What are these?

Case summaries. They are kinda like Cliff Notes, but for legal opinions. If you are a law student, you'll understand.

How do I use these?

These are to help you during your law classes. Sometimes it's hard to read a opinion because the judge that's writing it isn't writing for the benefit of law students. Many judges are long-winded, or go off on tangents, or take their time getting around to the point. If you read these case summaries first, you'll get the gist of the case, which will make actual reading the opinion a little easier. It's also handy if you get called on in class and you haven't done the reading yet.

So you're saying I don't have to read the textbook or go to class? I can just read these summaries instead?

Absolutely not! I strongly suggest that you don't rely on these case summaries. They are just intended to help you study, they aren't intended to be a substitute for actually reading the book and going to class. Read the DISCLAIMER!

You are missing some cases that I've been assigned in my class!

Probably. Every professor in every law school teaches differently. There are some classics, like Marbury v. Madison that will be in everyone's curriculum, but for the most part, you'll never find every single case your professor assigns you by looking on the internet. That's why it's important to go to class and read the textbook. If you don't see a case here, you can also check other places on the internet that have cases. I've listed a bunch on the Links section.

Can I send you a case to add?

I don't think so. I'm trying to make this web site very low maintenance, and I don't want to have to go back and update things. If you are really interested, I encourage you to make your own web site.

I've spotted an error!

See, that's why you shouldn't rely on these cases. I could be an idiot. If you find something wrong, send me an email and I'll try to fix it.

How come you've got detailed summaries for some cases, and very limited summaries for others?

That has to do with how much information was in the book, and how much the professor emphasized the case. Some cases were important, and others were only used to show a single minor point. Your professor may feel differently, so if you don't think that my case summary is detailed enough, you should write your own.

Can I copy these notes and pass them around to my friends?

Yes! The cases are all public domain, and so these case summaries are also public domain. Feel free to copy them as much as you'd like. or just pass around the URL for this site.

Why are you posting all this stuff?

When I was taking these classes, I found it much easier to study when I could find a case summary to read. But there weren't summaries available for a lot of the cases I was assigned. So I figured I'd post my cases to help the next generation of law students. Also, oddly I found that once I made the decision to post all my case summaries, it made me take much better notes. I think I significantly improved my study habits because I had to write my notes so they'd be clear enough for other people to read and understand.

I heard that law students are ultra-competitive, why are you helping people out?

I don't know about where you go to school, but where I go to school people aren't all that competitive at all and help each other out all the time. It's a nice bunch of folks. And besides, I've already finished all these classes, so if you're using these cases you aren't competing with me anyways.

There are a lot of cases here! It must have taken you a long time?

Not really. I mean, it did take a lot of effort to write up all these notes, but I was doing that anyway just to pass the class. Putting all these notes on the internet didn't take all that much additional effort.

Can you just give me a complete outline in addition to these case summaries?

I thought about that, but I figured it was too dangerous. As I keep telling people, there are no guarantees that I'm not an idiot. If I gave you a complete outline, you'd be tempted to not actually write your own outline which would negatively impact your grade. Besides, every professor teaches class differently. Any outline I have would most likely emphasize things that your professor didn't teach and would be missing things that your professor thinks are important. Canned outlines can get you into trouble.

Do you make any money from this site?

No. Sure there's some advertising, but most days I earn zero, and at best I make a nickel or two per day (here's some stats on the site). As I said, I put all these cases online to help other people, cuz I'm a nice guy. Also, it forced me to take better notes, which was the real bonus for me. If you really like this site and want to do something nice for me, maybe you'll consider buying one of my novels, or purchasing one of the fine products and/or services offered by my advertisers.

Where'd you get the server space?

Server space graciously donated by The Invisible College Press, who were also crazy enough to publish my novels.

Who are you? Are you a lawyer?

I guess I'm a lawyer now. I started taking law school classes mostly for fun, because I already had a some other degrees and a full-time job. I didn't really intend to go into law. Then the defense contractor I worked for, SAIC, fired me because I causally mentioned to someone that I thought torturing people was wrong and should be illegal. (Yes, they really fired me for that, called me a traitor too. Jerks). So now I'm scrambling to find a law-related job in the worst legal market in decades. You can find out more about me on my Facebook Page. If you know any hiring managers, please tell them I'm awesome and available (and give them my resume). Make sure to tell them how impressive everybody thinks I am.

Where did you go to law school?

Georgetown Law, here in Washington DC. It's only a few blocks from the US Supreme Court.

Why'd you pick Georgetown?

Mostly because I already lived and worked in DC. I thought law school might be interesting, but I wasn't totally married to the idea, and I wasn't about to disrupt my entire life, sell my house, quit my job, and move to another town to go. Georgetown is the best law school in DC, so that's the only one I applied to.

Is it true that you hold the world record for most northern practice of American law?

Quite possibly! It's unofficial though.

Why'd you bother writing all this stuff when you know that nobody ever reads the FAQ?

I know, I'm just sitting around with nothing better to do right now. I should probably find a more productive way to spend my time.