Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, 4th ed.

Author:Comey, Edward
Position:Book review

Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts: Fourth Edition

Edited by Robert L. Haig

Reviewed by Edward Comey

Imagine being given an $80 million budget to hire top lawyers and judges from around the country to prepare a survey on the latest topics facing business litigators. Robert L. Haig boasts that he basically did just that with the fourth edition of Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts.

First published in 1998, and later updated in 2005, 2011, and most recently in 2016, Business and Commercial Litigation compiles the work of nearly 300 principal authors. Twenty-seven are judges: five circuit court of appeal judges, 19 district judges, one bankruptcy judge, and two state court judges. The remaining authors--top commercial litigators--come from the most respected firms in the country. Haig estimates that if you totaled the number of hours the authors invested in Business and Commercial Litigation (at their regular hourly rate), the dollar value of that investment would easily exceed $80 million.

The end result? A 14-volume treatise that Haig says is unique because it is the only one that "combines in-depth treatment of federal civil procedure with substantive law in the areas most commonly encountered by commercial litigators."

So how does Business and Commercial Litigation hold up to Haig's claim that it is one-of-a-kind in legal literature? Quite well, actually.

Business and Commercial Litigation is nothing short of breathtaking in scope. In all, the treatise comprises 153 chapters. The topics range from the more substantive (antitrust, securities, medical malpractice, copyright, aviation, and white-collar crime, to name a few), to the more procedural (federal court removal, parties, third-party practice, etc.), to the more practical (case evaluation, investigation of the case, discovery strategy and privileges, motion practice, effective trial performance, etc.).

To be sure, readers could find more in-depth treatment of any one of the substantive or procedural topics else where. A lawyer researching a procedural question, for instance, would find a more comprehensive discussion of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in Moore's Federal Practice. But where else can you find nearly 80 substantive topics in one place? Besides, in-depth discussion of substantive topics, alone isn't Business and Commercial Litigation's calling card.

While its treatment of substantive legal topics is quite good, Business and...

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