for Albert H. Kritzer CISG Database

of the Institute of International Commercial Law

at Pace University Law School

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A Uniform International Sales Law Terminology
Vikki M. Rogers  *  and Albert H. Kritzer  **    1 

II. Learning from History: The Impact of Legal Research Methodology on the Substantive Interpretation and Development of the Law

1. Development of Case Reporters in England and the United States  33 
2. The Impact of West's Case Digest System on American Research Methodologies and the Development of Substantive Law  58 

"From the late nineteenth century, the development of the American legal system can be seen as a history of the development of forms of legal publication. This history poses the question whether the forms of publication have been mere vehicles for the transmission of legal knowledge, or important influences in the development of that knowledge."  15  More than a century after modern research mechanisms were developed, it appears evident that the answer to this question is the latter. In the United States, information retrieval systems established by legal publishers, particularly West Publishing Company, "remade the structure of legal thinking by providing one."  16  In scenarios where judges from different [page 225] jurisdictions were once trusted on a leap of faith, information retrieval systems that used a "blanket system"  17  of reporting in a uniform format began to hold judges accountable and forced them to adhere to notions of consistency in their application of law. Attempts to apply the law in a non-uniform manner without the support of easily accessible legal doctrine  18  ceased to be acceptable.

Before the development of information retrieval systems in the United States is explored in detail, it is necessary to address two questions that arise at the outset: (1) Why discuss the development of research methods in the United States in isolation? It seems to be a subject that is far removed from the topic of international sales law. (2) Why limit this discussion to the development of research methods in that country? Do the authors suggest that US legal research methodologies are better than those of other jurisdictions? Does an information retrieval system derived from a common law tradition based on stare decisis provide an adequate model for the progression of a global uniform application of international sales law?

The first question can be answered rather simply. Because the connection between international sales law and information retrieval systems does seem remote in the abstract, it is easier to explain by example: first, by outlining the connection between research methodology and the development of substantive law; second, by analogizing this evolution to the impact that the same approach could have on the uniform application of international sales law.

To answer the second question, the importance of case law in the fruition of international sales law must be addressed. The goal of attaining the uniform application of international sales law lends itself to an analysis of case law as a means to obtain uniformity. In fact, "the practitioner of the CISG has a duty, extrapolated from [Article] 7(1), to consider case law from other Contracting States and other states applying the CISG via Article 1(1)(b), as well as from arbitral tribunals."  19  What does uniformity in this context mean, but a presumption that a dispute, which must be resolved under an international law, will yield the same [page 226] outcome regardless of the jurisdiction in which the situation is analyzed.  20  Scholars have remarked on the homeward trend that could result if opinions from varying jurisdictions are not consulted in the decision-making process.  21 

A comparison of case law from varying jurisdictions will provide information on the manner in which the law has already been applied, thus making uniformity more viable.  22  Simply put, a "comity of nations" is the goal that should be sought by the entire international community. There should be an informal and [page 227] voluntary recognition by courts of one jurisdiction of the decisions of another.  23  If courts and arbitral tribunals are not aware of the cases decided in other jurisdictions, any attempts at uniformity will be effectively destroyed; only through the odd chance that all fora apply the same interpretation would uniformity be achieved.

A global jurisconsultorium on uniform international sales law is the proper setting for the analysis of foreign jurisprudence.  24  "[C]ourts . . . have to develop their jurisprudence in company with the courts of other countries from case to case."  25  The examination of case law does not reduce the importance of legislative history and scholarly commentaries when interpreting the law. The same [page 228] methodologies used to retrieve case law can be applied to other sources. The scope of this paper is not limited to case law retrieval, but rather the analysis is based on a system that, compelled by tradition, focused on case law.

Additionally, reliance on case law is not unique to common law jurisdictions. Civil law tradition, although basing its history on reliance on a code and not stare decisis, has been moving towards a stronger reliance on case law.  26  In fact, to nurture the harmonization of European contract law, a "European Doctrine of Precedents" has been proposed.  27  Accordingly, an analysis based on the evolution of information retrieval systems in a common law system should not preclude the credibility of the model to be simulated on an international level.

Finally, the analysis of the development of information retrieval systems in the United States was chosen because the factors that were present over one century ago - when modern research systems were conceived for US domestic law - is a picture that can again be painted at the start of this century, but for international sales law.

"Knowledge is of two kinds, we know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it."  28  In the late 1800s and early 1900s practitioners faced a great challenge in finding information on a particular legal topic. Henry Terry aptly summarized the early quandary:

"In substance our law is excellent, full of justice and good sense, but in form it is chaotic. It has no systematic arrangement which is generally recognized and used, a fact which greatly increases the labors of lawyers and causes unnecessary litigation."  29 

The official reports were often years old by the time they reached the practicing bar, and the quality of the reports, once filtered through various publishers, varied and could not necessarily be relied on because the information was not gathered and organized in a systematic way. Methods of classifying and arranging the law tended to create chaos in the law itself.  30  It was not until 1876, when John West published his Syllabi, a precursor to the National Reporter System, that comprehensive and uniform indexing of cases began. And it was not until [page 229] 1896, when West published the Century Digest, that easy, comprehensive access was provided to United States case law.  31  The effects of the National Reporter System and West's American Digest System on the development of American law are discussed infra. For purposes of this section, it is only necessary to draw the parallels between the retrieval systems for US law at the end of 19th century and the methods that exist today for research in international sales law.

In both eras, bits and pieces of legal jurisprudence and doctrine are scattered, rather than brought together into a coherent body of information. The search methodology is varied, if existent at all; research results vary from lawyer to lawyer and from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The time it takes to obtain copies of decisions is long and there are never assurances that the practitioner has accessed all of, and is applying, the most current information. Like their counterparts of a century ago, researchers today are almost guaranteed to miss information,  32  and the credibility of their sources is often open to question.

Yet, a comprehensive case law reporting and classification system to organize US law did prevail and furthered the substantive development of the law. Because of their incredible success, these classification systems are analyzed here to determine whether a similar approach can have the same salutary impact on the growth of international sales law today.

1. Development of Case Reporters in England and the United States  33 

Reporting of cases has a venerable tradition in both England and the United States. English-language case reports, Year Books, were manuscript law reports prepared from 1292 to 1535.  34  These early reports were collections of notes [page 230] taken down concerning actions at the court,  35  rather than case reports as we think of them today.  36 

Nomative case reporters  37  followed the Year Books. These reports were individually compiled by a member of the bar who would gather notes of the courts' decisions as recorded by himself, from other lawyers or, perhaps, from the notes of judges.  38  Although recognized as crucial building blocks in the development of law, these reporters were disorganized and often contradictory.  39  Moreover, the quality, reliability, and comprehensiveness varied because the texts were frequently rewritten and subjective; intellectual input was involved in the production of the reporters.  40  Early court reporters, both in England and the United States, were entrepreneurs, transcribing, editing and publishing the cases of one or more courts, and functioning independently of one another.

Edmund Plowden published the earliest nominative reports in England in 1571. Plowden's reports were characterized by their high degree of accuracy and completeness, a standard that was unfortunately not met by later compilers.  41  From 1571 until the 1640s, only a few volumes of law reports were published; however, in the 1640s and 1650s, a "flood of reports"  42  was issued by a number of publishers, most of them of dubious quality and value. Not until 1756, when Burrow's Reports appeared, was "there . . . a series approximating in fullness and accuracy the standards of a modern law report."  43  Burrows and his followers turned law reporting into a specialized field and began a new era in the law.

In the United States, the era of nomative court reports began in 1789 with Ephraim Kirby's Connecticut Reports.  44  In his preface, Kirby expressed the wish [page 231] that a "'permanent system of common law' . . . would emerge in the country."  45  His wish soon came true. As the legal system in the new republic rapidly expanded, there was an urgent need for access to case reports and a willingness by lawyers to pay for them.  46 

By 1810, nomative reports were being published for the US Supreme Court, as well as for the state courts of Connecticut, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey.  47  Yet, by the middle of the 19th century, the number of American case reports was still only a few hundred. The growth of official reports led to the reduction in publication of nomative report features; consequently, the character of the reporting process changed.  48  As the reporter became a state-appointed functionary, the position became political in many respects.  49  The production was erratic; quality varied and the reports took on a subjective form.  50  These reports did, however, "[e]nable states to put together their own common law, as independent of the common law of England, or other states, as they liked. At the same time, the reports made it possible for states to borrow more freely from each other."  51  They also provided for a system of comprehensive reporting and introduced a standard numbering pattern for volumes.  52 

It was not until after the Civil War, when the number of cases in the US increased dramatically, that commercial reporting developed.  53  ". . . West Publishing Company . . . began a profitable business based on taming the dragons of case law. The states published their decisions very slowly; West published them fast, and bound them up into regional reporters."  54  West prospered because "[b]y the 1880's, the legal profession was more than ready for a comprehensive court reporting system on a national scope."  55  At that point, the information retrieval system that has shaped American jurisprudence came into existence. In 1876, John West published his Syllabi, a weekly legal newssheet that provided full texts [page 232] of the decisions of the Minnesota Supreme Court, uniformly indexed.  56  Because of its popularity, it expanded to report cases of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin and was renamed the North-Western Reporter. In 1897, the publication was expanded yet again to include decisions of the Supreme Courts of Michigan, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. It was then renamed the North West Reporter. Within two years, the Federal Reporter and Supreme Court Reporter followed.  57  The entire set of West case reporters is known as the National Reporter System.

2. The Impact of West's Case Digest System on American Research Methodologies and the Development of Substantive Law  58 

West introduced two distinct ideas to the US legal community that have had a profound effect on the development of US law. First, West introduced the idea of comprehensive case reporting through its National Reporter System. ". . . Cases, whether "legally worthy" or not, were entered into his "blanket system" of reporting."  59 

"One effect of the blanket system, established by the West Publishing Company, has been to present the reports of several states in a single series . . . . This must necessarily have the effect of bringing about more general comparison of the adjudications of the different American jurisdictions upon particular questions, which must in the end result in a unification of the law."  60 

The blanket system had unintended consequences, and led to West's second great contribution to the development of American law. The eminent legal scholar, Grant Gilmore, noted that the effect of West's blanket report system was that "the number of volumes published increased year by year in geometric [page 233] progression . . . there were simply too many cases, and each year added its frightening harvest to the appalling glut. A precedent-based, largely non-statutory system could not continue to operate under such pressures."  61 

In order to foster efficient access to what Gilmore referred to as the "appalling glut" of case law, West purchased the U.S. Digest from a competitor in 1887, and eventually replaced it with the Century Digest in 1896.  62  With the advent of what came to be called West's American Digest System,  63  a comprehensive indexing scheme for state and federal case law, the legal researcher need not rely on his memory anymore for the information he needed.  64  High value was placed on retrieving information, and the American Digest System with its Topics and Key Number arrangement was the answer to this new challenge.  65  "...West produced a subject breakdown of every possible subject which could be the topic of an issue of law that could be resolved by a judge . . ."  66  "It [West] had a definite advantage in its uniformity, for the user did not have to determine the 'mental peculiaries and idiosyncrasies of the compiler of each new digest' to find the subject it needed."  67  "The classification system was valued as were such features as the cross-references, scope-notes, and the feature that all cases from the same state were grouped together in each heading."  68  Prior to the Digest System, "there was no comprehensive or uniform indexing of state and federal cases."  69 

West developed a subject classification system that satisfied the requirements for the American state and federal systems.  70  "Only a rudimentary knowledge of the federal nature of American law is required to recognize how bizarre it is to think that one subject classification system could serve all the states and the federal system as well."  71  But it was not bizarre and it did work. These categorizations became internalized in American law.  72  "The legal information system [page 234] intertwined itself with the organization of the law itself."  73  As the digest put one set of ideas at the researcher's disposal, it became difficult to visualize that another, or to imagine that another set of ideas could exist.  74  Moreover, as West grouped legal concepts into categories, they were then embedded in the courses taught in the classroom and became part of the intellectual wherewithal of the law school professor and judge.  75  "How one organized the law became the center of what the law could and did mean. While this was a conscious process for Langdell  76  and for West, as time passed, legal scholars forgot that choices had been made and began to see the existing categories as inevitable; thus the gestalt of law was created."  77  All legal thought had been homogenized based on the structure that was established to retrieve it.  78 

In the same vein that legal entrepreneurs were thinking over 100 years ago, the international sales law community at the dawn of this century must consciously decide how it wants to organize legal information so that it can begin to mould the manner in which the world conceptualizes international law.


 15. Robert C. Berring, Legal Research and Legal Concepts: Where Form Moulds Substance, 75 Calif. L. Rev. 15, 15 (1997).

 16. Berring, supra note 11 at 19.

 17. The "blanket system" of case law reporting required the comprehensive reporting of all cases, without making editorial judgments or selective reporting of "significant decisions." Thomas A. Woxland, Forever Associate with the Practice of Law: The Early Years of the West Publishing Company, 5 Legal Reference Services Q., no. 1, at 123 (1985).

 18. Berring, supra note 15, at 19 ("No judge could determine a point that did not have a location in the West system; it was complete").

 19. Camilla Baasch Andersen, Reasonable Time in Article 39(1) of the CISG - Is Article 39(1) Truly a Uniform Provision?, in Pace Review of the Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods 72 (1999). Article 7(1) calls for consideration of interpretations of the CISG by courts of other countries, as well as rulings on this Convention in one's own country. The highest authorities of many jurisdictions have stated, as did the US Supreme Court, that "the opinions of our sister signatories [to an international convention] are to be entitled to considerable weight." Air France v. Saks, 470 U.S. 392, 404 (1985) (defining the term "accident" as used in the Warsaw Convention).

 20. Article 7(1), "[p]roperly understood . . . requires a process or methodology involving awareness of and respect for, but not necessarily blind obedience to, interpretations of the CISG from outside one's own legal culture - an approach not unlike the treatment U.S. courts accord decisions of other [US] jurisdictions when applying [the US] Uniform Commercial Code." Harry M. Flechtner, Several Texts of the CISG in a Decentralized System: Observations on Translations, Reservations and Other Challenges to Uniformity Principle in Article 7(1), 17 J.L. & Com. 187 (1998); also available at ‹http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/biblio/flecht1.html› (last modified August 11, 1999). Professor Flechtner further indicates that the "intentional flexibility that permits the CISG to accommodate the incredible diversity of circumstances in its subject matter and milieu" should not be lost when strides towards uniform application are made. Id. The authors agree with this conclusion; efforts towards uniform application of a uniform law should not strain the flexibility of that law to account for various scenarios in international transactions.

 21. "The Convention, faute de mieux, will often be applied by tribunals (judges or arbitrators) who will be intimately familiar only with their own domestic law. The tribunals, regardless of their merit, will be subject to a natural tendency to read the international rules in light of the legal ideas that have been imbedded at the core of their intellectual formation. The mind sees what the mind has means of seeing." John O. Honnold, Documentary History of the Uniform Law for International Sales Law 1 (1989) (referring to the phenomenon Professor Honnold has labeled the homeward trend).

 22. UNCITRAL has taken innovative steps to share knowledge of CISG case law, as have UNILEX and the Pace Institute of International Commercial Law in concert with the Centre for Commercial Law Studies of Queen Mary College, University of London, and others.

- Prominent UNCITRAL initiatives include the appointment of National Correspondents to identify and report CISG cases from their jurisdictions; publication of abstracts of CISG cases - CLOUT [Case Law On UNCITRAL Texts] abstracts that are widely disseminated by UNCITRAL and others - and, most recently, UNCITRAL interpretive analyses of CISG cases. The latter program has commenced with analyses of issues associated with CISG article 6 and CISG article 78. For information on these subjects go to UNCITRAL's web site, ‹http://www.un.or.at/uncitral›. UNILEX, edited by Michael Joachim Bonell, also provides an admirable service to our profession: abstracts and full texts of CISG cases and other materials. UNILEX is a commercial service, available from Transnational Publishers in either printed form or CD-ROM. Many of the case texts reported in UNILEX can also be obtained from UNCITRAL or on the Autonomous Network of CISG texts, see below.

- The Institute of International Commercial Law of the PACE University School of Law, in consortium with the Centre for Commercial Law Studies of Queen Mary College, University of London (QM College), and others has launched related initiatives.

- In concert with learning centers of many countries, Pace has helped foster the creation of an Autonomous Network of CISG Websites ‹http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/network.html› The CISG online web site of the UNIVERSITY OF FREIBURG, set in place by Peter Schlechtriem ‹http://www.jura.uni-freiburg.de/ipr1/cisg/title.htm›, is a pioneer participant in this network.

- Pace, in concert with QM College, has also helped set in place a Case Translation Programme ‹http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/queenmary.html›. More than 100 QM translations of CISG cases should be freely available on the Internet prior to year-end.

- A most recent activity is co-sponsorship by QUEEN MARY and Pace of the Vienna International Sales Convention Advisory Council (CISG-AC). This Council was established on June 2, 2001. The Chair of the Council is: Peter Schlechtriem. Other charter members of this Council are: Eric E. Bergsten, Michael Joachim Bonell, E. Allan Farnsworth, Alejandro M. Garro, Royston M. Goode, Sergei N. Lebedev, Jan Ramberg, Hiroo Sono and Claude Witz. Loukas M. Mistelis is Secretary of the Council. The first two interpretive rulings of the Council are to be on notice of lack of conformity of goods and electronic issues under the CISG. They are being authored by Council members Eric E. Bergsten and Jan Ramberg. The Charter of the Council calls for endorsement of each interpretive opinion by all members of the Council; where that is not feasible, reasoned concurring or dissenting opinions by Council members are written. In this respect, the rulings of this "Conseil des Sages" will be similar to those of national Supreme Courts.

 23. An improved ability of States to borrow more freely from one another is precisely that which uniform international sales law needs today. US state courts accord comity to rulings on the Uniform Commercial Code by courts of sister US states. See Flechtner, supra note 20. The "comity of nations" would operate similar to the manner that has been recommended in "The Role of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in the Interpretation of Uniform Law among the Member States of the European Communities," i.e., with the "integrative force of a judgment [of the court of a sister State] based on the persuasive reasoning which the decisions of the court bring to bear on the problem at hand." Jürgen Schwarze, in International Uniform Law in Practice [Acts and Proceedings of the 3rd Congress on Private Law held by the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law (Rome 7-10 September 1997)] 221 (Oceana New York, 1998).

 24. There is much analysis from many jurisdictions. As of July 30, 2001, the cisgw3 web site of the Pace University School of Law at ‹http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu› reports 871 court and arbitral rulings on the CISG and citations to 4,712 law journal articles, monographs and texts containing material related to the CISG, and the texts of approximately 300 of these commentaries. The number of CISG cases will grow as will the number of commentaries on the uniform law.

 25. Lord Scarman, 2 ALL E.R. 696, 715 (1980). See also Leif Sevón, Observations in International Uniform Law Practice/Le droit uniform international dans la pratique 135 (1988).

 26. See Klaus Peter Berger, Harmonization of European Contract Law: The Influence of Comparative Law, 50 Int'l & Comp. L.Q. 877-900 (2001) = ZeuP 2001, 4-29: "This tendency of converging case law methods in civil and in common law, and the necessity of a European methodology, provide the background for a Europeanization of the doctrine of precedents"

 27. Id.

 28. John West, Symposium of Legal Publishers, 23 Am. L. Rev. 396 (1889).

 29. Richard Delgado & Jean Stefanic, Why Do We Tell the Same Stories?: Law Reform, Critical Librarianship, and the Triple Helix Dilemma, 42 Stan. L. Rev. 207, 214 (1989)."Some scholars note that the inability of lawyers to follow the development of the law either nationally or locally threatened stare decisis because of the 'enormous' and 'unrestrained quantity' of competing reporters, which 'discouraged research and inevitably led to a conflict among authorities." Id. quoting Woxland, supra note 17 at 116.

 30. Charles C. Ulrich, A Proposed Plan of Classification for the Law, 34 Mich. L. Rev. 226, 227 (1935).

 31. The Century Digest summarizes all United States cases that West could locate, for the period 1658 through 1895.

 32. See, e.g., Supermicro Computer v. Digitechnic, 2001 U.S. Dist. Lexis 7620 (N.D. Cal. 30 January 2001) ("the case law interpreting and applying the CISG is sparse"). This statement was made even though an ample amount of CISG case law is available at various sources (with which the court was evidently unfamiliar); including links to presentations on over 850 CISG cases at ‹http://www.cisg.law.pace.edu/cisg/text/casecit.html›.

 33. For purposes of this section, a brief overview of legal reporting in the US prior to 1876 is given because heavier reliance is placed on the impact the West Publishing Company had on the development of American jurisprudence after 1876. Excellent coverage of the development of legal reporting is given in the following sources and should not be overlooked: Duncan Kennedy, The Structure of Blackstone's Commentaries, 28 Buffalo L. Rev. 209 (1979); Erwin C. Surrency, History of American Law Publishing 111-127 (1990); Symposium of Legal Publishers, 23 Am. L. Rev. 396 (1889); Berring, supra note 15.

 34. Berring, supra note 15 at 18 citing F. Hicks, Materials and Methods of Legal Research with Bibliographic Manual 94 (1923) ("The first report to be printed in succession to the Year Books was Les Comentaires, ou les Reports, of Edmund Plowden, first published in 1571. It was, like the Year Books, written in Law French, but English translations of it were published in 1761, 1779, 1792 and 1816").

 35. J.H. Baker, Records, Reports, and the Origins of Case-Law in England, in Judicial Records, Law Reports, and the Growth of Case Law 21 (J.H. Baker, ed., 1989).

 36. Id.

 37. Nomative reports are "named for the person who recorded or edited them." Morris L. Cohen et al., How to Find the Law 16 (1989).

 38. Id.

 39. Id.

 40. Id.

 41. J.P. Dawson, The Oracles of Law 65 (1968).

 42. Id. at 75.

 43. Id. at 77.

 44. Berring, supra note 15 at 19. During the colonial period, no American case reports were published. See Lawrence M. Friedman, A History of American Law 323, n. 55 (2d ed. 1985) (Friedman points out that some reports were published many years after the cases were decided. For instance, "Joseph Quincy's Massachusetts Reports (1761-1771) . . . [were] published in 1865."). Practicing lawyers relied on English case reports or gleaned the law from precious English legal treatises. Id. at 323. In part, this was because most judges in the American colonies were not legally trained, and "colonial lawyers considered the Superior Courts of England as the ultimate authority on the common law. . . ." See Erwin C. Surrency, A History of American Law Publishing 24-25 (1990). Some lawyers prepared manuscript volumes of local cases for their personal use and then shared them with their colleagues in the practicing bar.

 45. Friedman, supra note 44 at 323.

 46. Id.

 47. Like the English nomative reports, these early law reports were produced by private entrepreneurs eager to meet the demands of the burgeoning bar; gradually, however, appointed officials supplanted them and the nominative reports began to die out. In some ways, this development was salutary because "[o]fficial reports tended to be fuller and more accurate than unofficial reports, but they were also much more standardized.

 48. Id.

 49. Id.

 50. See generally, Berring, supra note 11 at 20.

 51. Friedman, supra note 44 at 325.

 52. See generally, Berring, supra note 15 at 19.

 53. See generally, Berring, supra note 15 at 21.

 54. Friedman, supra note 44 at 409.

 55. Woxland, supra note 17 at 117.

 56. Woxland, supra note 17 at 116. See also Virginia Huck, The Many Words of Homer P. Clark 113 (1980), quoted in Surrency, supra note 44 at 49.

 57. West Publishing Company encountered many strong competitors, but its regional reporters, along with its other reporters gave it comprehensive nation-wide coverage that eventually forced its competitors out of business. Id. Twelve years after the publication of West's "Syllabi" it could describe itself as "one of the largest publishing houses of any kind in the country." Woxland, supra note 17 at 116, quoting Stahl, Giant with a Low Profile, 10 Corp. Rep. 40 (Feb. 1979).

 58. The idea of the case law digest was not created by West Publishing Company. See for a detailed history of the origin of the digest, Surrency, supra note 44 at 111-127.

 59. Many decisions that judges wrote did not enter the classification system. Each state and federal court had rules for what should and should not be published. Yet, even if a decision was available at the court, it was not considered "published" unless it was published in a West Reporter. See, Robert C. Berring, Chaos, Cyberspace and Tradition: Legal Information Transmogrified, 12 Berkeley Tech L.J. 189, 192 (1997).

 60. Review of Lawyer's Reports Annotated, 22 Am. L. Rev., at 922 (1889) in Thomas A. Woxland, supra note 17 at 123.

 61. Grant Gilmore, The Ages of American Law 58-59 (1977).

 62. Id.

 63. "A digest is recognized in legal literature as an index to the points of law found in reported decisions. . . ." See supra note 58.

 64. See generally, Berring, supra note 15 at 22.

 65. The plan's originator, John A. Mallory, joined West's editorial department when the company acquired a smaller competitor. Mallory developed the American Digest Classification Scheme and the original Key Number Digest. See Delgado & Stefanic, supra note 29 at 215.

 66. Berring, supra note 11 at 21.

 67. Surrency, supra note 44 at 122 (footnote omitted).

 68. Id. at 123.

 69. Delgado and Stefanic, supra note 29 at 214. For a detailed history of the development of the American Digest System within the West Publishing Company, see Surrency, supra note 44.

 70. Berring, supra note 11 at 22.

 71. Id.

 72. Id.

 73. Id. at 24.

 74. Id at 22.

 75. Id. There is a presumption that if international materials were organized into a uniform classification scheme, they would become embedded in the law school curriculum through legal research classes, international law classes, moot court competitions and international law reviews. This development would inevitably make the classification system the way to conceptualize the law.

 76. "The whole corpus of legal education is constructed around Dean Langdell's theory that the law library, the place where the law student conducts research, is the laboratory of the law, and the process of legal research has been intertwined with the process of legal reasoning that is still the core of legal pedagogy." Id. at 9.

 77. Id. at 23. See also Geoffrey C. Bowker & Susan Leigh Star, Sorting Things Out: Classification and Its Consequences 108 (1999) ("[Informational] infrastructure does more than make work easier, faster or, more efficient; it changes the very nature of what is understood by work. Such changes always span multiple disciples, industries, and lines of work").

 78. West has been praised for having "been one of the largest factors in extending throughout all parts of this country the knowledge and use of the decisions of all [of the US's] highest courts, both state and federal, and thereby aiding to bring them all into harmony." Thomas A. Woxland, supra note 17 at 123 quoting Rich, The Debt of the Nation to Law Publishers, 30 Case and Comment, 3.5 (Jan. - Feb. 1924).


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