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But They Didn't Read Me My Rights!: Myths, Oddities, and Lies About Our Legal System Paperback – April 27, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616141662
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616141660
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,015,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The law is never black and white, as Cicchini and Kushner prove in this entertaining look at common assumptions and misconceptions about the American justice system. Presented as a series of questions and answers, the book begins with attention-grabbing legal oddities (e.g., it's possible to be convicted of drunk driving without actually driving a car) and progresses through the particulars of contract law, taxation, and civil suits. Cicchini and Kushner, a criminal defense attorney and college English lecturer respectively, stress that the myriad state and federal laws are too vast to memorize; they are also almost always flexible, being applied to specific cases through legal reasoning. For example, it's possible to be convicted of multiple counts of the same crime, despite the constitutional protection against double jeopardy, provided there are multiple victims. While some of the questions border on ridiculous (Can the police tell when you're lying? Are public defenders 'real lawyers'?), the majority will intrigue the average reader accustomed to the television version of law and order, which emphasizes drama rather than legal precedent. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"The law is never black and white, as Cicchini and Kushner prove in this entertaining look at common assumptions and misconceptions about the American justice system… will intrigue the average reader…"
-Publishers Weekly

More About the Author

Michael D. Cicchini is a criminal defense lawyer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Based on his numerous trial wins in felony cases, he has been named among "The Top 100 Trial Lawyers" in Wisconsin by The National Trial Lawyers, and among "The Top Young Lawyers" in Wisconsin by Super Lawyers and Milwaukee Magazine.

Cicchini is the author of "Tried and Convicted: How Police, Prosecutors, and Judges Destroy Our Constitutional Rights" (Roman & Littlefield) and "But They Didn't Read Me My Rights! Myths, Oddities, and Lies About Our Legal System" (Prometheus Books). He has published several articles on criminal and constitutional law, including articles in the Fordham Law Review and Northwestern University's Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology. He also founded The Legal Watchdog blog where he writes on legal topics and, occasionally, goes well outside of his range to speculate on college sports, politics, and even physics.

Cicchini earned his J.D., summa cum laude, from Marquette University Law School, and also holds an M.B.A. degree and a C.P.A. certificate. More information, including the full text of his articles and a link to The Legal Watchdog blog, can be found at www.CicchiniLaw.com.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steve Reina VINE VOICE on January 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
If ignorance of the law is no excuse, then it's certainly a very common phenomenon.

That's been my experience in over twenty years of practicing law.

This book is an excellent primer for lay people wishing to get a quick fix on what the law and just how different that is from what either popular culture or even common sense might say it should be.

Here are a couple examples:

FIRST THE POLICE DO NOT ALWAYS HAVE TO READ YOU YOUR RIGHTS. While it's true that if one is placed under arrest the police are required to read you your rights if they intend to use what they say against you, it's also true that there are many exceptions to this rule. First among them of course is the fact that if you're not under arrest they have no requirement to read you your rights. This latter situation often occurs where the police will merely ask someone to show up at the precinct to answer questions about an incident. Anything one says at such a meeting is fair game and can be used against you. Likewise, statements volunteered by a suspect, even where that suspect is under arrest can sometimes be used in evidence against you. As this book suggests, these two examples are but the tip of the iceberg in terms of protections not afforded. So as always one is best advised to seek help from a competent lawyer.

SECOND YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE DRIVING TO BE ARRESTED FOR OPERATING A VEHICLE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF LIQUOR. In my state, Michigan, convictions have been upheld merely where the "driver" had a key in his posession and was physically present in the vehicle. This is contrary to older law which actually required that the person arrested for driving a vehicle while drunk actually have been...well...driving the vehicle.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jimmy D. Mcroy on April 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amy Kushner and Michael Cicchini's But They Didn't Read Me My Rights: Myths, Oddities, and Lies About Our Legal System is one of those rare books that is at once informative and assessable, compelling and clever. Laying bare some of the most perplexing - and at times paradoxical - components of the US legal system, Kushner and Cicchini deploy a clear and concise writing style as they systematically debunk popular misconceptions that television, motion pictures, and general "word of mouth" all-too-often perpetuate. What's more, the examples the authors use to illustrate their eye-opening arguments are particularly well chosen, and the range of topics is nothing short of impressive. This book was an absolute blast to read, and I give it my highest recommendation!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 11, 2010
Format: Paperback
But They Didn't Read Me My Rights! Myths, Oddities, and Lies About Our Legal System is a 'must' for any general lending library where legal rights are of concern. It considers common fallacies about how our legal system operates, covering such basic issues as how and when police are required to read rights, and revealing many circumstances where police can even interrogate without revealing rights. A fine pick for any general lending library!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Publius on June 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
As a Criminal Defense lawyer, I picked up this book as I am a collector of books bearing any semblance to legal history or thought. While this book was not written for the legal practitioner, there were a couple things that I did not know before. For instance, who knew that law students in Wisconsin can still take advantage of the 'diploma privilege' and not take the bar exam if they wish to practice in that state? Also, even though I practice criminal defense, I sometimes find it instructive to remind myself what 'promissory estoppel', 'consideration' are as well as 'adverse possession'. While most of the book focuses on criminal procedure and practice, there are sections on property, taxes and family law that are actually very interesting. I, for one, wish that someone would have given me a book like this when I started out in my criminal defense practice.
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