Here are five books I use all the time that every Maryland personal injury lawyer should have:
- Pleading Causes of Action in Maryland, by Paul Mark Sandler & James K. Archibald. This has the elements of just about every imaginable cause of action and sample Complaints. It is a great aid for drafting suits and includes cites to the relevant law. I can’t think of a reference book I use more than this one.
- Maryland Rules Commentary, by Paul V. Niemayer & Linda M. Schuett. I find this to be invaluable for motions practice, both discovery-related and otherwise. The authors were both very involved in the drafting of the Maryland Rules, so this work offers valuable commentary about how the Rules work. I have found that just about every court in Maryland considers this to be very persuasive authority for anything to do with the application of the Maryland Rules.
- Maryland Automobile Accident Deskbook, Editors: Debora Fajer-Smith & H. Patrick Donohue. This is a great resource for lawyers who handle auto accident injury cases. It is a great place to begin legal research and has the law organized by common factual situations. If the answer you need isn’t already in here, it almost always has a few relevant cites to use as a starting point.
- David Ball on Damages: The Essential Update, by David Ball, Ph.D. Every Plaintiff’s lawyer should read this book. It is full of useful ideas on presenting damages proof to juries, including tips on weaving the theme of damages throughout every phase of the trial. If you try injury cases in front of juries, you need to read this. I really can’t say enough about how useful this book is- if you are a plaintiff’s lawyer and you haven’t read this, you are trying cases at a disadvantage. (2019 Update: Clearly, Reptile by Ball and Keenan adds to and slightly modifies this book.)
- Appellate Practice for the Maryland Lawyer: State and Federal: Paul Mark Sandler & Andrew D. Levy, Editors. Many lawyers handle appeals only occasionally. This book has all the important rules collected in one place, and excellent descriptions of the inner workings of Maryland’s state and federal appellate courts. Even though the best course of action is always to read the rules yourself, this book is a great way to get a head start on what may be unfamiliar material.
I am sure there are a ton of useful reference books I have forgotten, but these are the five I use the most. If anyone has suggestions for other really useful works, send me a comment!