January 03, 2008

New edition of professors' textbook now available

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A textbook on American jurisprudence co-authored by two Southern Illinois University Carbondale professors is now available in its second edition through Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.

Albert P. Melone, political science professor emeritus, and Allan Karnes, professor of accountancy, pumped up "The American Legal System: Perspectives, Politics, Processes and Policies" for the second edition. The 720-page book is in 15 chapters, which are in three parts.

Part one puts the American legal system in perspective, covering such topics as judicial interpretation and the limits of authority. Part two looks at the legal process, contrasting civil and criminal law and alternatives to the courts for dispute resolution. Part three covers legal norms and rules, and covers topics such as torts, property, family and criminal law, contracts and business regulations.

Throughout the text, the authors rely on representative court opinions to illustrate their points. For example, in a discussion about legal language, they offer a synopsis of a case from the Supreme Court of Nevada about the legal status of homeless people in Las Vegas. The authors have also added text about some current controversies – such as the "War on Terror" and the possible legal ramifications presented by same-sex marriage controversies – to spark discussion.

Professors considering the book for a classroom text can order an exam copy from the publisher. The authors include "a wealth of pedagogical materials," including an instructors' manual and test bank.

Though the book easily fits into a variety of classrooms – from business to political science to administration of justice – general readers interested in the judicial branch of American government should find the book an accessible and informative read as well.

Online orders receive a discounted price of $67.96, 15 percent off the list price of $79.95. To read a sample chapter or order the book, go to www.rowmanlittlefield.com.

Melone was a political science faculty member at SIUC for 26 years, retiring in 2005. He is the author of about a dozen books on constitutional law, judicial selection and related topics.

Karnes is a professor of accountancy in the College of Business and Administration at SIUC. His research interests include taxation law, state income tax withholding for non-residents and limited liability.