ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Jeremy Telman
Oklahoma City University
School of Law

Thursday, April 16, 2009

PA Law Profs Sue West over "Sham" Treatise Supplement

Boozy Prof. William Clark isn't the only one to sue West over a treatise.  According to, Profs. David Rudovsky (U Penn) and Leonard Sosnov (Widener) have sued West, claiming that authorship of the December 2008 pocket part to their treatise, Pennsylvania Criminal Procedure -- Law, Commentary and Forms, was falsely attributed to them.  They allege that the pocket part was "so poorly researched that it will harm their reputations if allowed to remain on library shelves."

Further, according to the article:

[T]he book was first published in 1988 and had a second edition in 2001.

The professors claim that in every year since the book was released, they have worked diligently to keep the treatise current by authoring annual supplements that include case notes on about 100 to 150 cases as well as rule changes.

But Rudovsky testified in the injunction hearing that he and Sosnov decided to stop working on the book when West announced that it was cutting their pay in half -- from $5,000 each per year to $2,500.

Rudovsky testified that he had proposed to West that it was time to release a third edition of the treatise, but that West was not interested in spending the money to do so. Court records show that Rudovsky and Sosnov were each paid $12,000 for their work on the second edition.

$12,000 each!  West is not only publishing bunk, it is cheap.

If the good Profs could fathom teetotaling, they'd be better off with Clark's deal: stay sober while you write, and get $6.00 per page.  According the CPI indicator, $6.00 in Clark's time (1908) is equivalent to about $144 today.  After all, Volumes 2 and 2A of the treatise appear to total around 1000 pages.  

Though, is abstinence even possible while writing about Criminal Procedure?

[Meredith R. Miller]

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