TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Shapo & Peltz Casebook

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!

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