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• Lawyer Walks Into a Comedy Club If “funny people are smart people and lawyers are smart people,” as Shawn Westfall maintains, does that mean lawyers are funny people? While the answer is clear to a logician, the puzzler is a challenge Westfall takes up one improv class at a time. — by Robert Loper • A Window into a Secret World Jeffrey Toobin’s The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court isn’t “The Perils of Pauline” or even Presumed Innocent. And it never gets more breathless than its title, but, all the same, it provides a welcome window into a coequal branch of government that remains largely a mystery to most Americans. — by James Oliphant • Tale of Expanded Powers When presidential power expands, eroding checks and balances, who gets hurt? Takeover: The Return of the Imperial Presidency and the Subversion of American Democracy, a tautly told tale of executive power lust by Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe reporter Charlie Savage, argues that we all lose. — by Carrie Levine • The Battle Over Innocence In their rushed-to-press book, Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case, authors Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson demonstrate in detail how and why Mike Nifong subverted the criminal justice system. — by Steve Weinberg • His Parting Shots After a career as a political operative for the National Rifle Association and a lobbyist for sporting goods and gun manufacturers, Richard Feldman has written a subspecies of the turncoat memoir. — by Jeff Horwitz • Catch of the Day Hook has been hot all summer, the latest place to be for the District’s fickle foodies. By the time we arrived in mid-September, the temperature had cooled, inside and out… — by Tony Mauro • You Don’t Say Legal terms can confound lawyers and laymen alike. To help sort this out comes The Party of the First Part: The Curious World of Legalese, a book that is a mix of scholarship, stand-up comedy, and argument for plain English by Adam Freedman. — by Gunnar Birgisson • Asher Durand’s Tamed Wildness Ah, the Hudson River School — what a world of promise and moral destiny it portrayed. The mid-19th century art movement helped to create Americans’ sense of ourselves as a magnificent nation, blessed by God with the craggy mountains, thundering waterfalls, and pastoral vistas that were our due. — by Debra Bruno • Bigger Firm, Better Art Medley Drinker Biddle & Reath occupies nearly every floor of its charming K Street Northwest locale. It makes sense, then, that the firm has relied on the work of local artists in its Washington Art Series. — by Marisa McQuilken

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