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Reading is difficult. As a writer, I help the reader every way I can think of. As a reader, I work hard not to miss the big things in the middle of the road.

Friday, June 26, 2015

What I Learned from Reading the Thirteenth Edition of the Greenbook: Texas Rules of Form

The (University of) Texas Law Review Association published a new edition of the Greenbook: Texas Rules of Form-- the 13th this year. The Greenbook is a supplement to the Harvard Bluebook, superseding the Bluebook as to Texas law. I call it the Harvard Bluebook, but Columbia Law School, the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Yale Law School share in the work. I have no reason to believe that any influential group at any of these effete institutions cared about the subtleties of Texas law-- petition history, the military and semicolon courtsLos Siete Partidas, etc.
This edition of the Greenbook has a very helpful table of contents, and has gotten rid of many rules that were much more trouble to follow than they were worth.It updates historical data and has internal cross references and cross references to the Bluebook. It clarifies how to cite administrative material to the Texas Register.
What I learned:

  1. It no longer offends the Bluebook not to cite to state-published official reporters of Texas cases which ceased publication at least 52 years ago and are increasingly hard to find.
  2. The editors appear to believe that West's Texas Subsequent History Table is still being published. I've switched to checking online.
  3. The case that discussed the precedential value of the various dispositions of the old Commission of Appeals is National Bank of Commerce v. Williams, 84 S.W.2d 691, 692 (Tex. 1935).
  4. The case that discussed the precedential value of the Texas Supreme Court's adoption, affirmation or approval of judgments of the old Court of Appeals is McKenzie v. Withers, 306 S.W. 503 (Tex. 1918).
  5. There are now official forms for the various records of an appeal.
  6. The invaluable historical lawbook  H.P.N. Gammel's The Laws of Texas 1822-1897 is available on a free-to-the-public website maintained by the University of North Texas (There's a lot of other great historical stuff there with it, some legal, most not).
  7. A law review article on the Commission of Appeals of the late 19th century (even older than that first Commission of Appeals I was telling you about) is Hans W. Baade, Chapters in the History of the Supreme Court of Texas: Reconstruction and Redemption (1866-1882), 40 St. Mary's L.J. 17 (2008).
  8. The Texas Supreme Court posts its internal operating procedures on the clerk's website.
  9. There's a new notation for Texas Supreme Court petitions that have been filed timely, and that the court has ordered briefing on the merits for "pet. pending."
  10. Whoever the Texas Law Review Association hired to bind my copy of the book did it wrong, the back cover keeps falling off.
A bargain at $11.00. Get yours now.

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