I always liked assignment and comparison in the same statement. Though I understand why it'd be an anathema to some.
public String getLastFour(Employee employee)
if (employee != null)
if ((Address address = employee.getPrimaryAddress()) != null)
if ((ZipCode zip = address.getZipCode()) != null)
if ((String lastFour = zip.getLastFour()) != null)
throw new FMLException("Missing data");
Better yet, an if statement checks if something is true, so "if ((String lastFour = zip.getLastFour()) != null)" and "if (String lastFour = zip.getLastFour())" are equivalent. It's one of those C things that makes for delightfully compact code, but has a few pitfalls, Since if you used == instead of =, the problem with the statement might not be immediately obvious. And confusing starting/closing parentheses has been a problem in that situation, though an IDE (or even vi) helps greatly.
Of course, the biggest problem is that this example breaks Slashdot's automatic content filtering. "Try less whitespace and/or less repetition?" My original comment was fine, thank you. I had to remove all the curly brackets -- it just wouldn't let me post this until after I removed the curly brackets, no matter how much junk text I put at the end. Thanks, Slashdot.