Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Book Recommendation: The Paralegal's Handbook

The Paralegal's Handbook: A Complete Reference for All Your Daily Tasks, written by Anita Haworth, RP and Lesley Cox, RP is an excellent resource for paralegals, both novice and experienced. This is the first book I reached for to learn how to handle a personal injury case, and I know that I will use it many times in the future. Using straightforward language, Haworth and Cox cover investigations, fact checking, document management, discovery, trial preparation, and different areas of practice. All the information is neatly organized, and as a bonus, they included a section of forms at the end. It's a fantastic resource, one that is finally the how-to manual needed for succeeding in the day to day tasks of the job.

There was some concern when the book was first printed, as Haworth had insisted that Kaplan not use her title as NFPA President on the cover. When Haworth first received copies of the book with her title on the cover, she was shocked and horrified. (Haworth would not use her position as NFPA for personal gain.) Behind the cut is her letter to NFPA leaders and members, and Kaplan's letter acknowledging their error.


I want to bring something to your attention. It is a personal issue, but one that also affects me professionally and in my position as NFPA President. About a year and a half ago, I agreed to co-author a book for Kaplan Publishing. As part of the negotiations, Kaplan wanted to list my title as President of NFPA on the front cover of the book. I discussed it with the Board because I was uncomfortable with that idea. I felt it was inappropriate, and the Board agreed. I felt it would give an appearance of impropriety in that someone might think I was using my position as NFPA President for personal gain. I also did not want it to appear that NFPA was endorsing the book. While I understood Kaplan’s desire to use that for marketing purposes, I told them to remove the title from the cover. They agreed to do that. This was on June 14, 2007.

The final manuscript was provided to Kaplan this spring. Part of the agreement was that I and my co-author would have the right to review the final version of the book before it was printed. However, that did not occur as Kaplan was in a hurry to get the book to print. Although we kept asking to see the book and were told we’d get to see the initial press copy, I did not know it had been printed until I received a box full of books yesterday. To my horror, they did not change the front cover, and my title is listed on the front cover of the book right under my name. I immediately informed the NFPA Board of this.

I also immediately contacted my editor and brought this to his attention. I forwarded to him the email exchange wherein I asked them to change the front cover and remove my title – and his agreement to do so. I asked him what Kaplan was going to do to correct this very serious error. He informed me that Kaplan has already printed and shipped to suppliers a total of 3000 books. They cannot recall the books without totally cancelling the book. Kaplan will provide me with a letter that I will provide to you acknowledging that it was their error and accepting full responsibility for the error. Further, they will change the front cover of the book so that all future printings do not list my title.

I am extremely upset about this and horrified at the position in which Kaplan has placed me and NFPA with their error. Please accept my sincere apologies. Further, please feel free to share this email, and the letter from the publisher which I will provide, with anyone you desire.

Letter from Kaplan to A. Haworth - Get more Legal Forms

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