International Law

Levasseur's "Louisiana Pocket Civil Code" Praised for Accessibility in RIDC Review!

LexisNexis'  "Louisiana Pocket Civil Code" has recently received high praise for its overall utility and accessiblity in a review published in the prestigious Revue Internationale de Droit Comparé.  The reviewer, Nabil Mouaffak, sees the Louisiana Pocket Civil Code as  destined for rapid adoption by practitioners, judges, students and other members of the legal profession alike because of its detailed yet efficient presentation of the Code itself.

Prof. Alain Levasseur approached LexisNexis' custom publishing arm some years back with a proposal to develop a series of short texts on the main subject areas of the Louisiana Civil Code for use by students, and this project resulted in the publication of the Louisiana Précis Series.  This series includes several volumes each dedicated to a particular topic covered by the Civil Code and, in the standard Civilian manner, sets forth the doctrinal analysis, the legislative and historical background, and jurisprudential developments of the topic as embodied in the articles of the Civil Code .  One key part of Prof. Levasseur's vision for these volumes was to introduce a streamlined and portable version of the complete Louisiana Civil Code to accompany the Précis Series.  This would enable students to view the Code in its essence and to appreciate its linguistic style and elegant construction that contribute to its holistic structure for regulating the affairs of individuals living in society.

The French legal publishing tradition had evolved  versions of the French Civil Code that, while  maintaining  a pocket handbook size, nonetheless had become quite swollen over the years with  legislative and jurisprudential apparatus - resulting in small, but very thick, tomes. Prior editions of the Louisiana Civil Code by other publishers, while following the content format of the French Code Civil, were uniformly conceived as library research editions, replete with legislative history, and citations to related statutes and/or case law, and accompanied by extensive concordance tables.  While suitable for in-depth legal research, such versions of the Code, being large, heavy, and expensive, were not very practical volumes for use in a courtroom, or in  a classroom, or even around negotiating table or desk for that matter, and in recent decades such editions began to require two hefty volumes even in paperback format .

For judges and lawyers  and those already versed in Louisiana law, while reference to the Civil Code is a sine qua non of practice, wading through columns of legislative history and citation apparatus to find the elegant  structure and flow of the Code's own articles - being the actual law itself - is not always necessary.  For Prof. Levasseur, who began his law practice with the multinational firm of Mudge, Rose, Guthrie & Alexander, a streamlined version of the Louisiana Civil Code appeared to be the obvious  and practical answer. 

In addition to the obvious utility of the Louisiana Pocket Civil Code, the Précis Series will also have appeal to members of the Bench and Bar.  While envisioned initially for the academic market, Louisiana practitioners will be reminded by the Précis Series of the old Claitor's Law Publishing paperback textbooks they used during their days in law school.  Practitioners should find the new  Series more succinct and to the point and a useful reference for more nuanced reasoning and argumentation. 

Indeed, the overall utility of the Louisiana Précis Series extends far beyond the borders of the 18th State of the Union. 

The combination of an accessible version of this key piece of comprehensive legislation combined with detailed explanatory doctrinal analysis of its principal juridical institutions makes the Louisiana Précis Series the perfect set of textbooks for a course in comparative law for use in law schools of any English-speaking jurisdiction.

 From the moment of its first introduction by LexisNexis, the Louisiana Pocket Civil Code has attracted considerable attention.  Introduced at the Bicentennial Conference on the Louisiana Digest of 1808, held at Tulane University in New Orleans in November, 2008, several hundred copies were sold.  Copies of the 2010 Louisiana Pocket Civil Code are available on the LexisNexis' bookstore accessible from this site.

The review of Nabil Mouaffak appears at  1-2010 Revue Internationale de Droit Comparé 176. Please click on the link at the top of the post to view or download the review in .pdf form







Levasseur PCC Review RIDC compte rendu Code.pdf