This article is reprinted with permission from the October 19, 2007 edition of the New York Law Journal. Copyright 2007 ALM Properties, Inc. All rights reserved. Further duplication without permission is prohibited. 10/19/2007 N.Y.L.J. 2, (col. 3) New York Law Journal Volume 238
Stump Your Lawyer! A Quiz to Challenge the Legal Mind
By Howard Zaharoff, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, Calif. 128 pages, $12.95 paperback
Reviewed by David Wrobel
Question 1: If one were to review the book ‘Stump Your Lawyer’ by Howard Zaharoff, a quiz book with 199 questions that test general legal knowledge in a tongue-in-cheek manner, would it be appropriate to write the book review in a format similar to the book itself?
(a) Yes, of course.
(b) Sure, whatever you say.
(c) Seems right to me.
(d) All of the above.
[See answers below]
Question 2: Who is the author, Howard Zaharoff, and why did he write this book?
(a) He’s an attorney who lives and practices law in Massachusetts with a sense of humor who perceived the need for a clever little book.
(b) He’s an attorney who lives and practices law in Massachusetts with entirely too much time on his hands.
(c) (a) and (b) above
(d) (b) and (a) above.
Question 3: Are the questions in this book hard? How did you, the reviewer, score?
(a) Some questions were hard, some were not. The questions cover a very wide spectrum of legal knowledge, some of which is quite specialized. As a result I would be impressed if anyone could score 100 percent on the serious questions. In any event, there are many tongue-in-cheek questions interspersed throughout the book, so it is difficult to really keep score or take the book too seriously.
(b) That’s two questions.
(c) It’s none of your business how I did! Take the test yourself!
(d) Hey, who’s asking the questions here?
Question 4: An example of a serious question from the book includes which of the following questions?
(a) Which states have laws that limit ballpark owner’s liability to fans hit by foul balls?
(b) What does the Bayh-Dole Act regulate?
(c) What does the Magnusson-Moss Act regulate?
(d) All of the above
Question 5: An example of tongue-in-cheekery question from the book includes which of the following definitions for ‘Hammurabi’ other than the correct answer of ‘The giver of the first code of laws’?
(a) A hooded executioner in India.
(b) A type of sushi.
(c) Honda’s first hybrid vehicle.
(d) All of the above.
Question 6: Who is this book perfect for?
(a) Unrepentant legal nerds who miss being tested in law school and want an opportunity to see how smart they are (and you know who you are!).
(b) Lawyers who like to spend their leisure time with other lawyers engaged in games of skill and who think it would be a fun party game to test each other’s legal knowledge instead of, say, playing Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit (but I’m not sure that such people exist!).
(c) Friends of lawyers, law students and other lawyers-to-be who are looking for a gift.
(d) Nonlawyer know-it-alls who need to be put in their place.
(e) All of the above.
Question 7: The only downside to this book is that some people may have a visceral negative reaction to testing as:
(a) A pre-law student is to the LSAT.
(b) A law student is to a Final Exam.
(c) A law school graduate is to the Bar Exam.
(d) A first-year associate is to a set of interrogatories.
Question 8: What quote from this review could the author of this book use to sell his book?
(a) ‘An amusing book!’
(b) ‘This book makes a great gift for that special lawyer or lawyer-to-be in your life!’
(c) ‘This book makes a great stocking-stuffer!’
(d) ‘Did someone say ‘Pulitzer’?’
Question 9: Is this Q&A form of review starting to get a little tiresome?
(a) Yes, but I didn’t want to say so.
(b) Yes, but I’m still reading it, am I not?
(c) Yes, but I just can’t resist multiple choice tests.
(d) Yes, and that’s my final answer.
There are no wrong answers here — except, perhaps, for 8 (d) — and no one is keeping score, so feel free to give yourself an A. More important, the mere fact that you bothered to look here is an indication that this book just might be perfect for you.