Description: Thoroughly revised and updated, this widely used text offers a concise introduction to the American legal system for students without a legal background. The book's coverage is cross-disciplinary, informed by the literature of law, business administration and the social sciences, especially public administration and policy. Its goal is to give non-lawyers in all these areas a lucid overview of the workings of the American legal system as it may affect individuals and organizations in their interactions with each other and the environment.
Unlike longer, more expensive competing works, The Dynamics of Law presents its subject with clarity and precision, and minimal use of legal terms. It offers clear explanations of how to brief a case and how statutes and regulations are codified in the United States. Study problems and review questions in each chapter, drawn from legal literature as well as general interest articles and books, are designed to stimulate classroom discussion.
1. The Nature and Function of Law
2. The Courts and Adjudication
3. The Trial Stage
4. Judicial Lawmaking I: Law Built on Precedents
5. Lawmaking by Legislatures
6. Judicial Lawmaking II: Interpretation of Statutes
7. Judicial Lawmaking III: Interpreting the Constitution
8. Administrative Lawmaking and Adjudication
9. Private Contributions to the Legal System
10. Law in Society: A Conclusion
Comment(s): "The Dynamics of Law is a proven text that introduces non-lawyers to the American legal system. As our society and economy grows in complexity, an understanding of the system of law that governs us is essential for any educated person. Hamilton and Spiro have once again written a clear, straightforward, and useful text." -- Steven Cohen, Columbia University
"Hamilton has revived and updated one of the best introductions to the way law works in this country. From the nature of law to the trial process, this book provides a lucid tour of the legal system. There is no better introduction to the legal system and legal processes. From philosophical arguments about why we should obey the law to specific cases that present legal and moral quandaries, Hamilton and Spiro cover it all--clearly and without oversimplification." -- Larry S. Luton, Eastern Washington University
"For George Spiro, teaching and scholarship were a one-sided coin. He made the classroom--and the textbook--an exercise in intellectual and emotional growth. His students learned the law, and they learned its human context. Michael Hamilton's stewardship of this new edition is a tribute to a great teacher and to the permanence of great teaching." -- Mark A. Schlesinger, University of Massachusetts