The title of the book says it all: Rightful Termination: Defensive Strategies for Hiring and Firing in the Lawsuit-Happy '90s (Merritt Publishing, Santa Monica, Calif., 1994, $29.95) . James Walsh's book includes sample forms and guidelines for interview reports, rejection letters, performance reviews, and written warnings -- the kind of paper trail that will help if you ever need to defend your decisions, and one that may make you a better manager in the long run. One particularly valuable appendix is "Fifteen Steps to a More Effective Firing." And the author spends much time on the topic of good hiring -- the best way to avoid trouble.

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