The Champion

November 2009 , Page 59 

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Book Reviews

By Fay F. Spenca, Elizabeth Unger Carlyle, Mark Stevens

Hard Time and Nursery Rhymes: A Mother’s Tales of Law and Disorder

By Claudia Trupp
Rodale Press (2009)
Reviewed by Fay F. Spence

Hard Time and Nursery Rhymes evokes laughter, anger, tears, and pride as Claudia Trupp bounces back and forth between stories about the legal system and about her family. The author provides no answers on exactly what steps a mother should take to balance work and family, but she weaves several comparisons and contrasts between parenthood and criminal defense work into her rambling narrative. As she discusses some of the cases she has handled as an appellate public defender in New York, she also explains the complexities of criminal law and appellate procedure in terms that a nonlawyer can understand. The result is a book that reveals the depth of the author’s commitment to her professional and personal values.

The book is comprised of six parts, each loosely based on a different criminal appeal on which Trupp worked. With each case, she manages to explain comple

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