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Communicating the Law: Lessons from Landmark Legal Cases
A U.S. citizen constructs a car bomb to blow up a federal building. A popular sports figure is accused of domestic abuse and murder. Cities nationwide enact no-smoking laws. The Catholic Church agrees to pay millions of dollars to victims of priests' sexual abuse. These and other highly publicized, once unthinkable issues and events have been pivotal...
A U.S. citizen constructs a car bomb to blow up a federal building. A popular sports figure is accused of domestic abuse and murder. Cities nationwide enact no-smoking laws. The Catholic Church agrees to pay millions of dollars to victims of priests' sexual abuse. These and other highly publicized, once unthinkable issues and events have been pivotal in America's legal history and are showcased in this compelling examination of how communication is at the core of legal processes. Schuetz familiarizes readers first with contemporary and conventional theories of communication (discourse, language, argumentation, narrative, dramatism, and games), and then with fundamental legal principles, procedures, and protocols. Next, through one or more of the communication lenses previously discussed, she examines and analyzes how the communication of attorneys, defendants, witnesses, and judges inside the courtroom and of the media outside the courtroom affect the dynamics and, in some instances, the outcome of nine legal cases. An awareness of such communication perspectives when one observes a trial, reads or sees a media representation of a legal proceeding, or engages in critical analysis of a legal practice or process broadens understanding and fosters the ability to have informed opinions about meaningful social agendas.
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