Tuesday, February 7, 2012

New acquisition-American Precedents of Declarations

The first book attributed to Harvard Law Professor and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story was A Selection of Pleadings in Civil Actions (Salem 1805). However, many scholars attribute this earlier 1802 gem to him as well. It was published anonymously in Salem, where Story was working as a practitioner. In the preface, the editor (also anonymous) thanks a mystery gentleman for his help in collecting, transcribing and correcting the manuscripts that form the basis of the book. It is a compilation of precedents, or common forms that lawyers could use for pleadings or motions without having to create them from scratch. The photo on the right is of the title page and captures a quote from Littleton about the importance of knowing how to properly plead an action.