Bench & Bar

JAN 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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| JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 6 T he title of this valuable book may summon the image of scholars scrawl - ing with quills at rolltop desks in a windowless Frankfort warren. But what the reader gets are deft sketches of 13 substantial actors in Kentucky's early history who also happened to have reported appellate cases. ey are brought to life by Mr. Metzmeier, who is professor of legal bibliography and assistant librarian at the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law. Modern legal publishing is the work of a few dominant companies who bring most reported and much "unreported" American law to all who can manage a few keystrokes and the price of a subscription, or their bar dues. e evolution of the common law from its earliest days in England at the time of the Norman Conquest until Kentucky was granted statehood in 1791 is the subject of a learned introduction by Prof. Metzmeier. e reporting of the common law was assigned by statute to specified individuals when Kentucky was beginning the development of its courts and legal procedure. e 'law reporters' in the title are given nicknames to help fix them as individuals in the mind of the reader. In the post-Revolutionary era, the feeling of some American patriots against the English crown was still running high when the question was raised of whether any deference at all was to be accorded English common law. "Why should the states be governed by British laws?" queried Benjamin Austin, a Boston pamphleteer, in 1786. BOOK REVIEW

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