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Distorting the Law: Politics, Media, and the Litigation Crisis (Chicago Series in Law and Society)

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Distorting the Law: Politics, Media, and the Litigation Crisis (Chicago Series in Law and Society) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In recent years, stories of reckless lawyers and greedy citizens have given the legal system, and victims in general, a bad name. Many Americans have come to believe that we live in the land of the litigious, where frivolous lawsuits and absurdly high settlements reign.

Scholars have argued for years that this common view of the depraved ruin of our civil legal system is a myth, but their research and statistics rarely make the news. William Haltom and Michael McCann here persuasively show how popularized distorted understandings of tort litigation (or tort tales) have been perpetuated by the mass media and reform proponents. Distorting the Law lays bare how media coverage has sensationalized lawsuits and sympathetically portrayed corporate interests, supporting big business and reinforcing negative stereotypes of law practices.

Based on extensive interviews, nearly two decades of newspaper coverage, and in-depth studies of the McDonald's coffee case and tobacco litigation, Distorting the Law offers a compelling analysis of the presumed litigation crisis, the campaign for tort law reform, and the crucial role the media play in this process.

About the Author

William Haltom is professor in the Department of Politics and Government at the University of Puget Sound and the author of Reporting on the Courts. Michael McCann is the Gordon Hirabayashi Professor for the Advancement of Citizenship at the University of Washington, Seattle. He is the author of several books, most recently the award-winning Rights at Work.

Table of Contents

Preface

1. The Social Production of Legal Knowledge

Part One: Contesting Legal Realities

2. Pop Torts: Tales of Legal Degeneration and Moral Regeneration

3. In Retort: Narratives versus Numbers

4. ATLA Shrugged: Plaintiffs' Lawyers Play Defense

Part Two: Reporting Legal Realities

5. Full Tort Press: Media Coverage of Civil Litigation

6. Java Jive: Genealogy of a Juridical Icon

7. Smoke Signals from the Tobacco Wars

8. Law through the Looking Glass of Mass Politics

References

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226314631
Author:
Haltom, William
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Author:
McCann, Michael
Subject:
Law
Subject:
Sociological jurisprudence
Subject:
Law and politics
Subject:
Court Rules
Subject:
Mass Media - General
Subject:
Courts - General
Subject:
General Political Science
Subject:
Media Studies
Subject:
Law - Political aspects
Subject:
Law-Legal Guides and Reference
Edition Description:
1
Series:
Chicago Series in Law and Society
Publication Date:
20040831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
2 halftones, 6 line drawings, 9 tables
Pages:
332
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Law » Legal Guides and Reference
History and Social Science » Sociology » Media

Distorting the Law: Politics, Media, and the Litigation Crisis (Chicago Series in Law and Society) New Hardcover
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