It’s been a wee while since my last blog post, and yet so much has happened, including a relocation from Cambridge to Cornwall, the commencement of my legal career, countless readjustments, and our annual Christmas preparations, and yet one of the more pressing questions was whether, with all of the work ahead of me now and moving forwards, I would be able to find sufficient time to complete my latest and most ambitious book titled ‘United States Law: A Case Study Collection’.
Having worked out how best to finish this labour of both love and a passion for law, I’m now happy to say that I’ve sketched out a plan that will hopefully bring things to a close sooner rather than later, and so I suppose the real purpose of this post is simply to say that I am now firmly back on track, and feel very confident that the book will be published in the first quarter of 2020.
With little more to add besides my palpable sense of relief at picking up the proverbial thread, I will duly sign off and get cracking, as there’s almost two years of arduous legal research and writing just waiting to be shared with the world.
Oh, and should I forget to say it at any point – “A Happy New Year to all!”
As I am now in the preparatory stages of this frankly amazing book, I thought it wise to share with you the work ahead, as for many of you that have never written nor self-published a book before, this kind of information is very useful should you ever decide to ‘take the bull’ by the horns so to speak.
As with any body of work there is a need to edit, proof-read, and index so as to allow future readers the opportunity to navigate the final product as they see fit, and so when reflecting upon how long it took me to finalise ‘The Case Law Compendium’, memory suggests that it took perhaps 1-2 weeks of work, and even then there were noticeable errors once committed to print.
By way of comparison, I have calculated that when working between 7-8 hours per day (without undue interruption), it will take me a little over two months to bring this title to fruition, which as you can imagine is substantially more than my last serious project, however this time around I feel beyond happy inside, and although there are no guarantees that anybody will ever want to buy a copy, I am unashamed to say that I have given all of myself into its writing, and that I have relished absolutely every second of the journey too.
On top of that, my mind and conversely my knowledge of law, is now way beyond anything I could of ever imagined when all of this started, and so if there’s anything that would make me even happier, it would be to have the chance to promote this book across the United States of America (a dream I know), and also to know that thousands of law students and law scholars will draw tremendous benefit from having read it, while to establish myself as a credible legal consultant either here or overseas would simply be the icing on the cake (unless someone out there is willing to help me become a US lawyer, in which case I would probably cry and then pass out).
And so with all of the above now put to electronic ink, I think it’s time for me to get back to work, and look forward to the day when this, my biggest project ever, gets to see the light of day, and hopefully catch the eyes of those seeking legal knowledge in a way never before delivered…so until then please just watch this space and thanks for reading.
Today I sit here grinning like a Cheshire cat in the knowledge that I have now completed just over half of the criminal law section of this incredible compendium, and when I calculate the hours spent writing and researching even this chapter, it’s a testament to my perseverance and absolute commitment to completing a body of work that is undoubtedly the biggest writing project I have ever undertaken.
When you consider that each case can take anywhere between 3-5 hours to read, analyse, research and write (and some even longer), and that I have been working on this section alone since late July 2018, my excitement and pride in having got this far is spilling over, and I genuinely cannot wait to see how this book looks and reads when its finally finished next year; while I would also add that its often proved harrowing having to read about some horrific acts of cruelty, not only to adults but also to young and innocent children, and its shown how awful human nature can be sometimes, but then again I wholly accept that it goes with the territory of crime, which perhaps also shows why it’s by far the largest section of the book.
Anyway without waffling on too much about my own struggles, below is a list of the first 63 cases contained within this particular segment, and next week I begin working on the final 61 cases before moving on to property law. Phew!
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…
I am very pleased to announce that after studying and writing around 73 historically significant United States civil procedure cases, this first chapter of ‘United States Law: A Case Study Collection’ is now finally complete.
In all honesty it has been an absolute pleasure to work on, and I have learnt much about American law, and by comparison to English case law transcripts, this experience has revealed many judicial differences in both approach and determination, most of which lends an endearing quality to the American style of prose and execution, an outcome that comes as a pleasant, if not unexpected surprise, while it must be equally stressed that when embracing not only State but federal laws, the legal fabric of this diverse and yet oddly familiar country always keeps me excited and frustrated when tying up the necessary facts and vital components required.
On a side note, my relationship with the Bluebook is naturally growing by the day, and I am glad to know that it’s not only me that finds it perplexing to navigate (as countless Google searches have testified), and yet if someone were willing to pay me, I would be happy to rewrite this complex little book so that maybe it might prove more ‘user friendly’, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon…
As a reward, I shall celebrate tonight with one or two American ales and few episodes of ‘Friends’ as tomorrow work will again begin on Constitutional Law, and needless to say I am very much looking forward to discovering even more about the laws and practices of the United States of America as the weeks and cases unfold.
I am pleased to write that I have just completed 36 United States civil procedure case studies, and we’re now almost into February 2018.
From an author perspective, I’m very happy with how things have so far progressed, and while there is still at least another year of work left before the book is anywhere near completion, it’s a healthy start, and one I can be very proud of.
When I set out to write this second compendium, I was vaguely aware of the scope behind its undertaking, however, I never accounted for the level of background study required to fully interpret and apply, federal and State jurisdictional citations, a la the notorious ‘Bluebook’, which has oddly enough proven itself the physical manifestation of the perhaps chaotic and somewhat disjointed affair that is United States law, in fact I feel like re-writing the Bluebook just to make sense of it all!
Nonetheless, it’s a process that compliments my methodical and organised approach to writing, thus my simplification of the cases has been relatively fluid; and I genuinely hope that the readers will embrace and appreciate the finished product when it’s eventually published.
I will stress that when constructing these kinds of books, it’s important to factor in time for the compilation of the cases, the numerous statutes, the glossary, the countless citations and accuracy of footnotes, the organisation of chapters and section breaks, all of which form the overall aesthetic of the compendium, and I suspect it’s not immediately obvious to users how much hard work and concentration goes into their preparation, so as to end up with a definitive and robust finished product; an area that I never truly understood nor appreciated, until I first began writing ‘The Case Law Compendium: English & European Law’.
In comparison to fiction, this type of educational resource requires a delicate blend of academic discipline and creative simplicity, and so I’m relieved to say that this volume is shaping up to be a very interesting read. I say this because there is a greater sense of getting to the point with US case transcripts, an urgency not typical to English law, yet which compliments my preferred writing style, and one I hope will serve the reader equally well when its finished.
On a side note, I have also been helping organise the textual layout of my wife’s upgraded online vintage store www.barefoot-vintage.co.uk, which has since run on for nearly three weeks, plus I recently contracted the H3N2 ‘Aussie Flu’ virus, to which five days of my life were unceremoniously snatched away, never to be returned, while I reflected upon my life as a whole and resigned myself to prolonged sleep deprivation and dramatic weight loss.
Fortunately, both of these temporary distractions are coming to an end, and so it will soon be back to business again, as I work through the remaining three-hundred and forty or so cases still left to analyse and simplify.
In closing, while it’s been nice to have somewhat of a break, I most definitely missed the world of case law, and I am once again, eager to get back in the saddle again, if only for reasons of sanity.