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1. Courtroom Guide for Non-Lawyers:

1. Courtroom Guide for Non-Lawyers: Including Glossary of 488 Legal Terms and 81 Suggestions for Being a Good Witness
by Benjamin J. Cantor
Paperback: 128 Pages (2001-10)
list price: US$20.99
Isbn: 1401000673
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Smart Guide for the Layman
I'm not a lawyer, and this book is not intended to be a primer for becoming the next Perry Mason. It did the job for me.

"Courtroom Guide for Non-Lawyers" by Benjamin Cantor is a tidy summary of legal terms someone is likely to encounter in the midst of a trial. For me, involved at one time in a lawsuit, I found Cantor's book a wealth of information. I wish I had read his book then.

Cantor demonstrates expertise deftly as he disseminates only relevant information. Legal things can be overwhelming, but Cantor smartly keeps things straightforward. Appendix D, "Glossary of Legal Terms" does not bog the reader down with loquacious definitions, but crisply explains terms like "ad litem" and "nolo contendere" in a line or two.

Where Cantor's book lacks is in the printing. The text is printed poorly, having the look that it was taken over to the local quickie print and the printer lacked enough ink. I hope this is only in my copy, but Xlibris, the publisher, dropped the ball in quality control.

I fully recommend "Courtroom Guide for Non-Lawyers" by Benjamin Cantor.

Anthony Trendl
editor, HungarianBookstore.com

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive Manual of Courtroom Procedures
"Legal photography is photography used as pictorial communication evidence in a court trial in order to convey the observations of a witness more fully, more effectively, and more accurately than the witness' verbal testimony alone. Legal photography provides the court and the jury with a clearer comprehension of the physical facts that could be be obtained otherwise." -Benjamin J. Cantor

Benjamin J. Cantor has given us the gift of his life experience in the "Courtroom Guide for Non-Lawyers." This is a very helpful book for those who find themselves unfamiliar with the legal ramifications which take place during trials in courtrooms across America.

After his daughter and editor, Ruth Roche, served as a juror in several court trials, she mentioned to her dad that if she only had more information about what to expect in a courtroom, her experiences would have been more enjoyable. This inspired Mr. Cantor to seek out more information on the subject, without much success. As a result, he decided to write an essential book for anyone who finds themselves in the position of litigant, witness or juror and has found themselves lost in the thicket of legal terminology and procedures.

"It's important because It's amazing in this democratic society of ours that so many average citizens find the courtroom an enigma." - Benjamin J. Cantor

This book will also be helpful for doctors, engineers, accident reconstructionists, and anyone else who may serve as an expert witness in a court trial. Mr. Cantor graduated from engineering school in 1931 and in the midst of the Great Depression, there were few engineering jobs. He decided to reconstruct his long-time hobby in photography and make an avocation a vocation. This gave him the needed money for tuition for law school and helped him attain his long-range goal of becoming a patent attorney.

By the time he received his law degree in 1937, he had already established a photography business specializing in legal photography. He provided photographs for attorneys to assist them in preparing for their lawsuits.

Mr. Cantor founded and operated the Boston Photo Service which specializes in forensic photography for over 40 years. He has had a 50-year career in legal photography, during which he also testified in court as a expert photographic witness in hundreds of trials.

"I became aware of the many imperfections and perplexities in the judicial system of our legal process, especially in the courtroom." -Benjamin J. Cantor

After his retirement, he has been a consultant to the Boston Photo Service and has also been conducting seminars on legal evidence photography and the role of the expert witness in a court trial.

He has delivered lectures on forensic photography at Boston College Law School, Suffolk University Law School, Massachusetts Bar Associateion and many other legal forums. He is also the co-author of the treatise Photographs in Civil Litigation and has written numerous articles on forensic photography for professional law journals.


Interview with the Author - great idea!
488 Legal Terms
81 Suggestions for being a good witness
Information on Direct and Cross-Examination of a Photographer - This gives you a good idea of what to expect if you are called to testify as an expert witness.

Examples of Effective use of Photographic Evidence

My favorite section was the suggestions for being a good witness. Mr. Cantor includes a quote from Mark Twain that reads: "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."


1. Criminal Law and Civil Law
2. Participants in a Court Trial: Litigants, Lawyers, Judge, Witnesses, Jurors, Court Officers (or Bailiffs), Court Reporters (Court Stenographers), Court Clerk, Law Clerk, Spectators.
3. Civil Trial Court Procedure
4. Photographic Evidence vs. Oral Testimony
5. Expert Witness
6. Equality Before the Law
7. Small Claims Court
8. Juvenile Court
9. Perjury in the Courtroom

I've already sent a copy of this book to a friend who I think may find it to be useful. Your friends will thank you if they find themselves as a witness and you present them with a copy of this book. I also thought this book would be helpful for authors who are doing research on the subject of courtroom procedures.

Basically a hands-on guide for people who, at some time in their lives, are called upon as jurors or witnesses in a court trial. Also could be used as a textbook on the subject for police training and law students to help clarify some of the mysteries encountered in our legal system of justice.

~The Rebecca Review

2-0 out of 5 stars Elementary
I'm not a lawyer and I've never been involved in any legal matters and I still found this book to be overly simplistic.It defines civil versus criminal cases and the various parties involved such as Judges, prosecuters, lawyers, defendents, jurors, etc. I already knew almost everything in this book and would recommend it only for the most novice of readers, with no previous knowledge about the courtroom. The book is about 100 pages and is a very quick and easy read. ... Read more


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