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Greenspan, Edward L. and George Jonas.

Toronto, Macmillan, 1987. 480pp, cloth, $27.95, ISBN 0-7715-9495-X. CIP

Reviewed by Violet Williams

Volume 16 Number 2
1988 March

This lengthy book is really a collection of conversational outlines of legal topics and experiences, and is designed to be read in sections. Greenspan is a well-known Canadian criminal defence lawyer; Jonas, a friend of Greenspan's, is a journalist and writer of books on crime, such as the murder of Christine Demeter. The sections written by Greenspan discuss aspects of his work, such as interesting trials (the Demeter and Buxbaum trials are excluded), the role of the defence lawyer, and legal issues like plea bargaining. He expresses the view that any person is capable of committing a serious crime and is equally likely to be accused and convicted of committing one. For everyone's benefit, including his mother's, he explains how he can defend in court the most reprehensible person.

Jonas provides material on Green-span's private life and some interesting commentary on Greenspan's opinion of his cases. Jonas also pinpoints in a humorous fashion Greenspan's human qualities—his concern for the underdog and idiosyncratic collecting of speeding tickets.

There are few books that discuss current Canadian legal issues in the layperson's language. This book fills that need in an interesting but rather superficial way. An index is provided, and it is essential because topics are not precisely identified in the table of contents. The material is well documented in the footnotes, but there is no bibliography to identify in-depth books on such important topics as parole.

Violet Williams, A. Y. Jackson Secondary School, Kanata, Ont.
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