Cover image for The U.S. legal system
The U.S. legal system
Hall, Timothy L., 1955-
Publication Information:
Pasadena, Calif. : Salem Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
2 volumes : illustrations ; 24 cm.
v. 1 Acquittal - juristiction -- v. 2 Jury duty - witnesses, expert - appendices, indexes.


Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
KF387 .U15 2004 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
KF387 .U15 2004 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



This set examines such subjects as the training, practices and ethics of attorneys; the organization, procedures and workings of the various kinds of courts; the selection, work and ethics of judges; the responsibilities of other court officers; types of laws; and types of law enforcement bodies.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Most of the articles in this resource intended to help laypersons understand legal matters originally appeared in American Justice0 (1996), Magill's Legal Guide0 (1999), or Encyclopedia of the U.S. Supreme Court 0 (2000). They have been updated as necessary, and all the bibliographies have been updated. The 256 alphabetically arranged essays range in length from 250 to 3,000 words and focus on the basic concepts and processes our legal system utilizes rather than the contents of laws and cases. Each begins with a concise definition and places the topic in context by showing its development and significance. Occasional sidebars, tables, and charts simplify some of the information. Longer articles are signed and end with suggested readings. Five appendixes include a bibliography and an extensive glossary along with contact information (including late 2003 Web sites) for state bar associations, and other legal resources (government agencies, research centers, and so on), and an annotated list of legal assistance organizations. Content is indexed by broad category, court case, and subject. This is not a do-it-yourself handbook for would-be pro se lawyers. For example, the entry Criminal records0 alludes to expungement but does not tell how to accomplish that, and Annotated codes0 defines what they are but does not walk the reader through accessing that information the way a paralegal's manual would. It is a useful tool for learning how to deal with the law and spells out, for example, the advantages of a nolo contendere plea and what information is privileged. How juries are selected, the evolution of the U.S. marshal system, and the difference between a coroner and a medical examiner are nicely explained. Libraries already holding the older sources mentioned above will need to determine whether they require updates. Libraries that already own Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law0 (2002) can pass on this unless their clientele needs a simpler source. --Sally Jane Copyright 2004 Booklist

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-This concise overview of legal concepts and procedures takes a complex subject and makes it understandable for students. The more than 250 clearly written, signed essays include definitions of positions and occupations (public defender, bailiff), concepts (due process, perjury), actions (summons, torts), and courts and systems (federal judicial systems, court of appeals). Most of the essays run one to three pages, but a number are much longer. Many conclude with a narrative of suggested resources and generous see-also references. Sidebars contain definitions, outline issues, or provide bulleted lists of such items as contract elements and matters handled by family law specialists. Average-quality, black-and-white photos are scattered throughout. A helpful glossary, an extensive topical bibliography, and lists of legal-assistance organizations and legal resources (including Web sites) round out the set. A basic resource that will be of value to most library collections.-Madeleine G. Wright, New Hampton School, NH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Designed for general readers (i.e., citizens who are not lawyers), these articles provide an introduction to US law. Most articles are drawn from other Salem publications, "originally published in Magill's Legal Guide (ed. by Timothy L. Hall, CH, Jun'00), with the rest coming from American Justice (CH, Nov'96) and Encyclopedia of the U.S. Supreme Court (ed. by T.T. Lewis and R.L. Wilson, CH, Feb'01)." All the essays were "carefully reviewed and updated as necessary" and the bibliographies "extensively updated." This volume's 256 essays range in length from 250 to 3,000 words, and five appendixes include an extensive bibliography, a glossary of basic legal terms, a list of state bar associations, and an annotated list of legal assistance organizations. Entries are arranged alphabetically and there are two indexes, of categories and subjects. The authors provide a context for understanding how the law works, emphasizing its processes, procedures, and principal people. Libraries that have Magill's Legal Guide will not need this updated version. ^BSumming Up: Optional. General readers; lower-division undergraduates. L. Hickey Sam Houston State University