Archive | Casebooks

Kopel vs. Ted Nugent

My co-authored law school textbook Firearms Law & the Second Amendment; Regulation, Rights, and Policy (Aspen Casebook Series) is currently battling with Ted Nugent’s God, Guns & Rock’N’Roll for #1 in sales rankings in the “Gun Control” category. We held the lead a few hours ago, but The Nuge has clawed his way back to #1 in the last hour. [...]

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New textbook: Firearms Law and the Second Amendment: Regulation, Rights and Policy

The first law school textbook on the Second Amendment is now available from Aspen Publishers. The co-author are Nick Johnson (Fordham), Michael O’Shea (Oklahoma City), George Mocsary (Connecticut), and me. Here’s the publisher’s page for the textbook, from which professors can request a free review copy. The book is also available for civilian purchase from Amazon.

We also have our own website for the book. There, you can read the detailed Table of Contents, and the Preface. The website is in an early stage of development; eventually, it will include detailed research guides and topic suggestions for students who are writing seminar papers. If you a professor and one of your students writes a seminar paper which makes a genuine contribution to knowledge about a topic, we invite you to send the us paper for publication on the website.

The textbook will have an accompanying Teacher’s Manual. We are currently finishing that up, and aim to have it available before the Fourth of July. (It’s free for professors who get a review copy, and forbidden for anyone else.)

Besides the 11 chapters in 1,008 pages of the printed book, there will also be four more on-line only chapters, available to purchasers of the printed book. These chapters will be: 12, Social science about firearms policy. 13, International law. 14, Comparative law. 15, A detailed explanation of firearms and their function. (Chapter 1 of the printed book provides a brief explanation of firearms and their function; the on-line chapter will go into much greater detail [e.g., what is a lever action gun?], and will have illustrations and photos.)

Finally, Firearms Law is the first law school textbook to be the subject of a podcast series. The published podcasts are: Chapter 3, The Colonies and the [...]

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What are the most influential law school casebooks of all time?

One way to judge might be to consider which casebooks played a mjor role in getting their particular subject widely adopted as a class in American law schools. Among the top contenders might be: Ernst Freund, Cases on Administrative Law (1911); and Richard W. Jennings & Harold Marsh, Securities Regulation: Cases and Materials (1963).

Ranking even higher, I would suggest, would be a casebook that not only get the subject into the law schools, but plays an important role in creating new lawyers who will, during their careers, significantly change the existing law on the subject. On the real-world influence scale, can anything top Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Herma Hill Kay & Kenneth M. Davidson, Text, Cases, and Materials on Sex-Based Discrimination (1974)?

Commenters, what do you think should make the honor roll of most influential casebooks of all time? [...]

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New law school textbook on the Second Amendment and firearms regulation

Very early next year–in time for 2d semester classes in the 2011-12 academic year–Aspen Publishers will publish the first law school textbook on the the Second Amendment. The title is Firearms Law and the Second Amendment: Regulation, Rights, and Policy. The co-authors are Nicholas Johnson (Fordham), Michael O’Shea (Oklahoma City), George Mocsary (Connecticut), and me.

Below the fold is the full Table of Contents and Preface for the book. (Pasting the Word document into the blog format significantly altered many of the indents, line spacing, and outline numbering for chapter subdivisions, so the TOC below does not look exactly like the TOC of the book itself.) Because the textbook is currently in the production process, review copies are not yet available. Indeed, the Aspen website’s promotional page for the book is still several weeks away. However, if you might use the textbook next semester, and would like to see some chapters, just contact any of the co-authors, and we can mail them to you.

The 11 chapters of the printed textbook proceed chronologically, from ancient Rome, Greece, and China, all the way to the post-Heller cases. Four additional, on-line only chapters cover some special topics. Those electronic chapters will be available to all students and professors using the textbook.

Besides being sold as a conventional hardback, Firearms Law will also be available in individual electronic chapters. So if you are teaching a constitutional law course and would like to include a 2 or 3 week unit on the Second Amendment, your students could buy chapter 9 (Heller and McDonald) plus chapter 11 (post-Heller cases in the lower courts). Or if you’re teaching an advanced criminal law class, you might want to have your students buy chapter 8, which covers the modern criminal law of gun [...]

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The Rise of the Uncorporation

Congratulations to Larry Ribstein on his new book from OUP, The Rise of the Uncorporation.  I somehow got a comp copy in the mail, just finished reading it, and it is terrific.  A gracefully written essay on business law!(!!)  It manages to meld together law, history of business and legal forms in business, law and economics, and sociology into an exceptionally readable short book.  The discussion of the rise of the LLC is fascinating – I thought I knew all about it, as someone who teaches private equity and business associations, but boy, was I wrong.  The frame of social history in business form is a real contribution to a field that is oddly neglected by legal academics, the political and social theory of the corporation and the business assocation.

(My only complaint is that at $70 list, and $50 on Amazon, it is still a little pricey at least if, like me, you would want it for students and courses, like my private equity course, where it would be a fantastically useful and readable supplement.  I think OUP has missed on market pricing here.  I would love to require it as a secondary text in my private equity course, but at that price, I don’t think I can justify it.  Maybe when it’s out in paperback?  Or Kindle?) [...]

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Reader Poll on the New West Casebook Covers

For many decades, casebooks by the West Publishing Company have featured a brown faux leather look with gold print. The first edition of my Computer Crime Law casebook came out in 2006, and it had the traditional cover:


A few months ago, West introduced a new casebook cover.   Yes, it’s true: A new cover.  The new casebook covers are dark grey and black with a canvas look and silver print. The second edition of my casebook published just last month has the new cover, and it looks like this:


This change calls for a VC reader poll.  It may ask the most important question you answer all week: Which do you like better, the old cover or the new cover?

Because precision matters on such criticial questions, I’ll give you five choices:

Which West Cover is Better?
The new covers are much better
The new covers are a little better
I have no preference/ no opinion
The old covers were a little better
The old covers were much better
Free polls from

UPDATE: My apologies for the very strange formatting of the poll. I don’t know exactly what is happening, but it may be an interaction between the Pollhost coding and WordPress or the photouploads. I’ve adjusted the width in the html coding, but it appears to make no difference. Oh well. [...]

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