Law School Discussion

"Black's Law Dictionary" - Useful?

Speedzie

  • ****
  • 293
  • Illinois College of Law - 11
    • View Profile
Re: "Black's Law Dictionary" - Useful?
« Reply #50 on: August 06, 2008, 10:11:34 PM »
One a side note, I've decided to buy a copy of Black's for myself if only to feel more lawyerly.

Ninja1

  • ****
  • 3042
  • ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: "Black's Law Dictionary" - Useful?
« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2008, 02:36:19 AM »
In my final days, all I want by my side in the wilderness are Black's and a shotgun. I would take some whiskey, but I figure the dementia should be pretty well set in by then. Ah hell, I'll bring some hooch anyway.

jacy85

  • *****
  • 6644
    • View Profile
Re: "Black's Law Dictionary" - Useful?
« Reply #52 on: August 18, 2008, 02:22:55 PM »

And when you can't find a case in your jurisdiction that defines a word, then that is when you look to other similar jurisdictions to see how they defined the word. Then you use that jurisdiction's definition as persuasive secondary authority. But in most cases, there will be a seminal treatise, legal primer, or Restatement that is followed and respected by lawyers in the field. So when you can't find a word defined in a case, there will be many more sources to wade through even before you pick up a Black's dictionary.   

So...when a US Court of Appeals or the US Supreme Court cites to Black's and other dictionaries FIRST, and then go to the cases after that, are you saying they've clearly gone to the wrong source to back up their arguments?  I'm just curious, because the definitions of some words were a key part of my law review comment, and I have a huge stack of opinions in a binder that all cite to one dictionary or another before going to more in-depth case analysis from district and circuit courts.   ::)

It seems to me you have an unusual understanding of the best and most basic place to start when researching a topic.

SCK2008

  • ****
  • 1310
    • View Profile
Re: "Black's Law Dictionary" - Useful?
« Reply #53 on: August 18, 2008, 02:32:37 PM »

And when you can't find a case in your jurisdiction that defines a word, then that is when you look to other similar jurisdictions to see how they defined the word. Then you use that jurisdiction's definition as persuasive secondary authority. But in most cases, there will be a seminal treatise, legal primer, or Restatement that is followed and respected by lawyers in the field. So when you can't find a word defined in a case, there will be many more sources to wade through even before you pick up a Black's dictionary.   

So...when a US Court of Appeals or the US Supreme Court cites to Black's and other dictionaries FIRST, and then go to the cases after that, are you saying they've clearly gone to the wrong source to back up their arguments?  I'm just curious, because the definitions of some words were a key part of my law review comment, and I have a huge stack of opinions in a binder that all cite to one dictionary or another before going to more in-depth case analysis from district and circuit courts.   ::)

It seems to me you have an unusual understanding of the best and most basic place to start when researching a topic.

That's ANTL for you.  She's really good at that type of *&^%.  But I don't like to pile on.