at the heart of interpretation whenever it arises and work around the limits it inevitably creates.” — Oxford University Press
About Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School.
Prior to rejoining the Harvard faculty, Lessig was a professor at Stanford Law School, where he founded the school’s Center for Internet and Society, and at the University of Chicago.
He clerked for Judge Richard Posner on the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and Justice Antonin Scalia on the United States Supreme Court. Lessig serves on the Board of the AXA Research Fund, and on the advisory boards of Creative Commons and the Sunlight Foundation.
He is a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Association, and has received numerous awards, including the Free Software Foundation’s Freedom Award, Fastcase 50 Award and being named one of Scientific American’s Top 50 Visionaries.
Lessig holds a BA in economics and a BS in management from the University of Pennsylvania, an MA in philosophy from Cambridge, and a JD from Yale.
The Harvard Law School Library staff invite you to attend a book talk and discussion in celebration of the recent publication of The Education of an Idealistby Ambassador Samantha Power (Dey Street Books, Sept. 2019).
Monday, September 23, 2019, at noon Harvard Law School Milstein East A/B (Directions) 1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA No RSVP required
Ambassador Power will
be joined by commentators:
William P. Alford, Vice Dean for the Graduate Program and International Legal Studies, Jerome A. and Joan L. Cohen Professor of Law, Director, East Asian Legal Studies Program, and Chair, Harvard Law School Project on Disability;
Graham Allison, Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard University; and
Ambassador Wendy R. Sherman, Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership and Director, Center for Public Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School.
memoir, Power offers an urgent response to the question “What can one
person do?”—and a call for a clearer eye, a kinder heart, and a more open
and civil hand in our politics and daily lives. The Education of an Idealist traces Power’s
distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential
Cabinet official. In 2005, her critiques of US foreign policy caught the eye of
newly elected senator Barack Obama, who invited her to work with him on Capitol
Hill and then on his presidential campaign. After Obama was elected president,
Power went from being an activist outsider to a government insider, navigating
the halls of power while trying to put her ideals into practice. She served for
four years as Obama’s human rights adviser, and in 2013, he named her US
Ambassador to the United Nations, the youngest American to assume the role.
Prize–winning writer, Power transports us from her childhood in Dublin to the
streets of war-torn Bosnia to the White House Situation Room and the world of
high-stakes diplomacy. Humorous and deeply honest, The Education of anIdealist lays bare the searing battles and
defining moments of her life and shows how she juggled the demands of a 24/7
national security job with the challenge of raising two young children. Along
the way, she illuminates the intricacies of politics and geopolitics, reminding
us how the United States can lead in the world, and why we each have the
opportunity to advance the cause of human dignity. Power’s memoir is an unforgettable
account of the power of idealism—and of one person’s fierce determination to
make a difference.” – HarperCollins
About Ambassador Samantha Power
Samantha Power is the Anna Lindh Professor of the Practice of Global Leadership
and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School and William D. Zabel ’61 Professor
of Practice in Human Rights at Harvard Law School.
From 2013 to
2017 Power served as the 28th U.S. Permanent Representative to the United
Nations, as well as a member of President Obama’s cabinet. In this role, Power
became the public face of U.S. opposition to Russian aggression in Ukraine and
Syria, negotiated the toughest sanctions in a generation against North Korea,
lobbied to secure the release of political prisoners, helped build new
international law to cripple ISIL’s financial networks, and supported President
Obama’s pathbreaking actions to end the Ebola crisis. President Obama has
called her “one of our foremost thinkers on foreign policy,” saying that “she
showed us that the international community has a moral responsibility and a
profound interest in resolving conflicts and defending human dignity.”
From 2009 to
2013, Power served on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the
President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, where
she focused on issues including atrocity prevention; UN reform; LGBT and
women’s rights; the promotion
of religious freedom and the protection of religious minorities; and the
prevention of human trafficking.
by Forbes “a
powerful crusader for U.S foreign policy as well as human rights and
democracy,” Ambassador Power has been named one of TIME’s “100 Most Influential
People” and one of Foreign
Policy’s“Top 100 Global Thinkers.”
Power has been
recognized as a leading voice internationally for principled American
engagement in the world. Her book “A
Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide won the
Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2003. Power is
also author of the New
York Times bestseller Chasing
the Flame: Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Fight to Save the
World (2008) and was the co-editor, with Derek Chollet,
of The Unquiet American:
Richard Holbrooke in the World (2011).
her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor,
Kosovo, Rwanda, Sudan, and Zimbabwe. Before joining the U.S. government, Power
was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
at the Kennedy School, a columnist for TIME,
and a National Magazine Award-winning contributor to the Atlantic, the New Yorker, and the New York Review of Books.
a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Monday, September 16, 2019, at noon Harvard Law School Milstein West A (Directions) 1585 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA No RSVP required
The book talk discussion will include:
I. Glenn Cohen, James A. Attwood and Leslie Williams Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law, Biotechnology & Bioethics, Harvard Law School.
Holly Fernandez Lynch, John Russell Dickson, MD Presidential Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Assistant Faculty Director of Online Education, and Senior Fellow, Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine.
Ameet Sarpatwari, Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School; Associate Epidemiologist, Brigham & Women’s Hospital; and Assistant Director, Program On Regulation, Therapeutics, And Law (PORTAL), Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham & Women’s Hospital.
Elena Fagotto, co-investigator, Project on Transparency and Technology for Better Health and former Director of Research, Transparency Policy Project, Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
About Transparency in Health and Health Care in the United States: Law and Ethics
“Transparency is a concept that is becoming increasingly lauded as a solution to a host of problems in the American health care system. Transparency initiatives show great promise, including empowering patients and other stakeholders to make more efficient decisions, improve resource allocation, and better regulate the health care industry. Nevertheless, transparency is not a cure-all for the problems facing the modern health care system. The authors of this volume present a nuanced view of transparency, exploring ways in which transparency has succeeded and ways in which transparency initiatives have room for improvement. Working at the intersection of law, medicine, ethics, and business, the book goes beyond the buzzwords to the heart of transparency’s transformative potential, while interrogating its obstacles and downsides. It should be read by anyone looking for a better understanding of transparency in the health care context.” — Cambridge University Press
Taking place at Harvard Law School today is the 2019 Inaugural Prepare to Practice Conference, a joint initiative between the HLS Library and four other local law schools (Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, and Suffolk). This conference is designed to provide Boston-area law students with legal research instruction oriented toward their future roles as practicing attorneys.
Professor Coquillette then provided a brief history of legal research, beginning with the observation that, since Gutenberg invented movable print in 1455, it has been possible to print absolutely accurate law books, which has transformed how law is studied and practiced. In particular, this facilitated several important developments in modern legal systems, primary among which is “precedent justice.”
He then noted that, until about 20 years ago, legal research happened exclusively in the law library, where all of the important primary and secondary legal sources lived and from which they could not be borrowed. Historically, law students wrote research notes by hand, and then, when he was a law student, using a portable typewriter. In addition, in order to find materials in the library, researchers had to use the card catalog, which featured an indexing system that many library users were unable to navigate and use without the help of a librarian.
All of this changed with the invention of online legal research. Today, he noted, Westlaw and Lexis provide essentially intuitive access to all of the primary and secondary sources that legal researchers would need, with automated, hyperlink-equipped citators that make the pain of having to use books to Shepardize cases a distant memory.
Professor Coquillete contended that, while on the surface this appears to have made legal research easier, it has also presented a new set of challenges. Today, if you want the legal information equivalent of a glass of water, you go to what is essentially a fire hydrant to fill that glass, and a lot of what is coming out of that fire hydrant lacks quality. Quality, of course, is expensive — ask any law librarian whose responsibilities include managing a library budget. Furthermore, information that has not been screened to determine its quality may, in fact, be as good as useless. This is a major problem of what he calls the modern “disinformation age,” and why the continued work of law libraries is so important to legal practice and scholarship.
According to Professor Coquillette, even if legal researchers have quality information, they also need two important skills to process it. The first is critical judgment, which is a skill that can be learned, both through experience and one-on-one mentorship. Without critical judgment, which allows a person to see the essence of a problem and craft a reasonable response to it, even quality information can be dangerous. The second is wisdom, which can also be characterized as perspective and seeing the big picture. This is stored in the culture of our systems of law and democracy, and is passed on through both people and books.
According to Professor Coquillette, it is easier than ever to lose sight of the big picture in our digital world of instant knowledge and instant gratification. One way in which people can regain it, however, is to read: not only legal materials, but also classic novels. As a conclusion to his remarks, Professor Coquillette recommended three books in particular that provide guidance on how we can critically view some of the largest problems of our time.
The first of these problems is climate. Professor Coquillette suggested reading Moby Dick by Herman Melville. In your reading, imagine that the ship (the Pequot) is human government and at the helm is Captain Ahab, a crazy megalomaniac who, despite all reasonable warnings not to, decides to take on the natural world as symbolized by a great white whale. Spoiler alert: the Pequot is destroyed, and Captain Ahab dies.
Racism is another great problem of our age, and Professor Coquillette recommended reading Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn to gain a bigger picture of that problem. The story presents, in code, a true picture of racism’s destructive impact on people and societies.
Problem number three is that of living and working in what he called “coercive environments.” This problem, in particular, comes with the territory in the legal profession. Professor Coquillette proposed reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison for guidance on contemplating this problem in a big-picture way. The theme of this book is that, if you get to the point where people see you for what they assume you should be, they see right through you and you become invisible and disappear, a phenomenon characterized by Professor Coquillette as a “moral sickness” of our age.
Professor Coquillette is a very engaging speaker, and his keynote was a perfect way to kick off this conference. Not only did it remind attendees of the value of law libraries and librarians as partners in the legal research process, but it also encouraged students to incorporate critical judgment as they work toward becoming attorneys who are charged with addressing and solving large- and small-scale societal problems.