Happy 1st Birthday!

United States Law: A Collection of Case Studies

Birthday Cake

Today marks exactly one year to the day that I first started writing the ‘voluminous’ Case Law Compendium: United States Case Law, and its pretty incredible to think that so much time has already passed, particularly given that I’m not even midway through the book  yet!

Anyway, needless to say my hard work continues on undaunted, and I’m hoping to share the first half of the criminal law section here in the next couple of weeks, so watch this space if you’re interested to learn more…

Electronic Signatures Neil

 

The civil procedure section is now complete.

United States Law: A Case study Collection

United States
‘United States Flags Map’ by Inspirowl Design

April 18 2018

Having recently completed this preliminary chapter of the book, I have provided a list of the cases covered in the civil procedure section for those that might be mildly curious. I would also add that it’s been a genuine pleasure reading and analysing these cases, all of which have helped educate me as to the intricate nature of State and Federal legalities, and I can only hope the readers will take as much pleasure in their reading, as I have in their writing.

Civil Procedure

1. Adam v. Saenger

2. Aldinger v. Howard

3. Asahi Metal Industry Co. Ltd. v. Superior Court of California

4. Ashcroft v. Iqbal

5. Baldwin v. Iowa State Traveling Men’s Ass’n

6. Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly

7. Bernhard v. Bank of America Nat. Trust & Savings Ass’n

8. Bernhardt v. Polygraphic Co. of America

9. Blonder-Tongue Laboratories Inc. v. University of Illinois Foundation

10. Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz

11. Burnham v. Superior Court of California, County of Marin

12. Byrd v. Blue Ridge Rural Electric Co-op. Inc.

13. Carnival Cruise Lines Inc. v. Shute

14. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett

15. Chicot County Drainage District v. Baxter State Bank

16. Clearfield Trust Co. v. U.S.

17. Cohen v. Beneficial Industrial Loan Corp.

18. Colgrove v. Battin

19. Conley v. Gibson

20. Connecticut v. Doehr

21. D.H. Overmeyer Co. Inc. of Ohio v. Frick Co.

22. Davis v. Farmers Co-op. Equity Co.

23. Durfee v. Duke

24. Erie. R. Co. v. Tompkins

25. Fuentes v. Shevin

26. Gasperini v. Center for Humanities Inc.

27. Gillespie v. United States Steel Corp.

28. Grable and Sons Metal Products Inc. v. Darue Engineering & Mfg.

29. Guaranty Trust Co. of N.Y. v. York

30. Gulf Oil Corp. v. Gilbert

31. Hanna v. Plumer

32. Hanson v. Denckla

33. Harris v. Balk

34. Henry L. Doherty and Co. v. Goodman

35. Hess v. Pawlowski

36. Hickman v. Taylor

37. Hilton v. Guyot

38. Hinderlider v. La Plata River & Cherry Creek Ditch Co.

39. Hurn v. Oursler

40. International Shoe Co. v. State of Washington

41. J. McIntyre Machinery Ltd. v. Nicastro

42. Kalb v. Feuerstein

43. Klaxon Co. v. Stentor Electric Manufacturing Co.

44. Kulko v. Superior Court of California

45. Livingston v. Jefferson

46. Louisville and Nashville Railroad Co. v. Mottley

47. McGee v. International Life Insurance Co.

48. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Thompson

49. Mitchell v. W.T. Grant Co.

50. Moore v. New York Cotton Exchange

51. M/S Bremen v. Zapata Off-Shore Co.

52. Mullane v. Central Hanover Bank & Trust Co.

53. National Equipment Rental Limited v. Szukhent

54. North Georgia Finishing Inc. v. Di-Chem Inc.

55. Oregon ex rel. State Land Board v. Corvallis Sand & Gravel Co.

56. Owen Equipment & Erection Co. v. Kroger

57. Parklane Hosiery Co. Inc. v. Shore

58. Pennoyer v. Neff

59. Perkins v. Benguet Consolidated Mining Co.

60. Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Shutts

61. Piper Aircraft Co. v. Reyno

62. Ragan v. Merchants Transfer & Warehouse Co.

63. Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates v. Allstate Insurance Co.

64. Shaffer v. Heitner

65. Shoshone Mining Co. v. Rutter

66. Sibbach v. Wilson & Co.

67. Smith v. Kansas City Title & Trust Co.

68. Sniadach v. Family Finance Corp. of Bay View

69. Swift v. Tyson

70. United Mine Workers of America v. Gibbs

71. Woods v. Interstate Realty Co.

72. World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson

73. Zippo Manufacturing Co. v. Zippo Dot Com Inc.

United States Law: A Case Study Collection

United States Law: A Case Study Collection

The Case Law Compendium: U.S. Law
‘Watercolour USA’ by Unknown Artist

26 November 2017

Today marks the commencement of my writing ‘United States law: A Collection of Case Studies’, the second instalment of ‘The Black Letter’ series of books, and my excitement is quietly simmering away as I begin preparing for the months ahead.

This book covers the principle law modules offered within leading American universities and Law Schools at Juris Doctor level, and will therefore include civil procedure, constitutional law, contract law, criminal law, property law and tort law. While I appreciate there has been a shift towards comparative and international law, particularly within educational institutions such as Harvard University, when similarly examining both Stanford and Yale, there appears an inclination to adhere to the core fields as shown above, hence I have decided to remain true to that ethos for simplicity’s sake.

While consciously adopting a linear approach, I aim to include around 375 case studies – well over twice the number found in ‘The Case Law Compendium: English & European Law’, and although there is perhaps obvious reason for this, particularly given the size and legal structure of American jurisdiction, I feel the end result will provide law students with more than sufficient insight into the mechanics of notable United States case law.

On a personal note, I am very much looking forward to this journey, and estimate that the book should be finished and available for purchase around summer of 2019, adding that I will consciously try to publish new case studies to this website where time permits.

In closing, I would like to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to those of you who purchased my first book (or plan to soon) and I sincerely hope that my efforts have been of valued assistance when working towards your chosen vocations.

Faithfully

Electronic Signatures Neil

Brokaw v. Fairchild (1929)

US Property Law

Brokaw v Fairchild
Image: ‘Lower Fifth Avenue’ by Frederick Childe Hassam

Life tenancy and title to a freehold estate are two distinct modes of occupation, however the latter is absolute in its effects, while the former includes limitations and covenants where directed by the transferor. On this occasion, a sizeable dwelling in an enviable part of New York was subject to possible demolition plans when the relatives of the new owner challenged it within the courts.

In 1886, the deceased had purchased land in Manhattan for the purposes of building his own private residence. Having designed the home to his own specifications, the property was bequeathed to one of his sons in a will drafted in 1907, which read:

“By the Fourth clause of my Last Will and Testament, dated and executed on the 20th day of April, 1907, upon the death or remarriage of my wife I gave and devised my residence, situated at the northeasterly corner of 79th Street and Fifth Avenue, in the City of New York, to my son, George Tuttle Brokaw…”

However the deceased then further explained that:

“I now hereby modify that provision of my Will and after the death or remarriage of my wife I give and devise my said residence to my son George Tuttle Brokaw for and during the term of his natural life…”

Which in effect reduced the powers granted to the now claimant, to those answerable to the principles of life tenancy as prescribed by state law. Here, it was held that any alteration of a property resided in under inheritance as a life tenant, must be proven as non-injurious to the value and aesthetic appearance of the property when passed to those due under the terms of the original testator.

The issue in hand was one where the claimant had proposed the demolition and rebuilding of the home so as to enjoy increased revenue from the leasing of multiple apartments over that of a single, albeit ornately furnished home. In fierce objection, a number of siblings sought reference to the terms contained within their own terms of inheritance, which while providing clear stipulations as to individual use, were not applicable to the terms in which the claimant had acquired use of this particular home.

Therefore by use of existing precedent, the New York Supreme Court drew attention to Winship v. Pitts, in which Chancellor Walworth remarked:

“I have no hesitation in saying, that by the law of this state, as now understood, it is not waste for the tenant to erect a new edifice upon the demised premises; provided it can be done without destroying or materially injuring the buildings or other improvements already existing thereon. I admit he has no right to pull down valuable buildings, or to make improvements or alterations which will materially and permanently change the nature of the property, so as to render it impossible for him to restore the same premises, substantially, at the expiration of the term.”

And Kidd v. Dennison, in which the court held that:

“[I]f the tenant materially changes the nature and character of the buildings, it is waste, although the value of the property should be enhanced by the alteration. The tenant has no authority to assume the right of judging what may be an improvement to the inheritance. He must confine himself to the conditions of his lease.”

So with an appreciation of not only the financial opportunities but the limitations of the tenancy and wishes of the testator, the Court held that under no circumstances did the claimant have any express rights to enjoy the benefits of his inheritance beyond those powers conferred, and that to do otherwise was abjectly unlawful and subject to obvious penalty.

Charrington v Simons & Co Ltd (1971)

English Property Law

Charrington v Simons & Co Ltd
‘In the Orchard’ by James Guthrie

The conveyance of land with restrictive covenants is not uncommon within property law, however when the safeguard designed to protect the needs of the vendor becomes central to his anguish, it becomes clear that the attached principles have become somewhat misused.

In a matter concerning the part-sale of an orchard by a farmer, the respondent entered into the purchase on the understanding that at no point was the road running between the two plots previously owned, to exceed the height beyond that of the section retained, as to do otherwise would impact upon the farmer’s ability to harvest his remaining plot.

After ignoring the covenant, the respondent began resurfacing the road to a height that did in fact exceed the permissions granted, thus prompting the appellant to protest both orally and by letter. When the work continued and his obvious displeasure went unheard, the appellant issued a writ in pursuit of a mandatory injunction, which would result in the removal of all works undertaken at cost to the respondent.

In the first hearing, the judge adopted the unorthodox position of taking two negatives in order to create a positive. This was executed through an injunction, while explaining that:

(i) The respondent was to modify the road so as to benefit the appellant, rather than to remove it outright, after having spent around £1400 on its construction, before paying the appellant £1062 in special damages for the harm caused to date.

(ii) The mandatory injunction was to remain ineffective for a period of three years, while the respondent set about altering the road’s layout, which itself required agreement by the appellant to trespass onto his land in order to carry out the work.

(iii) That consultation between the two parties would continue throughout this period, and that should the appellant refuse to consent to the needs of the respondent, the respondent would be granted sufficient argument so as to discharge the injunction entirely.

Upon immediate appeal, the appellant argued that the judge had erred in law when creating an injunction that rendered the breach of covenant void, that requirement to consent to the work would result in a trespass and that such an impingement and modification would cause the appellant to suffer both personally and financially, as his own orchard would be compromised during the alterations.

With consideration of the judge’s genuine wish to improve upon an already damaging situation, the Court held that when refusing to enforce the injunction with immediate effect, the court had failed to properly address the purpose of both the covenant and the injunction in favour of an outcome serving only the needs of the breaching party.

 

The Case Law Compendium Q&A

Books

Why did you write The Case Law Compendium?

I wrote the book for a number of reasons, but if pushed for a single motivation it would be to enable law students to navigate and hopefully excel at studying for their degrees. I could expand upon this, but that’s the shortest answer I can give you. In fact, the idea traces back to ‘The Black Letter’, which I created to keep myself busy after graduating with my LL.B (Hons) Law degree.

Essentially I set out to read and write about a number of cases I had touched upon while at university, expecting nothing more from the experience other than to stimulate my mind, and put my thoughts out there for those who might stumble across this website.

However, something quite unexpected happened.

What was this unexpected event?

In the months following the launch of The Black Letter (Black Letter Publishing), my visitor statistics were much higher than anticipated, however, it was the diversity of visitors that really surprised me. After calculating the numbers, I realised that people from over 110 countries had visited the website to read my case studies, and in fact this trend has continued to grow since then.

This indicated that not only was my writing appealing, it was reaching students all over of the globe, and this international outreach really excited me. It was then that my wife explained how a book would the perfect way to genuinely help law students, especially given that I couldn’t be there in person to help them understand the complexities of case law.

So which kind of student was it designed to help?

Quite literally all law students everywhere. And while I realise that each country has its own laws and jurisdictions, there is clear evidence that English law leads the way in this field, therefore the potential to assist overseas students is enormous. I cannot stress enough that The Case Law Compendium is much more than a book, it’s a study support resource unlike any law course book I have ever read, and I can say that with confidence, because had I found anything remotely similar to this whilst at university, I would have purchased it without a moment’s hesitation.

What make this book so special?

A number of things make The Case Law Compendium special, but to summarise it best, I would say that the book immediately closes the gap between the subject, the university and the student. And because law is built upon cases, undergraduates essentially have to quickly digest and appreciate why those cases are applied, relied upon, examined and used as precedent, and why the judges consult them when advancing laws or reaching decisions that the casual reader might not understand.

Institutionally speaking, most universities work to tightly scheduled timetables, and thus lectures are often overwhelming and confusing, largely because there just isn’t the time to explore case facets and themes.

However, by having a copy of The Case Law Compendium at the start of their course, every student can instantly refer to the cases discussed and thereby recognise the essence of the matter, the positions adopted by the courts, judges and litigating parties, without surrendering to hours of laboured reading in order to keep up with the strict course requirements.

Though perhaps the most invaluable aspect of this book is that it can be purchased and read literally months ahead of the required modules, thus preparing the students for the lectures, coursework and discussions ahead.

Likewise, by reading the additional modules in this particular publication, students can choose at least two of their selective modules with confidence. It’s also important to note that many family law cases will inevitably encroach on child law cases, again helping them with optional module selection.

From personal experience, property (land) and European law were the two most complex, challenging and often unnerving of the modules, even to the point that teaching the subject proved hard and painful to endure, largely because many cases are frequently layered, overlapping and therefore easily misunderstood. Yet by using The Case Law Compendium, the challenges are instantly reduced and reader knowledge is increased in a way that underpins the university curriculum.

Having spent many hours writing this invaluable book, I cannot overemphasise just how critical The Case Law Compendium is to all law students, especially those studying abroad, and it’s equally vital to remember that having stripped away all the superfluous material, keeping only that which will impact and explain exactly what happened and why, this is an asset not to be overlooked, particularly as English court transcripts are frequently, if not always, unforgiving to traverse, and so command absolute focus should the translation be correct.

So it makes the seemingly impossible, possible?

Yes. No matter how many ways you approach it, The Case Law Compendium defies traditional learning, because it marries the exactness of legal knowledge with the vulnerability of an uninformed reader, thereby producing something fresh and stimulating, a benefit unseen before in this complex and specialised field.

In fact, this book would take anybody remotely interested in law, and transform them into somebody able to now see inside the subject in a way that transcends convention, and yet enables them to respect and embrace the process of law in a totally different way.

By way of example, I recently practiced this approach with a Spanish acquaintance, unfamiliar with law, and yet after explaining a case that was connected to her country, she completely understood it, much to her surprise and my delight! In fact I have had quick success with everyone that I’ve tried this with, even explaining constitutional and European law to grandmothers in their seventies!

Because of this, I am supremely confident that once opened and digested, the readers will revel in their new found insight, while law students will keep the book firmly nestled inside their backpacks as their degrees unfold.

Who else can benefit from The Case Law Compendium?

Law lecturers, solicitors, postgraduates, professors, in fact anybody with a passing interest in law and the cases that help shape it.

Lecturers can refer to it to brush up on legislation and case discussions, they can even use it to copy key citations for presentations, in order to help explain the matters without taking up precious student time.

Solicitors can use it to remind themselves of key cases that might be useful when in court, and take advantage of the best citations when reaching out to the wisdom of the judges.

Postgraduates can use it to refer to cases that might be relevant for thesis or assignment arguments, or again, as a quick refresher of that which they would have already learned.

Professors, much like lecturers, can always rely upon the expeditious breakdown of case material and thematic content to help illustrate how laws have been influenced and outcomes altered, or even as a stimulating read on occasions where they feel compelled to remember how laws function.

Lay readers can simply delve into all the major topics without committing to a degree course, hopefully going on to study the subject in greater detail with increased confidence, or knowing it’s not the subject for them, while whatever the outcome, everybody wins.

Will it ever be sold in eBook format?

Having looked at the practicalities of this, I am sorry to say this is not an option right now. Those reasons stem from the fact that unlike fiction ‘novels’, the layout of the book requires the reader to note the citation references when reading and referring to it, which is not an option for Kindle devices and other associated electronic readers, besides, there is nothing like having a printed book beside you when working, as I can qualify, having proof read the book myself, and also having used it to quickly refer to court details etc. during the writing of this debut publication!

The Key Citations? What can you tell us about this aspect of the book?

One of the prerequisites of written legal text is that the student must include judgment citations relevant to the argument or theme discussed. This is a process that can require hours of laboured reading in order to find the most powerful statement relating to the case in hand. For those new to law, this is a huge challenge in itself, and so ultimately the only way to find these quotes, is from reading the case transcripts, documents that can run from ten to literally hundreds of pages, particularly in appeal cases, where there will be a number of judges commenting, as opposed to one in preliminary hearings.

In European law, there are also the opinions of both the Advocate-Generals and the Courts, again requiring valuable time in order to find the best, most relevant and impactive quotes possible.

By having personally analysed all 150+ cases during the preparation of the book, I have selected only the most relevant quotes before including them at the conclusion of the case studies.

In some instances, there are only one or two, while in others there are many more, a factor solely dependant on the judges themselves, who, when reading the material and organising their verdicts, offer knowledge that is purposeful to the matter.

This aspect of the book is quite simply essential, not only because the citations are there to both read and use, but because they have been fully OSCOLA referenced, thereby easily inserted into coursework without the need to find out the exact page number, judge name, court, and hearing date. This is yet another time-saving feature that everybody can benefit from, including undergraduates through to professors of law, while in the former example, academic grades are naturally reliant upon accurate referencing when impressing the markers.

So that’s three unique selling points rolled into one!

Yes it is, but the book goes far beyond that, it inspires the reader, opens the subject up and allows for everybody to discuss what it really means to go to court, or to apply law in our everyday world, even giving insight into how matters end up in front of judges, how institutions operate, governments function, criminals try to avoid punishment and small accidents become huge lawsuits.

What would you like to say as a closing statement?

I would close by saying to anybody remotely curious about the various laws of both England and Europe, and especially those about to begin their law degrees, that ‘The Case Law Compendium’ is quite simply the only purchase they will need to make outside of the core text books required by the universities, and while it will certainly provide buyers many hours of stimulating and enlightening reading, it will also serve as a tool that can be used again and again as their legal knowledge increases.

This alone makes The Case Law Compendium the best law study resource available anywhere in the world today, which is perfect, as it is live on most Amazon sites and ready for shipping to any country.

The book is also being actively marketed to literally thousands of leading bricks-and-mortar retailers, university libraries and online bookshops around the globe, so even if you don’t want to shop online, you can simply walk in and pick a copy up, borrow it from your campus library, or just order it through a book store.

The world’s No.1 case law study support resource has arrived!

Books

 

The Case Law Compendium: English & European Law
The Case Law Compendium: English & European Law by Neil Egan-Ronayne © 2017

 

The rapid international appeal of The Black Letter has led to the creation and  publication of the ‘The Case Law Compendium: English & European Law’ which will provide students everywhere with:

  • 150+ English leading case law studies
  • Covering Constitutional & Administrative Law, Contract Law, Criminal Law, Equity & Trust Law, European Law, Family Law, Medical Law, Property (Land) Law and Tort Law fields
  • Complex leading cases distilled into simplified and easily digestible text
  • Each case study includes Fully OSCOLA referenced hand-selected citations for immediate use in coursework

What does this mean to me?

What this means is that by personally analysing thousands of transcript pages, all the hard work of reading, understanding and translating the minds of the judges and courts is something you can finally say goodbye to. Each case also includes hand-selected and fully OSCOLA referenced citations that can be quickly inserted into written coursework (or moot skeleton arguments) without you having to hunt for them.

So now by simply having a copy of the ‘The Case Law Compendium’ close to hand you will be able to effectively engage in tutorial debates, improve your essay writing abilities, and expedite your knowledge of a multitude of legal fields without the pain of decoding the legislation and application of jurisprudence.

So when is it available?

It is available now through most Amazon sites, Waterstones and Barnes & Noble, and thanks to the brilliance of Print on Demand technology it will always be ready for worldwide shipping in just a few clicks.

I can only emphasise just how invaluable this book will become to you as your law  course progresses, and you’ll be surprised at just how fast you learn the cases and how your confidence grows when discussing their finer points. I am supremely confident that you will also find yourself returning to the book when studying both for insight and refreshment of knowledge, and I quietly hope you will be equally excited whenever you turn to this unprecedented resource.

Please remember that it was you the worldwide readers, that inspired this book, so you owe it to yourselves to buy it (and use the hell out of it) and to tell your peers and friends everywhere, so that they too can work towards becoming an ‘A‘ student in English law.

Remember that with ‘The Case Law Compendium’ you can do it.

Electronic Signatures Neil