William and Mary Law School

Civil Procedure

Melanie on Civ Proby Melanie Lazor, 1L

An Illustrated Guide to Civil Procedure

Michael P. Allen and Michael Finch
KF8840 .A74 2011

This guide is different from almost all the other study materials I looked at. The entire book is one big store of a lawsuit that you’ll be representing in court. Each chapter deals with a separate part of the litigation process, beginning with pleadings all the way through judgment. It really helps to give you a big picture hypothetical and shows how each piece fits together with everything else. It really helps to give a greater understanding of the whole process, which seems to make things easier when you’re looking at things closer up. Overall, it definitely isn’t going to help you outline, but it’s probably worth a look if you have the time and want to really see the pieces all fit together.

Civil Procedure (7th ed.)

Jack Friedenthal and Arthur Miller
KF8840 .F73 2008
Sum & Substance: Quick Review Series

The Sum & Substance book is very helpful for complicated topics that I didn’t understand. In some of the review sections, it gave pictures and diagrams that allow you to visualize what is happening, proceeding in a way that words alone weren’t working for me. Everything is clear and concise and not overly confusing, which can easily happen in this course. I also found helpful that this book too the time to explain the concepts were expected to just really understand, that are vital to understand further topics on civil procedure. This book doesn’t have any hypos, though, so use this for outlining or just basic comprehension!

Civil Procedure (7th ed.)

Joseph W. Glannon
KF8840 .G58 2013
Examples & Explanations Series

The E&E likely won’t help you create an outline, but it’s the perfect way to prepare for a Civil Procedure exam after you feel like you’ve mastered most of the material. There are chapters followed by hypos and then explanations for them. You can quickly review a topic if you need to and then easily test yourself. The information in the chapters is thorough, but not overwhelming, and the number of hypos is just great practice to get used to how your exam is going to work.

Civil Procedure (9th ed.)

Kevin M. Clermont
KF8841 .C56 2012
Black Letter Outlines

The Black Letter seems to be a very useful resource. First, there is an appendix at the back that gives the page number that every statute, federal rule, and amendment that applies to any topic in civil procedure is mentioned, so if you’re confused on any of those, it’s super easy to get to that topic. There are also helpful charts throughout the book to give you a better explanation of other complex rules and what process you should follow. The actual reading of the book gives you enough to detail to know what’s happening, but it doesn’t bog you down in things that aren’t as important. It would likely be an excellent resource to help you with your outline because of this. There are also multiple-choice questions at the end of every section to really make sure you understood what you read. It also gives you a practice examination at the end that would give you an idea of what to expect on an actual exam, where there are different topics being tested in a single question. Overall, this book has everything to help you prepare.

Questions and Answers: Civil Procedure (3rd ed.)

William V. Dorsaneo and Elizabeth G. Thornburg
KF8841 .D67 2012
Questions & Answers Series

The title says it all. This book gives you questions and answers. They are divided by topic and sometimes questions lead into further questions, but there isn’t any significant notes to help you learn the topics. I think this would be a great resource after you feel comfortable with the material to test your knowledge, but it’s not great to pick up before your outline is finished and you’re just polishing you knowledge.

Inside Civil Procedure: What Matters and Why 

Howard M. Erichson
KF8841 .E75 2009
Inside the Law Series

I found this book a little bit difficult to navigate. To find specific topics, you actually have to go to the section it’s about and look at the outline. After that, the book is pretty good. There are a lot of visuals throughout it, like charts, pictures, and biographies that may or not be important. It’s almost like a high school textbook in that way. It does give a nice overview of the topics covered, but it isn’t really detailed enough if you’re interested in the nitty gritty. It’s nice for the big picture and nice to get topics to sort through with your outline. The pictures are also useful if that’s the way you learn. The nicest thing in my opinion about this book is that it lists the rules covered on the pages in a separate green box in the middle of the page to draw your attention to it so you really can’t miss the topic you’re covering. Finally, each chapter finished with a “connections” section that helps to show you how the topic you covered could fit together with other topics in civil procedure, giving you nice linkages to work with later.

Civil Procedure Lectures on Audio CD

Richard D. Freer
KF8841 .F34 2009 AUDIO
Law School Legends Series

This is not for the average person. The CD lectures are long, but it could be worth it if you struggle learning from a book and need a different lecturer’s perspective. The CDs come with an outline that you can follow along with so you aren’t overly confused, but at the same time, it is very time consuming to listen to the CDs. They cover good information and spell things out a little bit differently than my class did, which can be very helpful, if you have the time. The outline they provide would probably be a great starting point for your own, though!

The Glannon Guide to Civil Procedure (2nd ed.)

Joseph W. Glannon
KF8841 .G59 2009
Glannon Guide Series

Short and sweet. You aren’t going to get bogged down in detail if you don’t understand something, and you can quickly review topics that you’re struggling with. It isn’t organized in a way that I think would he helpful in outlining, though. It would likely be a lot better for exam prep and making sure you understand all the topics on a basic level. There are multiple choice questions to check your learning and an analysis in each question of why the choices were right or not, which is helpful if you’re struggling, and also tests your skills at knowing the information in context, but it isn’t really helpful beyond that in terms of outlining. Come with some knowledge or knowledge of what your weaknesses are and then you can really perfect it with this book.

Acing Civil Procedure (3rd ed.)

A. Benjamin Spencer
KF8841 .S654 2011
Acing Series

Every section here starts with a very brief review of the information you should know to understand the section. The nicest feature of this book, though, is the checklists that the sections contain. It outlines the process you will go through when you encounter each problem, giving you both yes or no options to the questions asked, to lead you down the path you would take. It is invaluable if you’re confused about when things happen or in what situations. It’s ready-made to outline by giving the scenarios and telling you how’d they work. It’s very applicable in a hypothetical. There are also hypos in sections to help you apply what you’ve learned further. I highly recommend looking at this when you’re outlining, because it really gives you a nice guide to understand how things work together in practice in a way that isn’t hidden in long sentences.