On November 1, 2008 my new book will be available for sale.
My goal for this book is to provide a one-volume resource for Tennessee tort lawyers who are looking for a quick reference to the leading case on a given point. Need a quick summary of the law of informed consent? In less than one minute you will be able to find the leading case on point and use the concise summary of the holding in that case as a launching point for additional research. Receive a call on a potential defamation case? In less than one minute you will find a 13-page chapter that summarizes the leading Tennessee cases on the topic and references over 50 more cases,
The book, called DayonTorts: A Handbook for Tennessee Tort Lawyers, organizes the leading Tennessee cases by topic. Many of the summaries also include citations to other cases of interest on the particular legal issue. In total, over 1000 cases are cited in the book.
How did I select the cases? Well, as some of you know, I have read every single tort case that has been released in Tennessee since 1993, the year I founded the Tennessee Tort Lawyer Letter. That is well over 2000 cases, and while I don’t pretend to remember all of them (or even twenty percent of them) I do have a pretty good handle on the holding of the leading cases once I see the caption. So, I started reading and taking notes with a list of topics in hand (which grew as I read). All in all I re-familiarized myself with about 1000 cases, some going back several decades because there was not a more recent case on point. I then took the latest, greatest cases that discussed a given topic and they were summarized for this book. Tennessee Supreme Court cases trumped Court of Appeals cases. Very few unreported cases are used but were used occasionally because there was no recent authority on the subject.
Also included in the book is the complete text of over 500 Tennessee statutes that I have identified as being of interest to tort lawyers in Tennessee. The statutes have been updated to include the laws passed in the last session of the General Assembly. To select the statutes to be included in the book I started with Volume 1 of the Code and started reading. (Of course I didn’t read every word of every section – the titles of the chapters and sections gave me what I needed to know.) What I ended up with is a collection of the statutes on jury selection, discovery, service of process, trial, the motor vehicle code, the products liability act, and a bunch of other stuff that will be available at your fingertips in one volume.
Finally, the book includes a complete set of the rules of evidence, civil procedure, and appellate procedure.
The book totals over 900 pages.
The book will be updated on a new website. The site, www.dayontortsbook.com, is not ready for viewing, but when it is complete (November 1) it will permit readers of the book to see the latest cases on the topics of interest to them organized once again by book chapter / subject.
The book will be re-published every year so that tort practitioners will have ready access to the newest statutes, cases, and rules without having to go to the web for updates.
Over the next few weeks I will be posting sample sections from the book to give you a sense of what it can do for your practice. In law, time is our stock in trade (Abraham Lincoln) and I think you will find that this book will help you find key cases more quickly, giving you to time to do more productive work.
I hope that you – every one of you – buy the book. In fact, I hope you buy two copies, one for the office and one for your home (for quick answers to those questions that awaken us in the middle of the night). But, seriously, I hope and in fact believe that every one of you who buy the book will be able to use it to better serve your clients.
Finally, before anyone asks, "yes, I am still practicing law." I received material assistance from others on preparing this book for publication and I will talk about that in a later post. However, I spent my share of early mornings and late nights sitting in my chair with my feet up punching away on my keyboard. I also gave up some vacation time to get it done. Writing a book on substantive law really gives a greater ability to serve my clients, so I view the time I spent is an investment in my practice.
I will be providing information about how to purchase the book in the next few weeks.