The second edition of this casebook introduces foreign students, most trained in code-based law, to the unique American mix of common law, statutory materials, and constitutional law. Strongly emphasizing American legal methods and the influence of American history and culture on law in the United States, the book provides a rich array of teaching resources covering both public and private law. Following introductory chapters that cover the relations between important sources of law (common law, statutes, and constitutional law, including the hierarchy of various forms of law), succeeding chapters cover the major topics in constitutional law, civil procedure and jurisdiction, and private law (contracts, torts, and corporations). The book is especially appropriate for schools attempting to meet the new Master of Laws teaching requirements of the N.Y. Bar, and its emphasis on legal methods also makes it suitable for assignment in college-level courses.

Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: American Casebook Series
Publication Date: 05/13/2016

Charles F. Abernathy, Georgetown University Law Center


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The new edition significantly updates the prior edition while maintaining the overall structure and mix of materials that made the first edition successful. In the introductory chapters that focus on legal methods, new cases and themes beef up the discussion of statutory interpretation, the relation between common law and constitutional law, and the dependency of many forms of statutory law on underlying common law norms. In the topical chapters that follow, the new edition adds significant new coverage of developments in constitutional law (separation of federal powers, federalism, Substantive Due Process, and the First Amendment) by inclusion of new cases and discussion of significant new forms of constitutional interpretation. Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, particularly in pleading and discovery, have been incorporated into the chapters on litigation. The private law sections retain the essential emphasis of the prior edition, supplemented and updated, particularly for corporations law where significant additions to the Notes highlight the impact of federal legislation following the financial crises of 2000 and 2008.

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