Gerry Handley faced years of blatant race-based harassment before he filed a complaint against his employer: racist jokes, signs reading “KKK” in his work area, and even questions from coworkers as to whether he had sex with his daughter as slaves supposedly did. He had an unusually strong case, with copious documentation and coworkers’ support, and he settled for $50,000, even winning back his job. But victory came at a high cost. Legal fees cut into Mr. Handley’s winnings, and tensions surrounding the lawsuit poisoned the workplace. A year later, he lost his job due to downsizing by his company. Mr. Handley exemplifies the burden plaintiffs bear in contemporary civil rights litigation. In the decades since the civil rights movement, we’ve made progress, but not nearly as much as it might seem. On the surface, America’s commitment to equal opportunity in the workplace has never been clearer. Virtually every company has antidiscrimination policies in place, and there are laws designed to protect these rights across a range of marginalized groups. But, as Ellen Berrey, Robert L. Nelson, and Laura Beth Nielsen compellingly show, this progressive vision of the law falls far short in practice. When aggrieved individuals turn to the law, the adversarial character of litigation imposes considerable personal and financial costs that make plaintiffs feel like they’ve lost regardless of the outcome of the case. Employer defendants also are dissatisfied with the system, often feeling “held up” by what they see as frivolous cases. And even when the case is resolved in the plaintiff’s favor, the conditions that gave rise to the lawsuit rarely change. In fact, the contemporary approach to workplace discrimination law perversely comes to reinforce the very hierarchies that antidiscrimination laws were created to redress. Based on rich interviews with plaintiffs, attorneys, and representatives of defendants and an original national dataset on case outcomes, Rights on Trial reveals the fundamental flaws of workplace discrimination law and offers practical recommendations for how we might better respond to persistent patterns of discrimination.
|Distorting the Law: Politics, Media, and the Litigation Crisis (Chicago Series in Law and Society)|
by William Haltom (Author), Michael McCann (Author)
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...
|Working Law: Courts, Corporations, and Symbolic Civil Rights (Chicago Series in Law and Society)|
by Lauren B. Edelman (Author)
Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, virtually all companies have antidiscrimination policies in place. Although these policies represent some progress, women and minorities remain underrepresented within the workplace as a whole and even more so when you look at high-level positions. They also tend to be less well paid. How is it that discrimination remains so prevalent in the American workplace despite the widespread adoption of policies designed to prevent it?
|The Rise of the Conservative Legal Movement: The Battle for Control of the Law (Princeton Studies in American Politics: Historical, International, and Comparative Perspectives)|
by Steven M. Teles (Author)
Starting in the 1970s, conservatives learned that electoral victory did not easily convert into a reversal of important liberal accomplishments, especially in the law. As a result, conservatives' mobilizing efforts increasingly turned to law schools, professional networks, public interest groups, and the judiciary--areas traditionally controlled by liberals. Drawing from internal documents, as well as interviews with key conservative figures, The Rise of the Conservative Legal...
|Framing Equal Opportunity: Law and the Politics of School Finance Reform|
by Michael Paris (Author)
In the struggle to ensure that schools receive their fair share of financial and educational resources, reformers translate policy goals into legal claims in a number of different ways. This enlightening new work uncovers the options reformers have in framing legal challenges and how the choices they make affect politics and policy beyond the courtroom. Focusing on two of the most controversial and far-reaching court decisions in the nation in school finance and education reform, Framing...
|The Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Judicial Politics|
by Christopher P. Banks (Author), David M. O'Brien (Author)
The Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Judicial Politics is an all-new, concise yet comprehensive core text that introduces students to the nature and significance of the judicial process in the United States and across the globe. It is social scientific in its approach, situating the role of the courts and their impact on public policy within a strong foundation in legal theory, or political jurisprudence, as well as legal scholarship. Authors Christopher P. Banks and David M. O'Brien do not...
|Unequal: How America's Courts Undermine Discrimination Law (Law and Current Events Masters)|
by Sandra F. Sperino (Author), Suja A. Thomas (Author)
It is no secret that since the 1980s, American workers have lost power vis-à-vis employers through the well-chronicled steep decline in private sector unionization. American workers have also lost power in other ways. Those alleging employment discrimination have fared increasingly poorly in the courts. In recent years, judges have dismissed scores of cases in which workers presented evidence that supervisors referred to them using racial or gender slurs. In one federal district court, judges...
|The Politics of Rights: Lawyers, Public Policy, and Political Change|
by Stuart A. Scheingold (Author)
Stuart A. Scheingold's landmark work introduced a new understanding of the contribution of rights to progressive social movements, and thirty years later it still stands as a pioneering and provocative work, bridging political science and sociolegal studies. In the preface to this new edition, the author provides a cogent analysis of the burgeoning scholarship that has been built on the foundations laid in his original volume. A new foreword from Malcolm Feeley of Berkeley's Boalt Hall School...
|We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights|
by Adam Winkler (Author)
We the Corporations chronicles the revelatory story of one of the most successful, yet least known, “civil rights movements” in American history.
We the Corporations chronicles the astonishing story of one of the most successful yet least well-known “civil rights movements” in American history. Hardly oppressed like women and minorities, business corporations, too, have fought since the nation’s earliest days to gain equal rights under the...
|The Fight for Fair Housing: Causes, Consequences, and Future Implications of the 1968 Federal Fair Housing Act|
by Gregory D. Squires (Editor)
The federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 was passed in a time of turmoil, conflict, and often conflagration in cities across the nation. It took the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to finally secure its passage. The Kerner Commission warned in 1968 that "to continue present policies is to make permanent the division of our country into two societies; one largely Negro and poor, located in the central cities; the other, predominantly white and affluent, located in the suburbs and...
|Forensic and Legal Psychology: Psychological Science Applied to Law, 2nd Edition|
by Mark Costanzo (Author), Daniel Krauss (Author)
Costanzo and Krauss show students how psychological science can be used to enhance the gathering of evidence, improve legal decision making, reduce crime, and promote justice. With the integration of fascinating real trials, cases and other examples of the legal system in action, the authors illustrate how research and theory can deepen our understanding of suspects, criminals, police officers, victims, lawyers, witnesses, judges, and jurors. Costanzo and Krauss accessibly illustrate the...