For the Bookshelf: Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts

Published: June 9, 2022

Reviewed By Mitchell J. Katz, Barclay Damon LLP

Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts, 5th ed.
Robert L. Haig, Editor-in-Chief.
Published by Thomson Reuters.

The Fifth Edition of this amazingly comprehensive treatise is an 18-volume definitive work on business litigation in federal courts, authored by 373 attorneys including many present and former members of the judiciary.  Although the Fourth Edition was published in 2016, this new edition adds a stunning 26 new chapters. It reflects the rapid pace at which commercial law, business litigation and the practice of law has changed.

New chapter titles include Artificial Intelligence, Climate Change, Comparison with Business and Commercial Litigation in Delaware Courts, Comparison with Business and Commercial Litigation in New York Courts, Constitutional Litigation, Corporate Litigation Reporting Obligations, Corporate Sustainability and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria, Fee Arrangements, Fraudulent Transfer, Shareholder Activism, Space Law, Third-Party Litigation Funding, Valuation of a Business, and Virtual Currencies.

The Fifth Edition contains 93 substantive law chapters that cover the subjects most commonly encountered in commercial cases. The treatise also places great emphasis on strategic considerations specific to commercial cases. There are chapters that address the “business” of litigation practice, including Budgeting and Controlling Costs, Fee Arrangements, Marketing to Potential Business Clients, Coordinating Counsel, Crisis Management, and Litigation Avoidance and Prevention.

In addition to offering an in-depth discussion of law and procedure, the treatise offers strategies and client counseling sections, procedural and practice checklists, checklists of essential allegations and defenses, checklists of sources of proof of allegations and defenses, and hundreds of pages of essential litigation forms and jury charges. The extensive cross-references facilitate efficient navigation within each chapter and throughout the entire treatise. There are many chapters that contain research references to other treatises as well.

Every chapter begins with a detailed table of contents. In addition, the treatise provides a volume devoted to tables and an index. Included in the tables are jury instructions with reference to the chapters in which they are found, and a table of forms with cross-references to the chapters in which the forms are discussed. There is also a table of laws and rules with cross-references to federal and state statutes, and to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence. Not surprisingly, there is an extensive index for the entire treatise that consumes an impressive 288 pages. As if those cross-referencing tables and indices were not enough, there is a separate volume containing a table of cases organized alphabetically that comes in at a whopping 2,102 pages. Needless to say the treatise is designed for quick and easy access to address urgently presented questions, while providing in-depth analyses to be read when time permits.

Although I just received this treatise, I have already reached for it to learn the nuances of judgment enforcement procedures in federal court; the chapter provided exactly what I was looking for. If you handle business litigation, this is a welcome addition to your library. The Fifth Edition is available from Thomson Reuters and comes in an 18-volume set, and is also available in an eBook as well as on Westlaw.