Monday, March 12, 2007
Posted by Alan Childress
Richard Danner (Duke), shown left, has posted to SSRN's Law & Soc'y: Legal Profession his article, "Legal Information and the Development of American Law: Writings on the Form and Structure of the Published Law." He draws on previous foundational work by Berkeley's Robert Berring, below right. Danner's tribute and analysis will appear in 99 Law Library Journal (Spr. 2007). The abstract is:
Robert C. Berring's writings about the impacts of electronic databases, the Internet, and other communications technologies on legal research and practice are an essential part of a larger literature that explores the ways in which the forms and structures of published legal information have influenced how American lawyers think about the law. This paper reviews Berring's writings, along with those of other writers concerned with these questions, focusing on the implications of Berring's idea that in the late nineteenth century American legal publishers created a "conceptual universe of thinkable thoughts" through which U.S. lawyers came to view the law. It concludes that, spurred by Berring and others, the literature of legal information has become far reaching in scope and interdisciplinary in approach, while the themes struck in Berring's work continue to inform the scholarship of newer writers.