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Alan Murphy

Guest: Bruce Alan Murphy
Author of “Scalia: A Court of One”
Website: govlaw.lafayette.edu/people/bruce-murphy/

Bruce Allen Murphy, Ph.D., is a judicial biographer and scholar of American Constitutional law and politics. He is the Fred Morgan Kirby Professor of Civil Rights at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, a position he has held since 1998. Prior to that appointment, he was a professor of Political Science and a professor of American History and Politics at The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. He was also a Fellow of the Institute for the Arts and Humanistic Studies while at Penn State.[

THE BOOK: “Scalia: A Court of One”

An authoritative, deeply researched biography of the most controversial and outspoken Supreme Court justice of our time and how he chose to be “right” rather than influential.

Antonin Scalia knew only success in the first fifty years of his life. His sterling academic and legal credentials led to his nomination by President Ronald Reagan to the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in 1982. In four short years there, he successfully outmaneuvered the more senior Robert Bork to be appointed to the Supreme Court in 1986.

Scalia’s evident legal brilliance and personal magnetism led everyone to predict he would unite a new conservative majority under Chief Justice William Rehnquist and change American law in the process. Instead he became a Court of One. Rather than bringing the conservatives together, Scalia drove them apart. He attacked and alienated his more moderate colleagues Sandra Day O’Connor, then David Souter, and finally Anthony Kennedy. Scalia prevented the conservative majority from coalescing for nearly two decades.

Scalia: A Court of One is the compelling story of one of the most polarizing figures ever to serve on the nation’s highest court. It provides an insightful analysis of Scalia’s role on a Court that, like him, has moved well to the political right, losing public support and ignoring public criticism. To the delight of his substantial conservative following, Scalia’s “originalism” theory has become the litmus test for analyzing, if not always deciding, cases. But Bruce Allen Murphy shows that Scalia’s judicial conservatism is informed as much by his highly traditional Catholicism, mixed with his political partisanship, as by his reading of the Constitution. Murphy also brilliantly analyzes Scalia’s role in major court decisions since the mid-1980s and scrutinizes the ethical controversies that have dogged Scalia in recent years. A Court of One is a fascinating examination of one outspoken justice’s decision not to play internal Court politics, leaving him frequently in dissent, but instead to play for history, seeking to etch his originalism philosophy into American law.

Guest: Tom Murray
Author of “Deadly by Design
Website: www.deadlybydesign.com

Tom Murray is a nationally recognized trial lawyer and legal educator. While he has written extensively for legal publications, this is his first book intended for a general audience. Tom and Ann Murray, who have seven children and 14 grandchildren, live in Huron, Ohio.

THE BOOK: “Deadly by Design”

When Tom Murray was asked to represent the family of a Cleveland, Ohio minister in a coma since his Ford Crown Victoria suddenly accelerated out of control from his driveway and crashed into a neighbor’s house, he was astonished to discover that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had blamed driver error for similar sudden accelerations that had killed or injured thousands of people, although drivers universally insisted the brakes had failed to stop the automobile. Baffled by the government’s decision, Mr. Murray hired a retired FBI agent on the condition of anonymity to investigate what Ford knew about the cause of this automotive behavior. “Mr. X” reported that Ford engineers knew that electronic malfunctions were behind this automotive behavior, that the entire industry had rushed untested electronics to market, but had decided it would be too costly to admit the mistake. Murray was horrified at the thought of a gigantic industry covering up a problem that every year was destroying hundreds of lives just in the United States, and decided to accept the minister’s case. This was the beginning of fifteen years of grueling litigation with Ford and other carmakers during which the long concealed truth about runaway car crashes gradually emerged.

Drawing on the testimony of car company representatives and previously concealed car company studies, reports and documents, Deadly by Design tells the untold story of how the federal government aided and abetted the car industry in covering up one of the most destructive problems in automotive history. The author tells the story from different but related angles. The first section follows the many twists and turns of the minister’s case to its dramatic conclusion ten years after it began. In the section that ends with a landmark decision by the Second U.S. Circuit written by Sonia Sotomayor, now a Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Murray focuses on how he and his legal associate, Molly O’Neill, fought a series of legal battles with Ford to uncover the truth behind this often lethal automotive behavior. A third part, entitled The Color of Corruption, exposes for the first time how the federal government disregarded federal law and allowed carmakers to conceal a deadly safety defect.

The final section entitled Toyota and the Unraveling of a Cover-Up describes how the federal government turned a blind eye to overwhelming evidence of a defect in Toyota’s throttle control electronics until a frantic 9-1-1 call from a runaway Lexus driven by a California Patrolman and his family, who perished moments after the call, led to Congressional hearings that set in motion events surrounding sudden accelerations that are still unfolding, and which may finally bring an end to what the author calls “a secret game of automobile roulette” that carmakers for many years have been playing with the lives and safety of people.

While each novella-length section contains eye openers of its own, the biggest surprise may be that the importance of this pioneering work exceeds the sum of its many shocking revelations.

Jack Girardi, Partner at Girardi Keese, is one of America's Finest Trial Lawyers and our Co-Host, as always, brings out the most important key elements to the success of today's guests. He and his firm have been dedicated to working hard and getting the best possible recovery for its clients.

Girardi Keese's mission is to provide aggressive representation of individuals and businesses who have been injured in sous way, whether by physical harm, property damage, damage to business, or damage to economic interests. Girardi & Keese has two offices in California: Downtown Los Angeles and San Bernardino. www.girardikeese.com

Hosted by Steve Murphy
Steve Murphy
Brought to you by "The Law Business Insider"

Guest: Bruce Alan Murphy
Author of “Scalia: A Court of One”
Website: govlaw.lafayette.edu/people/bruce-murphy/

Guest: Tom Murray
Author of “Deadly by Design
Website: www.deadlybydesign.com

Jack Girardi
Website: www.girardikeese.com

Steve Murphy
Executive Producer and Host
Website: www.lbishow.com

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 November 2015 23:08