From Library Journal
A Book of Legal Lists makes no pretense of being "the" book on the subject. It is not the work of a committee but the personal selections of University of Tulsa law professor and constitutional law scholar Schwartz. Schwartz presents a point/counterpoint of the ten best and ten worst?the best and worst Supreme Court justices, non-Supreme Court judges, opinions, dissents, opinions, etc.?in all categories but lawyers, legal movies, and trials, where only the best are cited. The lists themselves are interesting and thought-provoking, but the real strength of the book lies in short annotations that present readable, concise, and authoritative background for each item. The book is capped off with a challenging list of 150 legal trivia questions. McWhirter's The Legal 100 is at once more limited and broader in scope. It focuses exclusively on people, listing "individuals who have most influenced the law" whom the author has chosen on the basis of questionnaires submitted by law professors. As one would expect, many of the same names appear in both compilations. The Legal 100 gives itself the latitude to include more people, and the reader will find more extensive listings of lawyers, law teachers, and legal philosophers. Each entry comes with a short biography and an assessment of the listee's contribution to the law. Both books are highly recommended as ready reference for all libraries.?Patrick Petit, Catholic Univ. Law Lib., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the
From Kirkus Reviews
A mildly diverting collection of legal ``top tens,'' by law professor Schwartz (Univ. of Tulsa; Decision: How the Supreme Court Decides Cases, 1996, etc.) Obsessive legal buffs and punchy insomniac law students may enjoy quibbling with Schwartz's choices for such honors as Ten Greatest Supreme Court Justices, Ten Worst Non-Supreme Court Decisions, Ten Greatest Dissenting Opinions, Ten Greatest Lawyers, and Ten Greatest Trials. (O.J.'s checks in at Number 10 on the Great Trials list, but none of the Dream Team gets tapped for the Lawyers list.) The 13 lists are followed by brief essays justifying each inclusion; occasionally, the author appends a list of honorable mentions. For example, Roe v. Wade and Miranda v. Arizona don't make the list of Ten Greatest Supreme Court Decisions on the questionable ground that they lacked the requisite ``influence on the law''; Benjamin Cardozo and Felix Frankfurter don't make Ten Greatest Supreme Court Justices on the ground that their most significant contributions predated their appointments to the High Court. Unfortunately, Schwartz doesn't grasp the sport of such a collection: He doesn't explain his rankings. Why, on the list of Supreme Court Greats, does Brennan outrank Brandeis? On the list of Worsts, why does Pierce Butler outrank Sherman Minton, ``best remembered as the last to use the spittoon''? The mini-essays are accessible enough for the general reader, but too reductive and too bland for the intended law wonks. One hundred and fifty legal trivia questions follow, many duplicating the content of the essays. Like the lists, they are too straight for their own good. (Quick: Which justice served as a bank president? Which chief justices served as ambassadors while on the Court?) A missed opportunity to play games with J.D.s. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to the