Prisoners' Self-Help Litigation Manual 4th Edition
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"In the many years I have worked with people facing or serving capital and Life sentences, I have experienced their frustration at their own inability to take charge of their cases and/
or their grievances...they lack the skills and the access to good law libraries. The Prisoners' Self-Help Litigation Manual, available for more than 25 years but recently updated, takes on the task of providing prisoners with the tools to handle their legal needs. It explains the pertinent law, shows them what they need to do to litigate an issue, and provides them with resources for help. As a self-trained professional in this field, I also found it extremely helpful. I truly believe that defense teams, advocates, and family members of the incarcerated should do their best to see that clients and loved ones have this important resource. And they should buy one for themselves!"
Director, National Death Row Assistance Network of CURE
About the Author
John Boston is Director of the Prisoners' Rights Project of the New York City Legal Aid Society. Mr. Boston received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and earned his J.D. from New York University School of Law. He began his career as a research coordinator for The Defender Project of the Twentieth Century Fund in New York City. He has also contributed research and writing concerning prison population issues for the Correctional Association of New York and began his tenure as the Legal Aid Society as a staff attorney. Mr. Boston is widely published, with numerous articles on prisoners, their rights and circumstances nationwide, and has litigated several cases pertaining to prisoner's rights. He also participated in a national working group with the ACLU in response to the Prison Litigation Reform Act, reviewing briefs and pleadings, consulting with prisoner advocates, preparing CLE and practice materials. He is on the faculty of the Practicing Law Institute and co-administrator of the Prisoners' Rights section of the website www.probono.com.
Daniel E. Manville is an attorney specializing in civil rights litigation. Mr. Manville has a Bachelor in Science from Central Michigan University (1976); a Bachelor Degree in General Studies from Wayne State University (1976); a Juris Doctorate from Antioch School of Law (now University of District of Columbia Law School) (1981); a Master in Criminal Justice, Michigan State University (1985). From 1988 through 2003, he was in private practice concentrating on providing representation to prisoners. From 2003 to summer of 2007, Manville was the Clinical Staff Attorney for Wayne State University Civil Rights Litigation Clinic. During 2007 and 2008 academic year, Manville was a Visiting Professor at University of Denver Law School Civil Rights Clinic. He is also an author and co-author of a number of self-help litigation manuals for prisoners; a number of articles on rights of prisoners; and co-author of A Prisoner's Rights, 2005 Annual Survey of Michigan Law, 2005 Wayne Law Review.
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June 17, 2014, Kenneth Ellman, Box 18, Newton, New Jersey 07860, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
An Advanced Civil Practice Law Library in One Volume.
In spite of the books title it is NOT just for prisoners, it is for everyone who wants a deep, technical and enhancing understanding of practicing American Civil Law. However the accent is on the Prisons, Prisoners, Constitutional Rights in Prison and it is tailored to bring this knowledge to them. This is the Fourth Edition and it just gets better and better each revision. We owe a debt to Boston and Manville.
This book is not a replacement for Hertz and Liebman Habeas Corpus or such similar treatise.
This is not a Habeas Corpus book. However the knowledge and skills in this Boston and Manville can help with any type of litigation, including post conviction remedies.
It is very hard to explain to someone who has not been in prison how different life is from that of a free man. One of the extraordinary features of prison life is the loss of freedoms and rights we so take for granted that our mind does not even reflect upon them when free. Just the simple act of going for a cup of coffee, real coffee or making your own drink, calling someone to whom you wish to speak, learning what you need to learn, sleeping when you are tired, getting medicine when you are sick, being in a quiet place, or having some semblance of safety, all of this is very, very different in prison. Of course you know that, don’t you? The details of everyday life stripped away. That is the purpose of prison, to change your life.
NOW, compound that with unquestioned fact that prisoners still have Constitutional Rights and ask what those rights are and how to enforce them. Consider the right of a prisoner to not have his Constitutional Rights while a Prisoner, violated, and you have many of the subjects covered in this book. It is the right of a guilty man to only be punished according to law. It can also aid an innocent man in understanding basic skills of law to further his search for freedom. You are in prison and you may be like so many, many others who have been there, You are all alone. Perhaps no one will help you either to get out or to survive as a human being in a cage but who one day may be freed. Few people want to keep an innocent man in prison and I would hope that few of us want to punish a guilty man except according to what the law allows.
Well, welcome to Law School. We are unusual and very lucky here in America, that we actually have a legal system that is capable of enforcing the law for all citizens and if you can try to understand that being a prisoner does not take away your rights as an American that will go a long way to understanding the relationship between the imprisoned and the Courts. That is the role of this Boston and Manville book. Books such as this and there are many others (but this is one of the best), can actually allow you to reach out of the prison walls and grab Justice. A little bit of Justice can enter your Prison and go to you and those you may wish to aid.
Manville and Boston have written this volume for those who are willing to accept the academic challenge that dedication to learning and study can have the practical result of protection of the imprisoned. In my opinion this book is equally valuable to those not in prison in that the fundamental legal knowledge you will acquire by study can only enhance and protect your life and that of your family regardless of which side of the bars you are on.
So, we have this wonderful one volume treatise of practically one thousand pages, which can take a helpless imprisoned man or a legally ignorant free man and give him a powerful ability to see Justice.
This book does not cover everything. A normal law library for those who still love books can easily consist of 500 to 1000 volumes or more, depending on whether you want law reports etc.
Most people also need on line data base access for case law and other knowledge. But what Manville and Boston have done is to create an extremely well written, clear, detailed, thorough encapsulation of the law that should be read by every American. In spite of its title it is NOT just for prisoners, it is for everyone who wants a deep, technical and enhancing understanding of American Law.
This volume covers such legal topics as State Law Claims in Federal Court, Personal Safety in Prison, Religious Practice in Prison, Overview of the Legal System, Basic Legal Skills so that you can actually litigate a case, Section 1983 Actions, Preparation of your case for Court, Legal Research, Legal Writing, Motion Practice, Torts and on and on and on. The book contains far more than a short review like this can justify and unfortunately far more than many attorney may know.
If you believe that the Law is the possession of every man and it is your responsibility to learn the academic and practical skills necessary to exercise the legal rights available to you as an American, then this book is for you. If you are an attorney who knows the tragic deficits of law school and wants to correct some of them, you should also buy this book. Whoever you are, you will practice law better than before. Thank you Boston and Manville for your sacrifice in making this book. Kenneth Ellman, email:email@example.com, Box 18, Newton, New Jersey 07860