« on: February 20, 2009, 10:23:10 AM »
True, but the question is, how long does it take to read caselaw, once you're good at it, versus reading a hornbook? I've done some paralegal work in which I wrote some appeals based on caselaw, and I had no difficulty completely understanding the judges' opinions with reading less than 15 minutes...Of course, these aren't landmark cases, are short and are written in modern language, but regardless, I don't feel that reading cases takes THAT much time, if you can learn to be efficient. For example, the procedural history and facts of the case can usually be read over just once, where the actual ruling itself may need more scrutiny...It's also probably advisable to focus more on opinions regarding the class topic at hand rather than to read every contention within a case - chances are, only one or two of those points will be important, and the others will be useless.
Of course, I guess this should be taken with a grain of salt as well - I am a history major used to dealing with primary sources written in long-dead styles of writing, so the legalese doesn't phase me as much, nor do particularly obsolete words.