Law Library

Ankerwycke releases rollicking satire of American legal education

With increased emphasis nationally on the state of U.S. legal education, a new novel from Harper Lee Prize-winning author Paul Goldstein takes a satirical look at the legal academy and simply asks: Is it possible for a law school to make the exalted list of the U.S. News & World Report’s top five law schools and still lose its American Bar Association accreditation in the same year?

In his book, “Legal Asylum: A Comedy,” Goldstein tackles sacred ground for law deans throughout the country by spotlighting the ratings game and highlighting some of the critical issues involved in law school accreditation. Ankerwycke, the ABA’s trade imprint, published the book.

“While journalists have reported extensively on the impact of U.S. News rankings on the behavior of American higher education, I believe that it takes a work of fiction to truly convey the resulting absurdities, a sort of Gulliver’s Travels for the 21st century,” Goldstein explained for why he wrote the novel.

“Legal Asylum” follows Dean Elspeth Flowers, who will let nothing — nothing — stand in the way of plans to catapult her backwater state law school into the magazine’s “Top 5” ranking. But tensions between the school’s warring factions ¾ the Quants, Poets and Bog Dwellers ¾ put her plans in peril. So, too, do the errant pursuits of her faculty and the maneuverings of a mailroom clerk with plans of his own to radically transform the school.

Subsequently, the arrival of an ABA accreditation committee to conduct the law school’s required periodic review threatens to expose the school’s deepest secrets and forces the dean to confront her own darkest demons.

Goldstein is a writer, lawyer and the Lillick Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. He is the author of four previous novels: “Secret Justice” (Ankerwycke, 2016); the bestsellers “Errors and Omissions” (Doubleday, 2006) and “A Patent Lie” (Doubleday, 2008); and “Havana Requiem” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012), which received the 2013 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction that is bestowed annually by the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal for the best new legal novel.


ABA book offers overview of bank examination ­privilege and its role in supervision

To help lawyers navigate the complex area of banking law, the American Bar Association Business Law Section has published The Bank Examination Privilege: When Litigants Demand Confidentiality Reports, which offers a comprehensive overview of the bank examination privilege and its essential role in bank supervision.

The bank examination privilege applies to confidential communications between financial institutions and their federal and state regulators, such as formal bank audits. Recently, a number of significant cases involving regulated financial institutions have centered around the bank examination privilege. This guide provides key concepts and serves as a practical, user-friendly resource to understand the intricacies of this privilege. A comprehensive treatment on the subject, this resource includes:

• An overview of the bank examination privilege, including the definition, scope and limitations

• Statutes and regulations at both the federal and state levels

• The principles of sovereign immunity

• The nuts and bolts of bank examinations: what they are and who examines banks

• Practice tips that can help you successfully defend the bank examination privilege and litigate issues related to the privilege

• An appendix that serves as a legal research guide setting forth citations to legal authorities that touch on different aspects of the privilege, including at the federal and

“The Bank Examination Privilege” is co-written by Eric Epstein, David A. Scheffel and Nicholas A.J. Vlietstra.  Epstein is a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement Group and is also a lecturer in law at Columbia Law School. Scheffel is a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, where he co-chairs the firm’s Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement Group.  Vlietstra is a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, where he is a member of the firm’s Finance & Restructuring Group and co-chairs the firm’s Financial Services Regulatory Group.