Saturday, January 6, 2007
A note from Rick Peltz (UALR):
Shameless self promotion, but sometimes one must. I'm naturally a fan of Shapo & Peltz (3d ed. Carolina Academic Press 2006). I was a fan of Shapo (2d ed. Lexis) previously, which is why I signed onto it.
When I am first starting out in a new course, I like a strong TM. I tend not to use it at all after a couple years, but it's a great security blanket from the get go. Shapo's original TM, which we've improved, was terrific. Packed with tidbits.
Also in Torts specially, I like to look at what cases the authors chose, because there are of course a lot of areas in which you have a good deal of flexibility, i.e., many cases from various jurisdictions that could do the job. I like to see cases that have amusing angles, compelling facts, twists.. the sort of thing students will find entertaining reading. I thought Shapo had a knack for picking such cases, and I have tried to keep up in that tradition.
I also like a text that is not shy about throwing in a comparative angle here and there. Shapo included in his text various comparative references, including fascinating treatment of the new zealand comp system, which i've since learned a good deal about, and even the occasional reference to Jewish canon.
Finally something I like to see, though it is not necessarily dispositive, is that an author is supportive of his or her casebook users. I'll usually contact an author to let 'em know I am using the book and thank them for the materials. I have had a range from no response to very kind and supportive responses. Shapo was of the latter sort, and I pledge to serve likewise.
Further comments on casebooks would be welcome!