★★★★ The Judicial Course of the Protected Statement by Talin Tasciyan serves as a primer for anyone interested in or currently practicing American law. In it, Tasciyan details the litigation process she took when suing her former employer, who summarily dismissed her after working there for ten years. Clocking in at over 400 pages, this behemoth of a book collects nearly all of the court documentation that Tasciyan was asked to submit during the two-year process of trying to get the U.S. Supreme Court to hear her case. The author intersperses her personal commentary at every step of the way, to further elucidate the effect or impact of each specific document and decision.
Tasciyan has taken incredible care to compile her experiences into a single text, so that it might stand as a testament to the current legal system’s shortcomings. Her book examines the numerous nuances of American law that affect its practice, like how each U.S. Supreme Court justice has a “cert pool,” or a group of law clerks that he or she employs to help read through and respond to petitions. The author suggests the need for Congress to vet not only Supreme Court candidates but their law clerks as well, if this is indeed how the court operates. One of the book’s most striking takeaways is illustrated by the juxtaposition of the author’s own court documents against the polished responses of her previous employers’ lawyers, which are full of personal put-downs. It’s clear that, in a court of law, the two sides are not on an equal footing. To be sure, this is a fascinating inside look at the American legal process—and it’s not an especially heartening one.