Trials: Kafka Goes to Court

Does anyone ever get a fair trial in court? Though U.S. trials are aimed at discovering the truth and dispensing justice, the parties to the trials are really seeking triumph and justification. The very phrase "adversary system" denotes a bitter duel rather than a disinterested inquiry. Worse, the duelers tend to indulge in trickery, and fight with "make-believe" evidence that often bears scant relation to the facts at issue.

So charges Manhattan Lawyer James Marshall in Law and Psychology in Conflict (Bobbs-Merrill; $5.95). A leading civil rights lawyer in the 1930s, Marshall,...