Delia Venables’ Internet Newsletter for Lawyers has a new look and is now produced jointly with Nick Holmes of infolaw.
It costs money, so many readers will say there is enough to read out there. However, it’s always excellent and now it has the advantage that a glimpse of the contents can be seen by non-lawyers.
An article on Web 2.0 mentioned The Legal Scholarship Network, actually part of the Social Science Research Network (that is, there is not just law there, but several subject areas).
The Legal Scholarship Network, a joint project hosted by Stanford Law School and the European Corporate Governance Institute, provides an open facility to upload and catalogue legal research and position papers on legislation and other issues. Currently the site holds more than 75,000 papers. There have been almost 10 million downloads to date. Clearly there is a demand for collaborative expertise and perhaps this is how Web 2.0 may be used by lawyers.
I downloaded a couple of papers, including Hill, Claire A. and King, Christopher, “How Do German Contracts Do As Much With Fewer Words?” . Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 79, p. 889, 2004 Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=596668.
This paper presents quite a positive view of German contracts in contrast with American, and to some extent also English, contracts:
Contrast these two standard forms of a forum selection clause:
American Clause: The exclusive forum for the resolution of any dispute under or arising out of this agreement shall be the courts of general jurisdiction of ___ and both parties submit to the jurisdiction of such courts. The parties waive all objections to such forum based on forum non conveniens.
German Clause: Ausschließlicher Gerichtsstand ist ___.
Contrast these two boilerplate phrases:
American clause: including but not limited to.
German Clause: insbesondere.
Contrast these two clauses on scope of agency:
English Clause: The [Agent] agrees that the [Principal] shall at its sole discretion be able to accept or reject any order obtained by the [Agent] for any reason including poor credit rating of the client, bad payment record,
unavailability of materials or textiles, [and] conflict of interest with existing clients. The [Agent] shall not be entitled to receive any payment for any order so rejected.
German Clause: Es steht dem Unternehmer frei, ein vom Handelsvertreter vermitteltes Geschäft anzuschließen oder abzulehnen.
38 pages of discussion of differences and their sources and effects. Some of what a search on ‘German law’ threw up.