Free legal classics available from Google Books

After I helped my wife chop the ice off her van windows this morning at 4:30 am, I made this list of free legal classics:

The Art of Cross-Examination, by Francis Lewis Wellman

The Work of the Advocate, by Elliott and Elliott

Life and Letters of Joseph Story

The Works of Rufus Choate

Day in Court, or The Subtle Arts of Great Advocates, by Francis Lewis Wellman

A Treatise on Equity Jurisprudence, by Pomeroy

Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, Bks 1-2

John Marshall Gest, The Lawyer in Literature

Samuel Warren, Famous Cases of Circumstantial Evidence

John Forrest Dillon, John Marshall

Harlan Fiske Stone, Law and its Administration

Livingston Rutherford, John Peter Zenger, his press, his trial

Hicks, Men and Books Famous in the Law

Albert J. Beveridge, The Life of John Marshall, vol. 1., vol. 2.,


DC Bar's Virtual Law Library - Law of Lawyering

The DC Bar's website is sporting a "Virtual Library" these days.  Most significantly, it includes a lengthy treatise on the Law of Lawyering, courtesy of the law firm of Covington & Burling, described as follows:

This publication, written by D.C. Bar member David B. Isbell, is a comprehensive analysis of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, which governs the ethical practice of law in the District of Columbia, as well as the attorney discipline system upholding those rules. Published 2004. Updated in part, March 2007, following amendments to the Model Rules in 2002 and 2003 and the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct effective February 1, 2007.

This reference should be among those consulted by any D.C. lawyer researching an ethical issue.

Leadership by Guiliani is surprisingly good

Most books that I've read by modern politicians have been worthless, so I am surprised to find that Leadership by Rudolph Guiliani is excellent. I'm only about half way through, and I'm already wondering where this guy is now and how come he isn't running for higher office. I haven't felt that way about many politicians in my life.

Anyway, the hallmark of Guiliani's administration seems to have been the use of statistical benchmarks to measure performance on a daily basis and to push managers to find ways to improve results. An example would be the use of the Compustat system to help the NYPD reduce crime rates. It is easy to see that the same techniques could be adopted to improve a law firm's performance, by changing the focus from billable hours to results and the total cost of getting those results.