Common Law Lawyers reason, but does what we do make sense (to our civilian law counterparts)? How to argue by analogy in a common law context

I. Presentation Premise It is understood that civil and common law systems vary greatly with respect to their reliance on judicial opinions. And because our fundamental beliefs about the weight and value of judicial opinions inform the manner in which we resolve legal problems, it is disadvantageous to civilian lawyers, trained in Code- and statute-oriented jurisdictions, to assume that they can capitalize fully on their ability to use judicial opinions when arguing to a common law court. II. Presentation Outline A. Introduction to the Common Law System The first portion of this presentation will introduce common law sources of law, in their hierarchy; the doctrine of stare decisis; and precedent. B. Analogical Reasoning and Legal Writing in the Common Law Context The second portion will involve specific instruction on analogical reasoning; how to apply judicial opinions in the common law context; and how to communicate that analysis to a common law court. III. How Attendees Might Benefit from the Presentation A. Civilian lawyers and students can attend in order to better understand the common law legal system and its members, as well as learn how to advocate within that system. B. Both civilian and common law professors can learn teaching approaches to sources of law, analogical reasoning, and legal writing. C. Common law lawyers and students can improve their own legal writing and analysis skills.