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Voluminousness of the material used.
Upon the subjects already named, and their logical subdivisions, in this country alone, there have been published over 125,000 precedents, besides statutory provisions almost innumerable. This vast aggregate of judicial opinions on real property law is now being increased at the alarming rate of 4,000 cases each year, and the additions which are being made to the statutes upon the same subjects are equally appalling. These numbers include only those cases which it is proper to classify under topics which logically belong to THE LAW OF REAL PROPERTY. The whole number of American published judicial opinions is estimated to be 500,000. The whole number of published cases decided each year is enormous. In 1892 there were 12,000 and in 1896 the number had increased to 18,000. No lawyer or judge has the time to sift, classify and arrange this vast mass of legal lore. He must depend on the helps furnished by the law book editors and publishers. Upon the wise choice of these helps depends his success.
A supplement to the good books you already
Prior to the year 1892, upon those subjects which distinctively belong to THE LAW OF REAL PROPERTY, the aggregate number of text books had reached 120 treatises or 147 volumes. Enough of these to fairly cover the fundamental principles of the subjects are already upon the shelves of every lawyer's library, and have a commercial value to him which ought not to be needlessly destroyed. These good old books do not need "new editions." They need continuous additions. Beginning with the year 1892, this publication has added to the law literature upon the subjects named all that has been contributed by the courts of last resort of the entire United States. This addition has been and is being made in such a manner as to preserve every decided point in every case, together with the most important growth of statutory enactments. No portion of the work contains any
repetition of what the lawyer already has upon his shelves. The work itself will never need a
new edition," because
each volume, as it appears each year, is a continous growth of a symmetrical whole. The volumes as they are issued in annual succession do not take the place, nor diminish the value of the preceding issues. The entire serial continually constitutes an up to date living supplement to every lawyer's library, giving him immediate access to over 20,000 recent cases not yet cited in any text book, encyclopedia or system of selected cases.
4 The current case law sifted, classified, edited
Each volume contains, in an edited form, the entire case law upon the subjects named for the given year. Every published opinion of all courts of last resort is carefully examined and those in any way affecting any right to or interest in any form of realty are preserved for editorial work. Each case is carefully studied, and the exact points decided are reduced to clear and accurate legal statements followed by the citation of the case. If the case is one which depends upon particular facts, has but little general significance, and is of little value, these facts are indicated by the manner in which it is treated. It is given less space and its character described. If the case contains an important discussion, or is novel in its character, the reasoning of the court and its citation of authorities are added to the statement of the editor, and generally in the exact language of the court. If the case is one in which some statute, either local or general, influences the conclusion reached, the character of the statute and its relation to the case is clearly shown. If a case overrules another case upon some important point, or construes for the first time some important statute, or passes upon its constitutionality, or applies the law to some novel state of facts growing out of some new discovery or change in social conditions, it is re-reported in full with copious and exhaustive annotations. All of this editorial work is again carefully revised by the editors and arranged under proper section heads and subdivisions of the work. Those cases which make the real growth of the law
are made prominent, and novel cases are distinguished by fuller statements. Those cases which reiterate propositions already settled are made accessible in a moment's time, and those which remotely illustrate a point are so arranged that they are not mistaken for more than they are worth, and yet they may be found by him who really needs them. No case is omitted. The superiority of this method over all others can best be seen by a comparison of our treatment with that of any other work upon any important subject contained in this serial. We would suggest for comparison such subjects as "Abutting owners;" "Adverse possession; "Deeds; " "Easements; ""Eminent domain; ""Estoppel; " "Fraudulent conveyances;" "Landlord and tenant;"" Mechanics' liens;" "Mortgages;" "Real actions;" "Real estate agent;" "Records and Recording;" "Taxes;" "Trusts " and "Waters." For the subdivisions and sections upon these subjects, see the one index to the entire series.
5. The treatise feature of this work.
In addition to our careful and exhaustive epitome of the current case law, we devote a small portion of our space to the thorough and critical consideration of subjects of general importance, which have not hitherto received sufficient attention at the hands of competent law writers. Many of these subjects are statutory in their character. In such case we collate, compare and annotate every statutory provision upon the subject as found now in force in every state in the Union. In the subsequent volumes of this serial all changes of these statutes and all subsequent constructions and applications of the same by the courts will be carefully noted. No volume will contain any repetition of what is in the previous volumes, but each succeeding volume will contain on these subjects all that the legislatures and courts have added for the period covered by the current volume. In our treatment of those subjects which are not statutory, the conflicting authorities are collated, compared and carefully reviewed, so as to leave nothing more to be desired except what the courts may hereafter say upon the
These excellent treatises upon these important but
neglected subjects will never be repeated in any of the subsequent volumes of this serial; but, we will add to each subject, year by year, all that is added by the courts or the law making bodies.
In order that the importance of some of these treatise features may be more fully realized we call special attention to such subjects as "Community real estate; "Definition of real estate;" "Form of deeds; "Deeds to husband and wife; " Separate real estate of married women;" "Defenses in ejectment;""Time for recording deeds;" and "Power of attorney." For the subdivisions and sections upon these subjects consult the one exhaustive index to the entire series. This one index will always be inclusive of the entire field covered by this work.
6. The index is the all important part.
We believe that law publications should be so constructed as never to need new editions, and we are building up this most thorough and exhaustive treatise upon the theory that there should be continuous new additions, but no new editions. To this excellent rule we have one exception. We do believe in new editions of the one complete index to our serial. We make a new edition of the entire index every time we issue a volume of the work. This is done in order that all of the index matter pertaining to the entire series may always appear in one alphabetical arrangement, so that the busy lawyer or judge need never look in but one index in order to find all the law there is on any point which can have any possible connection with the law of real property.
Citations to duplicate reports of cases.
Many of the cases, to which the lawyer desires immediate access, are reported in more than one place. It frequently happens that the same opinion is reported in the official reports of the state, in the Reporter System, in the Lawyers Reports Annotated and in the American State Reports. When such a case occurs upon any page in our work we follow the official
citation with a parenthetical reference to every other system by volume and page where it may be found. This work is done so thoroughly that no lawyer need waste his time in looking for any case cited in our work, except by the references given by us. This saves time and increases the working value of every system of reports of cases to which the lawyer has access. About 12,000 such duplicate references are given. in the volumes already issued. A good illustration of the value of these duplicate citations can be found on almost every page of the work.
8. The difficulties of the digest method.
It is claimed that the entire case law of the country, consisting of more than half a million opinions, can be made sufficiently accessible by means of the digest method; and that the profession can keep pace with the growth of the entire field of case law by means of the current digest of each annual crop of 18,000 cases. It is no disparagement of the excellent work along digest lines, which has been done and is now being done, to Say that this claim is an impossibility.
digest method is, to some extent, handicapped by a fixed classification into which all cases must be made to fit, even though individual characteristic points be lost in the maze and magnitude of the system. In the digest method one fails to find the necessary discrimination between cases.
which contains little or no discussion of law, often occupies more space than the one which contains the most learned disquisitions upon the most intricate and novel question. The comparative value of cases as authority is not shown; the reasoning of the court and the authority upon which it rests is not given; and the judicial language, often pregnant with learning, is never quoted. Through the digest, it is true one has access to the cases, often more numerous than he can possibly examine, but the road to the exact law is not short enough, neither is it clear enough. Often the digest gives a lengthy recital of facts and informs the reader that the court decided in favor of the plaintiff or defendant, but gives no intimation as to what legal principle was involved, or any rule