Monday, October 5, 2015
The authors of the business associations casebook I use have, in their latest edition, reprinted some of the relevant statutes in the casebook. One section of the Revised Uniform Partnership Act even appears twice within a span of only eight pages. (I don't mean citations to statutes; I mean the full language of the statute.)
The authors of the book I use (which shall remain nameless) are not alone. I’ve also seen this practice in other casebooks.
I just don’t get it.
I can understand putting a few statutes or regulations in a casebook if the students are only going to look at a couple of sections in the course. It eliminates the need for students to purchase a separate statutory supplement.
But it makes no sense in courses like Business Associations or Securities Regulation, where students will be looking at dozens, even hundreds, of pages of statutory and regulatory material. The students in those courses will still have to buy a statute book; including some of the same statutory material in the casebook just increases the size (and cost) of the casebook.
Including statutory material can also accelerate the casebook’s obsolescence. Some of the sections included come from uniform and model acts, which aren’t likely to change rapidly. But the book includes a number of selections from Delaware and other states. We all know that Delaware almost never changes its business associations statutes. (Stifled chuckle here.) What am I supposed to do next year if the statute changes? Tell my students to cross out the material?
My apologies for the rant, but this is one of a number of things these authors have done in their latest edition that really bug me. I may soon be accepting my co-blogger Joan Heminway’s invitation to try the B.A. book she co-authors. (I hope you don’t reproduce any statutory material, Joan.)
If I'm wrong, and there's a legitimate justification for this, I'd be happy to eat my words, but I just don't see the point.
UPDATE: For another view, check out Usha Rodrigues's blog post over on The Conglomerate.