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About the Book

JumpStart: Torts Reading and Understanding Tort Cases

Ross Sandler, New York Law School


2012. 170 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-0939-5.

About the Book

JumpStart is a new study aid series covering the first-year course areas.  Each title in the series addresses the problems students experience as they navigate their first year courses in which they are expected to learn substantive law by reading judicial opinions (the focus of first year reading assignments) but are not given a framework or process that would help them comprehend what they are reading. Students are expected to know substantive rules concerning legal issues and how to apply the rules in a litigation context without proper preparation. 
Titles in the series can be used as an introduction to law school generally or as introduction to torts. The books would be most useful early in the first semester as well as in orientation “courses” or as summer reading for students entering their first year of law school; they will appeal to academic success/support coordinators as well as the course-area professors.  
Ross Sandler is the series editor.  His JumpStart: Torts is the first title in the series. 

Features include:

  • Detailed step-by-step approach of the various stages of litigation used by lawyers in litigation, beginning with stating a theory of the case, moving through determining fact issues and making motions to receiving the holding of the case
  • Legal reasoning and the litigation process taught via numerous judicial opinions with analysis
  • Judicial opinions and analyses that are comprehensible without in-class explanation 
  • Straightforward, clear, and informal writing style
  • Class-tested
  • Pedagogical features that support learning and facilitate use
Chapter 1:  a glossary of the terms, idioms, and procedures encountered in reading cases in tort law.  Note: Each book in the series will begin with this feature designed to familiarize students with the language they will encounter in the specific course area.

Line art: many of the judicial opinions are accompanied by an artist-drawn “cartoon” that illustrates the conflict or issue of the case. 

Judicial opinions that deal with ordinary situations, do not have complex fact patterns, are short and easy to read, and apply settled rules of law and principles. 

Practice Exam: Chapter 10 provides a clear explanation of how to approach the typical torts essay exam question as well as insight into the approach professors take in grading exams.  The chapter ends with a practice essay question.  Two sample answers are included: a strong answer and a weaker answer.  Each answer includes notes that point out what the student did well and not so well in writing his/her answer.