Wednesday, November 27, 2013

"New" isn't always better

Easy often isn't
I am a fan of classic poetry.  One of my favorite poems is by Robert Frost called: The Road Not Taken. Basically, it lays out the dilemma of a traveler who comes upon two trails.  One trail is well worn from many a passerby and the other not so much and the traveler is left wondering what would have happened had he taken the other trail.

Such is the life of the legal researcher.  Often times I'll find attorneys who use the same books over and over and over because they've been using the same books over and over and over over the years.  The result is that their arguments become predictable and, well,...boring.  It is in those situations that I'll pull them aside and suggest that they take a look at:
  • A Handbook of California Pleading and Procedure (1926; KFC 1010): Based on the Code of Civil Procedure, this book combines the mind-numbness of legal theory with the keen usefullness of everyday legal procedural application.  A great resource for the seasoned litigant and the greenest greenhorn.
  • Manual of Legislative Procedure (1937; KFC 723): This resource is a guide for presiding officers and member of state legislatures relating to questions regarding procedures not governed by the Constitutions, rules, or statutes.  It is particularly helpful for the legal practitioner to help understand why legislators do what they do.
  • The Art of Summation (1963; KF 9662): As most any decent attorney knows, it's one thing to have a good case; it's another to seal the deal with a jury staring back at you.  Generally written for the attorney who is looking for the edge when arguing in front of a jury, this resource is equally useful for anyone who is looking to win an argument.
  • Shepard's Mobile Homes and Mobile Home Parks: cases, statutes, ordinances, regulations, opinions, tables and schedules (1975; KF 2042): Like the title suggests this book has everything as it relates to mobilehomes and parks.  Perfect for the snowbirds and persons who are parked on property on a "temporary" basis.
  • Handbook of Common-Law Pleading (1923; KF 8870): Any attorney will tell you a poorly pled pleading will most certainly be demurred to.  The problem is that most attorneys have no idea how to property plead (or respond to) common law issues such as trespass, actions of trover, detinue and replevin, assumsit, ejectment, or common law writs.  Good thing, then, that this book exists.
Yep, there are a whole lot of books out there that are hardly used.  Good thing your local county law Library knows where the good stuff is located so that when next you find yourself in a bind, know that we know where you can go.