The Journalist's Guide to American Law
Edited by John T. Nockleby
Routledge – 2012 – 364 pages
This easy-to-use guidebook offers an overview of American law that should find a place on the desk of any journalism student or professional journalist. The Journalist’s Guide to American Law provides an overview of major legal principles and issues in practical terms for journalists covering any aspect of the legal system. The book’s organization captures both the bird’s-eye view of the subject and offers an easy reference guide when the professional needs to understand a distinct legal concept. The areas covered range from professional concerns such as the First Amendment, cameras in the courtroom, Sunshine laws, and access to government documents to general legal matters such as the institutions of law and the lawmaking function of the judiciary, core constitutional principles such as separation of powers and judicial review, and the day-to-day functioning of courts. Equally at home on the desk of the general assignment reporter or the legal correspondent, as well as their producers and editors, the book equips the journalist with the knowledge required to translate complex legal notions into plain English.
"The Journalist’s Guide to American Law came home with me from my fellowship at the Journalist Law School at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and took its place on my office bookshelf, displayed prominently among my most treasured volumes. Dog-eared and heavily marked up, its physical integrity is showing the signs of overuse… testament to its proud position as a top resource!"
—Ashleigh Banfield, host of "Legal View," CNN
"When you're writing about the law, being on deadline is no excuse for winging it. This volume belongs on every reporter's desk."
—Martin Kaste, National Public Radio
"The Journalist’s Guide to American Law provides an excellent overview of the U.S. justice system, written in a fashion that is easily digestible for both the layman and legal expert. Covering the gamut of legal issues in America, this book is a must-have for every journalist who spends time covering the criminal justice system or civil procedure."
—Brian Skoloff, Associated Press
"The Journalist’s Guide to American Law is indispensable for journalists -- professional, aspiring or self-starters -- who want to understand the Third Branch of government. It's accessible yet complex, and required reading for any reporter who wants to do the job well."
—Levi Pulkkinen, seattlepi.com
"Condensing three years of Law School into just what journalists need to know. When you need the answer ASAP, this reference guide is easier—and faster—than calling an attorney."
—Robert Kovacik, anchor/reporter, NBC Los Angeles
Preface to the Paperback Edition Part I. Overview 1. Introduction John T. Nockleby Part II. Substantive Law 2. Constitutional Law Karl M. Manheim 3. Criminal Law Laurie L. Levenson 4. Torts John T. Nockleby 5. Intellectual Property Law Jay Dougherty 6. Contracts & Business Law Victor Gold 7. Ethical Obligations Of Lawyers And Judges Laurie L. Levenson Part III. Litigation and Trials 8. Criminal Process & Procedure Laurie L. Levenson 9. Civil Procedure & Litigation Process Allan P. Ides 10. Evidence Law Laurie L. Levenson Part IV. Appendices A. Legal Research B. 10 Worst Questions asked by Journalists C. 10 Best Questions asked by Journalists D. How to find legal experts E. Constitution of the U.S.
John T. Nockleby, Laurie L. Levenson, Karl M. Manheim, F. Jay Dougherty, Victor J. Gold, Allan P. Ides, and Daniel W. Martin are all faculty members at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, which annually hosts the Journalist Law School, a fellowship program for professional journalists.