Friday, November 11, 2005

Casebook Author, Say What?

The sequence and presentation of material in our Contracts casebook suggests that the author wrote the text in a single sitting. That's not really a good thing for a tome approaching 1000 pages in length. Throwing material at the publisher in the order he randomly thought of cases, provisions, and sources, I feel like I am aimlessly floating through a nutty professor's absent mind. It reads more like a history book, never really discussing or applying law. This makes learning legal principles difficult, as you might imagine. So, naturally, I e-mailed the author about this.

Dear Professor Barnett,

I just wanted to drop you a note about your casebook. The additional commentary and background offered that places disputes into a real world context is, perhaps, what I find most helpful about your text. However, and I understand there is no overarching consistent treatment of cases under the UCC or the Restatement, I think any newer editions could be improved by a section focusing specifically on these authorities. Rather than just listing relevant provisions sporadically, I think including jurisdictions where specifically codified, where the key differences are located, and how they have been formally received by different courts, would be more pedagogical.

1L Rambler

Figuring that was the end of the communique, I went back to watching Law and Order re-runs on TNT and skimming some notes. Only hours later, I found the following waiting for me in Outlook...

1L Rambler:

Thanks for your very kind words about my casebook. Your suggestion would be very useful to include in a future edition of the casebook. Perhaps when that day draws near (and it is a few years off), I could induce you to provide that information in the same way as David Snyder provided the materials on conditions, after noting their absence from a previous edition.

All the best,


Excuse me, do I read you right, Randy? You want me to author a section of your casebook? Consider it done. But, please be patient. I've already committed to assist Hawking refine unified string theory and help Chomsky clarify the origins of language. I should be able to have a working copy on your desk by tomorrow.


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