February 26, 2012

The Latest on Bill and his Work

Here is a lovely article in the Boston Globe about Bill's rush to finish The Collapse of American Criminal Justice in the final months of his life.

Adam Gopnik discusses Bill's book in some detail in the a New Yorker piece (here) from late last month (which I'd missed but a friend just forwarded).

I will post additional articles and reviews, including an essay of Bill's called "Law and Grace" that will be published in April, in this space as they appear.

Odds and Ends--2012

In case anyone might be interested, here are a few recent op-eds and articles:


A recent op-ed on the mortgage settlements is here.

An op-ed from the beginning of the contraception crisis (before the more recent "compromise" from the Obama administration) is here.



An essay on the implications for law of the writings of the theologian Stanley Hauerwas is here.



January 13, 2012

New Book of Essays on Bill's Work

"The Political Heart of Criminal Procedure: Essays on Themes of William J. Stuntz" has just been published by Cambridge University Press: here.  The book is based on the papers written by a number of the country's top criminal justice scholars for the conference at Harvard Law School in honor of Bill in 2010.  The essays are terrific.  (The hardback is pricey; if folks who interested in purchasing a copy email me privately, it's possible I can get a bit of a discount.)

Orin Kerr on The Collapse of American Criminal Justice

I've been meaning for weeks to link to a very thoughtful review by Orin Kerr of Bill's book on the Volokh Conspiracy blog: here.  Orin gives an excellent summary of the book and its importance, then concludes by asking, among other things, whether Bill's account of criminal justice in earlier eras is too "rosy."  It's well-worth reading.

December 7, 2011

Another View on American's Bankruptcy--Skeel

A friend sent an interesting email offering a less sympathetic view of bankruptcies like the American bankruptcy. With his permission, I thought I would quote it in full here:

"David: I read your post.  But it seemed to me that AA filing was, essentially, just another in the long line of U.S. board decisions over the last twenty-five years or so to use our liberal bankruptcy laws as a strategic restructuring tool to get rid of debt and contracts and employee obligations that they felt held back profitability and the stock price.  Chapter 11 is a wonderful tool for people who are essentially amoral, as many people in business and most lawyers are."

"I remember when I saw the amorality that accompanies most Chapter 11's up close and personal for the first time.  It was in July, 1977, when GAF Corporation, the company where I was SEC and finance counsel, did what was at the time a big divisional write-off and fired most of the workers at some factories in and around Binghamton, NY.  I worked on the SEC and financial aspects, but what struck me was stuff I learned talking to managers in Personnel: for example, how none of the second and third-tier managers questioned instructions to do things "in the most effective way" -- just telling hundreds of factory workers they were fired when they reported for their shift at 7 A.M. or 8 A.M., and instructing them to go downtown to file for unemployment, declining to arrange with the state department of unemployment to set up tables at the factory where workers could file for benefits more easily."
"Actually, I'm not sure whether the department name had yet been changed from "Personnel" to "Human Relations."  No matter; in my experience, "Human Relations" people are always the meanest, most unfeeling people around, people who live the Nuremberg Defense."

December 5, 2011

Was it Immoral for American Airlines to File for Bankruptcy?--Skeel

The former CEO of American thought so.  He's seems like an admirable leader, but I think he's wrong about bankruptcy.  Here's a little blog post elaborating on that theme.

November 20, 2011

Richard Posner's Review in The New Republic

Richard Posner's review in the current New Republic is here.  More on this and the other reviews soon.

October 29, 2011

More Great Reviews

There are a number of new reviews of Bill's book, in addition to Justice Stevens' review in the New York Review of Books and Lincoln Caplan's review in Democracy mentioned in earlier posts.  I'll start adding them to this post. 

As Bill's colleague Carol Steiker noted at the wonderful Harvard Law School celebration for the book last week, Bill put an enormous amount of energy into the book in his last couple of years (so much so that she often urged him to take it easier).   It shows, and is reflected in the reviews' repeated use of terms like "magisterial."  ("Magisterial" comes up so often, and is so obviously accurate, that I'm trying to come up with some other word.)

The Wall Street Journal review is here

The review in Chroncle Review is here.

October 21, 2011

Stuntz Book Event and NYRB Review

A very belated post to note that there will be a book event for The Collapse of American Criminal Justice at Harvard Law School at 3pm today for those who are in the area. It should be wonderful.  (Check the Harvard Law website).

There is a terrific review of the book by Justice Stevens in the current issue of New York Review of Books.  Although review defends some of the Supreme Court's handiwork during the Warren Court era of the 1960s (which Bill criticises in the book as having had bad unintended consequences), Justice Stevens makes clear just how compelling and important The Collapse of American Criminal Justice is.  It's linked here.

The Eurozone Crisis--Skeel

Earlier this week, I wrote an op-ed on the Eurozone crisis that was inspired by a wonderful conference in Iceland two weeks ago, and follows up on thoughts from an earlier blog post.  The op-ed is here.