If you are a litigator and try cases in Federal Court, or hope to try cases there, this recently published 11-volume work titled Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, Third Edition (published by West and the ABA Section of Litigation) will be extremely important to you.
Robert Haig, the Editor-in-Chief, has collected contributions and chapters from 251 authors (lawyers and judges) who are experts in this field and in the given chapters on which they write. Not only do the chapters cover the practice and procedure in the Federal courts, but they address complex issues such as multi-district litigation, class actions and derivative suits, plus over 64 areas of substantive law as well. This treatise discusses all aspects of trial work in federal courts. It is wonderful to have all of this material in one location.
What makes this work exceptional and unusual, however, is that each chapter has a discussion of the strategies, objectives, and considerations that are at play in each area of practice. Also, at the end of each chapter there are practice aids, checklists and forms for you to consider. We know of no other book on commercial and business litigation that combines the depth of treatment of federal civil procedure and practice with substantive law in the areas most commonly encountered by practicing lawyers. The authors carefully discuss the interplay between the Rules of Procedure and the substantive law and often draw parallels to the same procedures in the state courts to allow the trial lawyer to make choices in selecting a forum. This treatise, unlike most legal reference books or scholarly texts, is filled with wise commentary that could only be gained by years of experience in handling cases of this type.
This Third Edition follows the successful Second Edition (first published in 2005) and adds 34 new chapters to the treatise to address new subjects that are important to commercial litigation today. Perhaps most important for the practicing litigator in Maryland is the excellent blend of the substantive law and the procedure with the strategic issues which arise in each type of commercial or business case. It also broadens the footprint of the prior treatise. Whether you appear regularly in Federal Court or only occasionally, this treatise is something you will wish to consult on a regular basis.
James L. Thompson is a Past President of the MSBA. Donna E. McBride is currently co-chair of the MSBA Committee on Judicial Appointments.