News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for the ‘This Just In – New Books’

This Just In: Mighty Justice, My Life in Civil Rights

Dovey Johnson Roundtree was an African-American civil rights activist, minister, and attorney who lived to the age of 104.

Her 1955 victory before the Interstate Commerce Commission is the first bus desegregation case to be brought before the Commission, which resulted in the only explicit repudiation of the “separate but equal” doctrine in the field of interstate bus transportation by a court or federal administrative body. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy pointed to this decision in his successful battle to compel the Commission to enforce its rulings and end Jim Crow laws in public transportation.

Roundtree was part of the first class of African-American women to be trained as officers in the newly created Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (later the Women’s Army Corps) during World War II. In 1961 she became one of the first women to receive full ministerial status in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which had just begun ordaining women at a level beyond mere preachers in 1960.

Roundtree was also a pioneer in the field of law, being the first African-American admitted to the Women’s Bar of the District of Columbia, and was the founding partner of the Washington, D.C. law firm Roundtree, Knox, Hunter and Parker.

Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights was written with Katie McCabe, a writer whose work on unsung heroes, many of them in the African-American community, has garnered wide attention.

McCabe’s discovery of the work of Roundtree came from a Washington Post piece on Roundtree’s collaboration with actress Cicely Tyson for the television series “Sweet Justice.” McCabe then profiled Roundtree in a Washingtonian magazine piece titled “She Had a Dream,” which won the 2003 Dateline Award for Feature Writing from the DC Society of Professional Journalists. Mighty Justice (originally published in 2009 with the title Justice Older than the Law) is the product of a 12-year collaboration between McCabe and Roundtree, which began in Washington shortly before Roundtree’s retirement to Charlotte in 1996.

The book is an easy-to-read and fascinating story that details Roundtree’s accomplishments noted above. It is available in the New Arrivals area of the law library.

This Just In: Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership

Redlining is the systematic denial of various services to residents of specific, often racially associated, neighborhoods or communities, either directly or through the selective raising of prices. The Housing and Urban Development Act of 1968 was supposed to establish policies to induce mortgage lenders and the real estate industry to treat Black home-buyers equally. Race for Profit explores how exploitative real estate practices continued well after housing discrimination was banned. The federal government guaranteed urban mortgages in an attempt to overcome resistance to lending to Black buyers, leading bankers, investors, and real estate agents to take advantage and target the Black women most likely to fail to keep up their home payments and slip into foreclosure, multiplying their profits by being able to then reissue mortgages to new borrowers for the same property under the federal program. The result was that the nation’s first programs to encourage Black homeownership led to tens of thousands of foreclosures in Black communities across the country.

This book by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, a professor of African-American Studies at Princeton, was on the longlist for the 2019 National Book Award.


This Just In: Just Words: Law, Language, and Power

John M. Conley, William M. O’Barr, and Robin Conley Riner show how the legal process and justice can be examined and understood through the field of linguistics in Just Words: Law, Language, and Power. This book is essential to the reader who wants to understand what language reveals about the nature of legal power. Each chapter covers a language-based approach to a different area of the law, from the cross-examinations of victims and witnesses to divorce mediation. This third edition has chapters on nonverbal communication in legal settings and law, language, race, and gender with many examples and in-depth discussions.

This Just In: Impeachment a Citizen’s Guide

With publicly televised impeachment hearings taking place this week, what better to highlight than a book about the topic? Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide, by Harvard law professor Cass Sunstein, is an easy-to-read portable paperback. Sunstein lays out the mechanics of impeachment: why and how it is done while providing a historical look at previous impeachments. This second edition of the book includes an analysis of the Mueller Report.

For more information on the topic, visit the C|M|Law Library’s Impeachment Discussion Series Resource Guide. The Resource Guide provides information on, and links to, U.S. Constitution and U.S. Congressional materials, historical impeachment actions, and secondary sources.

This Just In: Social Media Law: A Handbook of Cases and Use

Social Media Law by Ursula Furi-Perry examines social and new media, and how law and policy are keeping up with them. With the use of social media and new media continually growing, it is essential for attorneys and law students to understand the trends in these platforms when advising clients of the potential risks and pitfalls. This book is now in its 3rd edition (in just six years), which is a testament to the speed at which social media is growing in all aspects of life and business.

Areas covered by Social Media Law include:

  • Privacy
  • The intersection of social media and the First Amendment
  • Social media issues in employment law
  • Social media and education law
  • Copyright and fair use
  • Peer-to-peer file sharing
  • The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the proposed PROTECT IP Act
  • Social media and litigation
  • Social media-related cybercrime and its prosecution
  • The intersection of social medial law and new business models, and implications on business law and contract law
  • The role of social and new media in representing clients in the practice of law