Showing posts from April, 2018

My Embarrassing Textbooks

In law school the books students buy for classes are called casebooks not textbooks.  Why?  Because  they’re filled with reprinted decisions from various courts, accompanied by textual explanations, diagrams, and/or quotations from articles or books.  I now have written seven casebooks since 1980, all of them still alive in newer forms since their original publication.  My casebook on Commercial Law is in its eleventh edition; the one with the smallest number of editions is Debtor and Creditor Law (largely bankruptcy), only in its sixth edition.  This blog post explains how I got into writing casebooks and why my books have a certain reputation that causes some experts to turn up their noses when those Whaley books are mentioned. One of the courses I taught when I first walked into a law school classroom (January of 1970) was Commercial Paper (sometimes called “Negotiable Instruments”), which deals with checks and promissory notes.  It is largely governed by a compli

A Bucket List Checkoff: Playing a Man Named Beverly in “August Osage County”

It’s the opening night for SRO’s production of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning dark comedy “August: Osage County” here in Columbus, Ohio.   In just a few hours I will appear in the opening scene and perform a ten minute monologue (interrupted by occasional dialogue with two other characters), and then I will be done.   My part is the patriarch in an Oklahoma family who gives the little talk that is delivered in the Prologue to the three act play.   Then he commits suicide and the rest of the show involves his large family trying to figure out why.   The character is named Beverly Weston (yes, “Beverly” is a man’s name in various parts of the United States and Great Britain), and his character is what Alfred Hitchcock called a “McGuffin”: something in the plot that the characters care about but the audience does not. [See for more; I think it’s interesting that the bars that are in the lobby of some AMC movie houses are na