I've reviewed several legal dictionary apps for the iPhone and iPad — Black's Law Dictionary, Barron's Law Dictionary, Nolo's Plain English Law Dictionary, the Book of Jargon series by Latham & Watkins — but considering that dictionaries were traditionally books, it makes sense that an ebook dictionary could be just as useful on the iPhone and iPad as an app. Proof of this is found in the Louisiana Civil Law Dictionary, an ebook by Chalmette, Louisiana attorney Gregory Rome and Houston, Texas attorney Stephan Kinsella. You can purchase this ebook in several formats including Kindle and Nook, and this review is based on the iBooks version of the ebook. The book is published by ebook publisher Quid Pro Books, the brainchild of Tulane Law Professor Alan Childress. Prof. Childress sent me a free review copy a few weeks ago.
As you may know, unlike the other 49 states where the law is based on English common law, the law here in Louisiana is based on civil law from jurisdictions such as France. That means that we have concepts in Louisiana that are very similar to common law concepts but have different names (e.g. "liberative prescription" instead of "statute of limitation"), plus we have many civil law concepts that are unique to Louisiana. Black's Law Dictionary does a decent job with some civil law terms, but a dedicated source like the one has the ability to offer more ... and I was impressed by this book.
The Louisiana Civil Law Dictionary includes all of the civil law terms that I use in my practice and a bunch more that were new to me. (I may have learned some of them when I took the bar exam back in 1994, but that space in my brain has long since been replaced by other knowledge.) The definitions are clear and complete, and the book includes lots of hyperlinks that make it easy to jump around in the book. Plus it is easy to slide the marker at the bottom of this ebook to jump to different sections.
Being an iBook, it also works fine on the iPhone:
Like all iBooks, you can also search for words in the book, which is helpful in a dictionary.
If you practice law in Louisiana, or if you just want to impress your friends with legal terms that almost sound naughty such "naked owner" and "usufruct," then consider getting this ebook for your iPad and iPhone.
Click here to get Louisiana Civil Law Dictionary ($9.99) [Kindle version]