Thursday, September 14, 2006
Andrew J. McClurg (University of Memphis) is editing a new series of comparative law texts for Carolina Academic Press. They are seeking authors for various subjects, including property:
Carolina Academic Press (CAP) is beginning a series of comparative law texts called the “Contextual Approach Series” (CAS). I’m serving as editor. CAP and I are looking for U.S. law professors in a variety of subject areas to serve as lead authors for entries in the series.
The goal of the CAS is to create a series of interesting, student-friendly, self-contained, accessible comparative law books that—using co-authors from the U.S. and two other countries—clearly and concisely explain how law works in practice around the world in different subject areas. The books will be paperbound and roughly 200 pages.
The first book, Practical Global Tort Litigation: U.S., Germany and Argentina (McClurg, Koyuncu and Sprovieri) (PGTL), is in publication production and available for use as a model. Detailed guidelines for authors in the series also are available.
As the title of the series suggests, each book will be based on a set of case or problem facts raising prototypical, universal legal issues in the particular subject area. This contextual approach is intended to bring comparative law to life and make it digestible and understandable to law students by giving them a foundation to attach the law to.
As an example, PGTL takes a simple products liability case involving a shattering glass jar through the legal systems of the U.S., Germany, and Argentina. Other examples: a criminal law text could take a simple theft case through the U.S. and two other legal systems; a family law text could take a divorce problem through the U.S. and two other systems; a criminal procedure book could compare the handling of a search, arrest and confession in the U.S. and two other systems; a wills and trusts book could address property disposition upon death in the U.S. and two other legal systems, etc.
The three co-authors will explore and analyze issues raised by the problem facts from the perspective of their respective legal systems in side-by-side country-specific sections.
The U.S. author will serve as the lead author and will enlist, with the editor’s help, the two non-U.S. authors. The U.S. author has primary responsibility for supervising, editing, and integrating the contributions of the non-U.S. authors. This will require learning the relevant law of the two non-U.S. countries. In selecting countries for study, one goal is to choose legal systems that are representative of major world regions, legal traditions or both.
Prospective authors should possess the following: (1) expertise in the relevant subject matter from a U.S. perspective; (2) excellent writing and composition skills; (3) dependability and reliability; (4) an eye for detail in consistency of organizational structure, style, formatting, and citation style; and (5) the time and resources to pursue the project to completion on deadline (roughly 18 months from signing of contract).
A lack of experience or background in comparative law is not a bar if you possess the above qualifications and an interest in studying and learning about other legal systems. The non-U.S. co-authors are expected to provide the primary expertise regarding foreign law. I had no prior background in comparative law before writing PGTL with Adem Koyuncu in Cologne and Luis Sprovieri in Buenos Aires. On the other hand, as a former faculty member at the Florida International University College of Law, I did have access to international resources, which proved essential.
All subjects are open to consideration, although we are particularly interested early on in first-year courses and core upper-level courses.
If you have an interest in becoming an author in this series, please send a preliminary inquiry to email@example.com that includes: (1) the subject area you would be interested in writing about; (2) a c.v.; and (3) any early ideas you might have regarding a set of problem facts and candidates for the two non-U.S. countries (and co-authors in those countries).
I look forward to hearing from you. When I was teaching at FIU and living in Miami, I became convinced that comparative law will be a cornerstone of U.S. legal education. Writing GPTC was one of the most interesting experiences of my academic career. I learned more than in any year since my first year of law school.
Andrew J. McClurg
Herbert Herff Chair of Excellence in Law
Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
The University of Memphis
[Comments are held for approval, so there will be some delay in posting]