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Preface

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2012

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Summary

The first edition of this book was an outgrowth of a series of lectures that were given by Professor von Mehren in the fall of 1983 and the spring of 1984 at the University of Ghent, Belgium. Professor von Mehren explained the focus of the book in the Preface to the first edition in the following terms:

A principal focus of my legal scholarship during the last four decades or so has been to compare the Civil Law (especially as expressed in the legal systems of France and Germany) with the Common Law. Only the last three chapters of Law in the United States: A General and Comparative View are fully and explicitly comparative. However, the book as a whole rests on a comparative foundation: The topics selected for discussion are those that seemed to me most basic for a foreign jurist's understanding of the American legal scene. The treatment given each subject seeks to be sensitive to how a jurist not trained in American law – or, more generally, in the Common Law – can most easily find his way in the complex of legal orders that collectively comprise law in the United States.

The book is designed to introduce but to be more than introductory. The matters discussed are of fundamental importance and, on occasion, of considerable difficulty; my effort and hope are not only to impart essential information but also to give basic understanding.

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Law in the United States , pp. xiii - xvi
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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