Document Type



Book Review: Cases and Materials on Trusts and Estates, 43 Yale Law Journal 1348 (1934)


THIS important and novel casebook by an experienced authority has already received, both before and after final publication, the widespread attention which it clearly deserves. It is obviously the product of intelligent original hypotheses, tested by classroom experience, and of much careful and constructive thought and industry. The difficulties usually inherent in casebook construction have been greatly increased by the ambitious magnitude of the task. One may imagine the expenditure of time and effort required by the formulation of the plan, the writing of text material, the construction of the unusually extensive and detailed notes, and the briefing of many of the cases used. At least those who have written casebooks themselves will appreciate the significance in this respect of Mr. Powell's statement that "fully three-quarters of the thirty-five hundred cases referred to in these two volumes have sufficient given of their facts and results to enable the student to appraise their contributions."l The book obviously deserves respect. Beyond that, it is alive and significant in its novelty. It is too early to predict its influence upon instruction in the field. The value and utility of any casebook of course depends in large measure upon the instructor using it, and upon the objectives and curricular arrangements of his school. It will be interesting to see how many will wish to follow in the classroom the trail that Mr. Powell has blazed; I am not at present convinced that I would want to do so. But this book, even if it is not actually adopted by a teacher, should at least interest or disturb him and provoke reexamination of his own existing postulates. And the teaching profession should welcome such a constructive attempt to demonstrate that there may be a route through this particular area of the law that is more lifelike and stimulating than the care- fully cultivated paths of the traditional scheme. For the present, however, a reviewer can only state his personal reactions.

Date of Authorship for this Version


Included in

Law Commons