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Making Sense of Search and Seizure Law


Making Sense of Search and Seizure Law book jacket View Table of Contents and Introductory Material
ISBN978-1-61163-615-4

Making Sense of Search and Seizure Law

A Fourth Amendment Handbook

Second Edition

by Phillip A. Hubbart

2015 $115.00 472 pp casebound

Tags: Comparative Law, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law, Legal History

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To view or download the 2017 supplement to this book, click here.

Making Sense of Search and Seizure Law: A Fourth Amendment Handbook is the best one volume treatment of Fourth Amendment law in print. Competing works are sprawling, and often multi-volume, encyclopedic treatments of the subject. This book is easy to follow and makes sense of the subject in a way that readers can quickly grasp. The primary purpose of the book is to restate existing up-to-date Fourth Amendment law, as announced by the over 430 U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the subject, in an organized and lucid manner, true to its historical origins.

The book is divided into two parts: Part I, The Historical Background and Purpose of the Fourth Amendment; and Part II, The Substantive Law of the Fourth Amendment. Part I contains 6 chapters, including an in-depth discussion of the historical background that led to the adoption of the Fourth Amendment [1761-1791] — not the cursory historical treatment usually found in competing works. These chapters show how this historical background has heavily influenced the development of Fourth Amendment case law, as well as how central the Fourth Amendment is to our country’s development and traditions. Part II has an introductory chapter on constitutional construction, and is then divided into three subparts covering 10 chapters: Subpart A, The Standing Requirement; Subpart B, The Unreasonableness Requirement; and Subpart C, Enforcement of the Fourth Amendment.  

Making Sense of Search and Seizure Law is designed for practicing lawyers and judges for use in their professional work, as well as law professors who teach Fourth Amendment law and wish to place a copy or multiple copies of the book on reserve as outside reading for their students. The general reader should also find it of interest  particularly the historical chapters.

Making Sense of Search and Seizure Law is an extraordinary accomplishment and indispensible aid for the practicing criminal defense lawyer, despite the insufficiency of the title! More aptly, it should be titled Making Sense of Search and Seizure Law and Thereby Equipping Defense Counsel to Quickly but Comprehensively Understand Essential Supreme Court Case Law and Provide the Greatest Opportunity to Mount the Most Persuasive and Successful Arguments. Thank you, Mr. Hubbart.” — Theodore “Ted” Simon, Past President (2014-2015) of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

“The Bible of 4th amendment law! An invaluable compendium for defense attorneys, prosecutors, scholars, journalists and citizens who care about privacy.” — Alan Dershowitz, Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Harvard University

“Judge Phillip Hubbart’s classic treatise on search and seizure has just been updated. If you are looking for a source where you can research Fourth Amendment jurisprudence as it applies to a given case, look no further. This second edition (2015) now stands as the best single-volume treatise on the Fourth Amendment for the working lawyer or judge.

The strength of the book lies in the way Judge Hubbart takes more than 430 Supreme Court cases interpreting the Fourth Amendment and places them in context with each other. With an extraordinary command of the material, he organizes the mass of decisions into one coherent outline. …All in all, the book is an extraordinary resource for judges, lawyers, professors, and police professionals who are engaged in what he calls the 'important but inexact craft of constitutional decision making.'” — Judge Thomas Logue, The Florida Bar Journal

“Hubbart's elegant book is the most thorough, organized and lucid study of the Fourth Amendment that I have ever read. Unlike any other work on this subject!” — Gerald Kogan, Chief Justice, Florida Supreme Court (retired)

“It's easily the best single one-volume hornbook on the Fourth Amendment that has been written — one that is certain to be useful both to practitioners and scholars alike. There is no other manageable publication that analyzes and restates current law based on the Supreme Court's more than 400 Fourth Amendment decisions.” — Norman Lefstein, Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Praise for the first edition:

“I have found Hubbart's slim and easy to read volume a necessity for any serious criminal practitioner's library… a fantastic resource.” — The Champion, The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer's Monthly Magazine

“I have had several occasions to use the book and have always found it helpful.” — Professor Yale Kamisar, Clarence Darrow Distinguished University Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Michigan Law School   


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