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Maley: Updated series is valuable for practitioners

John Maley
February 27, 2013
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Indiana Lawyer Commentary

maley-john-mugNew013013By John R. Maley

As the practice has moved from law-firm libraries to online research on laptops and iPads, there remains a place for comprehensive, in-depth and practical treatises and practice guides. Since 1998, Westlaw’s Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts has been just such a valuable resource, and it continues to include electronic materials on a CD that contains jury instructions, forms and checklists that are in the 11-volume printed set. The series is unique in that it is a collaborative effort between Westlaw and the ABA’s Section of Litigation, with all proceeds going to that section.

The first edition in 1998 had six comprehensive volumes, expanded to eight volumes in the second edition in 2005. The new third edition has grown to eleven volumes with 34 new chapters. Under the guidance of New York litigator Robert Haig, 251 different distinguished authors – including 22

maleybookrev022713

distinguished federal judges from the appellate and District courts – contributed to the series. One of the authors remains Indiana’s own Hon. William C. Lee, who penned the chapter on scheduling and pretrial conferences and orders.

Although there are other treatises addressing federal civil practice, none are written specifically for commercial litigation. Moreover, no other book gives integra

ted treatment to procedural and substantive law in areas frequently encountered by federal commercial litigators. Furthermore, the authors address practical perspectives and tips for plaintiff and defense alike for all stages of litigation, including trial.

For the young practitioner, the treatise is a tremendous starting point for virtually any procedural and substantive issue that crosses the desk. On the procedural front, for instance, topics addressed range from subject matter jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, venue, immunity, investigation, case evaluation, pleadings, discovery, motions practice, trial, appeals, and enforcement of judgments. Meanwhile, on the substantive front, the coverage is broad but in-depth, ranging from antitrust, securities, banking, consumer, employment, copyright, franchising, entertainment, environmental, energy, construction, patent, trademark, products, and false claims.

For the experienced litigator, the treatise is both a good refresher and ready-reference, as well as a fine starting point for supporting authority and research given the detailed footnotes with multiple citations (actually more than 40,000 cites).

As is evident from this third edition and the strength and depth of the organizations and authors involved, this was not a “one and done” effort. Instead, the treatise has been supplemented with pocket parts annually since its initial publication, so it stays current with changes in statutory amendments, rule changes, evolving case law, and evolutions in federal practice.

For lawyers or firms with federal commercial litigation practices, this series is worth serious consideration. The eleven volumes and CD sell for $1,351 from Westlaw.•

__________

John Maley – jmaley@btlaw.com – is a partner with Barnes & Thornburg LLP in Indianapolis, focusing on litigation, employment, and appellate practice. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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  1. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  2. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  3. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  4. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

  5. I will agree with that as soon as law schools stop lying to prospective students about salaries and employment opportunities in the legal profession. There is no defense to the fraudulent numbers first year salaries they post to mislead people into going to law school.

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