Book Review Second Edition Of Critically Acclaimed Litigation Treatise To Be Published November 8

Saturday, October 1, 2005 - 01:00
Robert L. Haig

Editor: When was the First Edition of this treatise published?

Haig: 1998.

Editor: The First Edition received a pretty enthusiastic reception from the legal press, including The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, didn't it?

Haig: Yes, more than 130 favorable book reviews of the First Edition were published in bar journals and legal newspapers throughout the United States.

Editor: What was the impetus for the Second Edition?

Haig: Pocket Parts for all 80 chapters in the First Edition were published each year since 1998. Due to the many changes over the last seven years in federal procedural and substantive law relating to business and commercial litigation, it became clear that a new, second edition of the treatise was in order. In addition, as a result of the authors' careful and comprehensive annual updating of their chapters, the 2004 Pocket Parts totaled in excess of 1,800 pages and the treatise was becoming unwieldy and inefficient to use. Accordingly, the authors began work on a Second Edition of the treatise during the fall of 2004.

Editor: Is the Second Edition bigger than the First Edition?

Haig: Sixteen new chapters have been added in the Second Edition to the 80 chapters in the First Edition. In addition, the 80 chapters carried forward from the First Edition have been substantially expanded. As a result, the Second Edition is eight volumes (there were six volumes in the First Edition) and contains approximately 9,000 pages (2,500 more pages than the First Edition). The Second Edition also features a separate appendix that contains tables of all jury instructions, forms, laws and rules, and cases discussed in the treatise. This appendix will be replaced annually, making it easy for readers to find precisely what they are looking for in one place.

Editor: Why did you add 16 new chapters to a treatise which was already 6,500 pages long?

Haig: In 1998, while we were working on the First Edition, I thought that we had included a chapter on every subject likely to be of interest to commercial litigators. Commercial litigation in federal courts has evolved over the past seven years and we have added chapters in the Second Edition to address new subjects which are important to commercial litigators today. The following list of new chapter titles in the Second Edition includes a number of subjects whose importance has dramatically increased in recent years: Case Evaluation; Discovery of Electronic Information; Litigation Avoidance and Prevention; Techniques for Expediting and Streamlining Litigation; Litigation Technology; Litigation Management By Law Firms; Litigation Management By Corporations; Civility; Director and Officer Liability; Mergers and Acquisitions; Broker-Dealer Arbitration; Partnerships; Commercial Defamation and Disparagement; Commercial Real Estate; Government Entity Litigation; and E-Commerce.

Editor: Tell us about the authors.

Haig: The Second Edition contains the work of 199 principal authors including 17 distinguished federal judges and the cream of the commercial litigation bar, the best lawyers practicing in the federal courts of this nation. The generosity of these renowned authors, in sharing their experience and insights, backed up by the resources of many of the finest law firms in the United States, has enabled this unprecedented work.

Editor: Are many of the authors of chapters in the First Edition also participating in the Second Edition?

Haig: We are fortunate that the large team of distinguished (and busy) authors who wrote chapters in the First Edition has remained substantially intact for seven years. In fact, the authors of 75 of the 80 chapters in the First Edition are also authors of chapters in the Second Edition.

Editor: Can you give us some sense of the time and thought which the authors have devoted to this treatise?

Haig: Although it is difficult to quantify their efforts, one statistic may be helpful. We conservatively estimate that our authors and their law firms have invested more than 35 million dollars of their own billable time, calculated at their regular hourly billing rates, in working on the First and Second Editions of this treatise and its annual Pocket Parts. I believe that our authors' efforts are reflected in the comprehensiveness and quality of this treatise.

Editor: Are there any comparable legal treatises?

Haig: This publication is unique in the legal literature. There is no other book on commercial litigation in federal courts. There is also no other book that combines in-depth treatment of civil procedure with substantive law in the areas most commonly encountered by commercial litigators. Even more unique, however, is that again and again throughout this work, our authors have pointed out the interplay between the rules of procedure and substantive law. They have painstakingly outlined strategies for the representation of plaintiff and defendant. They have given thoughtful consideration to the delineation and attainment of objectives and to the advantages as well as ramifications and pitfalls of various actions and inactions on the part of the commercial litigator throughout the entire course of a lawsuit. This is not only a law book which is valuable as a research tool and a source of legal knowledge and citations, it is an idea book filled with nuggets of wisdom and perspective that could only have been gained by years of experience in handling cases from the most simple to the most complex.

Editor: What does the Second Edition cover?

Haig: The Second Edition is a step-by-step practice guide that covers every aspect of a commercial case, from the assessment that takes place at the inception, through pleadings, discovery, motions, trial, and appeal. Great emphasis is placed on strategic considerations specific to commercial cases. The treatise also contains 36 substantive law chapters which cover the subjects most commonly encountered in commercial cases, including securities, antitrust, banking litigation, contracts, insurance, sale of goods, intellectual property, and many other business and commercial law topics. Covered as well are compensatory and punitive damages and other remedies.

Editor: Tell us about the special features of the treatise.

Haig: The special features and categories of information of this book include in-depth text on law and procedure, strategies and client counseling sections, procedural and practice checklists, checklists of essential allegations and defenses, checklists of sources of proof of allegations and defenses, hundreds of pages of essential litigation forms and jury charges, and numerous cross-references. These features were designed to provide the reader with everything needed to handle every aspect of a commercial litigation. The format makes this wealth of information equally accessible and useful for the commercial litigator when he needs an immediate answer for the client on the telephone or during a five minute deposition recess or when he has several hours to read, learn (and hopefully enjoy) at leisure.

To facilitate further legal research, many sections in the treatise contain research references to West's Key Number Digest, the ALR Library, legal encyclopedias such as Am Jur 2d and CJS , other treatises, compilations of forms and numerous law reviews.

The CD-ROM that comes with this publication contains all of the jury instructions, forms, and checklists which are included in the printed volumes.

Editor: How is the treatise valuable to corporate counsel?

Haig: The value to corporate counsel who have responsibility for litigation is pretty clear. In-house litigation counsel can use this book both for working with outside counsel and when handling litigation in-house. In-house litigation counsel will particularly appreciate the fact that the treatise focuses on cost-effectiveness and productivity as well as on maximizing strategic advantages.

Editor: Is the treatise also useful to corporate counsel who are not litigation specialists?

Haig: Yes. The treatise will help corporate counsel who are advising internal business clients about substantive legal issues as well as about business decisions which must be made against the backdrop of potential litigation. In addition, the treatise will assist corporate counsel who are assessing the merits of potential litigation and advising their corporate client about strategy prior to selection of outside counsel and commencement of litigation. Finally, the treatise will enable corporate counsel to partner more effectively with outside litigation counsel throughout a case.

Editor: Are there any chapters designed specifically for in-house counsel?

Haig: The chapters on Litigation Avoidance and Prevention and on Litigation Management by Corporations were particularly designed for in-house counsel. Many other chapters, such as the chapter on Case Evaluation, will be as useful to in-house counsel as to outside counsel.

Editor: Who is the publisher?

Haig: This publication is the result of a highly successful joint project between West and the American Bar Association Section of Litigation. All royalties from sales of the treatise and its annual Pocket Parts go to the ABA Section of Litigation. The amount of those royalties has been substantial.

Editor: How can readers purchase copies?

Haig: By calling Thomson West at 1-800-344-5009.

Editor's Note: In March 1999, The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel published a book review of the First Edition of Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, a multi-volume, strategy-oriented, litigation treatise published by West. The reviewer (David S. Friedman, the Chair at that time of the Litigation Committee of Greater New York ACC) stated that this treatise "is the definitive work on integrating the law, procedure, and practice in this field with strategy, tactics, and techniques." Mr. Friedman concluded that the treatise "is an invaluable reference book which every litigator should have on her shelf." He also commented that "[u]nlike many reference books, this one will become dog-eared by frequent use" and that "[w]hether it is some quick advice, or a comprehensive summary of the leading cases on a particular point, or a thoughtful analysis of a major strategic decision, such as crafting a dispositive motion or preparing the star witness for trial, Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts is must reading." The Second Edition of this treatise will be published on November 8, 2005.