Vanderbilt Law Review

Article Title

Book Reviews

First Page



How Harmless is Harmless? The Riddle of Harmless Error.

By Roger J. Traynor Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1970. Pp. ix, 117. $6.00

reviewer: Charles Galbreath

This book is based on the author's experience of more than 30 years on the California Supreme Court and his exhaustive research into the enigma of harmless error. The overriding message is simply that there is no clear explanation for the Supreme Court's preferring the Chapman test of "harmless beyond reasonable doubt" over the California test,which allows the judgment to stand if the particular error did not result in a "miscarriage of justice" in the opinion of the reviewing court.


A Small Business Primer

Advising the Small Business Sourcebook

Edited by Jim McCord & Nicholas S. Vazzana New York: Practicing Law Institute, 1970. Pp.xviii. 489. $20.00.

reviewer: George F. Shinehouse, Jr.

The term "source book" is an innovation that aptly describes the content of the book. No attempt is made to cover in depth the various applicable principles. Rather the subject matter is presented in capsule form, serving somewhat as an expanded syllabus. In this sense the book is truly a "source book," or point of beginning, directing the reader to other texts in which the subject is treated in greater detail.


Legal Problems of the Design Professional

Legal Aspects of Architecture & Engineering and the Construction Process

By Justin Sweet. St. Paul: West Publishing Co., 1970. Pp. xliii. 953. $12.50.

reviewer: Norman A. Coplan

Legal questions inhere in every stage of the design professional's dealings with his partners, clients, contractors, insurance,and bonding companies, and in the daily execution of the building project. The architect or engineer, for example, must comply with the licensing or registration laws of the states in which he practices; he must organize the entity through which he practices; he is required to contract with his client for the furnishing of professional services, and with consultants to assist in the execution of such services. Perhaps most significantly, the design professional is called upon to assist his client in the formulation of the construction contract. This document involves such complex legal subjects as liability and other insurance, liens,payment and performance bonds, indemnification, arbitration, default,and liquidated damages.