Individual Authors FAQ

What should I do?

Getting started is easy.  Just download the Individual Author Book Proposal Form on the right-hand column of this page. 

Then fill out the form and email it to all three co-chairs of the board:

Sarah Forbes Orwig, Executive Editor, ABA Book Publishing

What is the Litigation Book Publishing Board?

We are a unit of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation. We have been publishing legal books as part of ABA Book Publishing since 1976. Sales help support the Section’s not-for-profit activities on behalf of its members (more than 50,000 lawyers) and the legal profession.  Our mission is to develop and publish practical books to help lawyers improve their litigation practice.

What kinds of authors do you publish?

Our authors are drawn both from private practice and law school faculty. They typically have a high reputation in their fields or are moving strongly toward establishing one.  

  • On the academic side, our authors include:

    • Michael E. Tigar, Professor of the Practice of Law, Emeritus, Duke University School of Law
    • Paul Rice, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law
    • James W. McElhaney, Baker & Hostetler Distinguished Scholar in Trial Practice and Joseph C. Hostetler Professor Emeritus of Trial Practice and Advocacy at Case Western Reserve University School of Law
    • Henry Hecht, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley School of Law
    • Stephen D. Easton, Dean and Professor of Law, University of Wyoming College of Law
    • Susan J. Becker, Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
  • Our authors also include many prominent practicing litigators, such as:

    • James K. Archibald, Chief Litigation Counsel, Wm. T. Burnett & Co.; Of Counsel, Venable LLP.
    • David Berg, founding partner, Berg & Androphy
    • Edna Selan Epstein (now retired), author of the classic best-selling legal treatise, The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine
    • Mark Herrmann, Chief Counsel of Litigation and Vice President, Aon Corp.; former partner, Jones Day
    • Gregory P. Joseph, Gregory P. Joseph Law Offices LLC
    • Christopher T. Lutz, partner, Steptoe & Johnson
    • Mark Paul Sandler, partner, Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler
    • Kirstin L. Stoll-DeBell, partner, Merchant & Gould

What makes the ABA’s Litigation Book Publishing Board different from other legal publishers?

We believe it is very important to assist legal authors by offering careful individual guidance at every stage of the writing process.  After your proposal is accepted, we are available to help as you further refine your good idea and your planned table of contents.  We will provide feedback as your draft progresses, and we are always ready to answer questions or serve as a sounding board.  The development editor assigned to your book typically will be a practicing or former litigator who does this work pro bono from a love of books and a desire to serve the profession.

What compensation would I receive as an author?

We provide the standard royalty in the legal publishing industry.

For authors whose law firms prohibit accepting earned income outside the firm, we offer alternatives.  One option is to designate a third party such as the author’s favorite charity to receive the royalties.  For authors who want a supply of their own books to distribute for their own purposes, another alternative is for us to provide you with an agreed number of complimentary copies in lieu of a monetary royalty.

What other benefits would I receive as an author?

Publishing a book under the aegis of the American Bar Association raises the professional profile of a practicing lawyer or academic.  Beyond this, we offer opportunities for our authors to speak on their topic as presenters at ABA CLE teleconferences or as part of an expert panel at live events.

What kinds of books are you looking for?

We are interested in any book for litigators that is practical and well written—especially books that are innovative, “cutting edge,” or especially timely in some way.  The subject matter does not need to be intended solely for litigators, but it does need to be something that litigators will find useful in their work.
If you look at our list of books in print, you can get a sense of the range we currently offer.  These books mostly fall into one or more of five broad categories:

1. Books on litigation practice of interest to all litigators.  
    This category includes books on various aspects of pretrial and trial practice, from drafting a complaint to delivering a closing argument.  Some such books are designed for beginners; more offer useful tips for midlevel and veteran litigators.

    An example of a book for beginners is Chasing Paper: The Keys to Learning about and Loving Discovery.  Books for more experienced litigators include:  Managing E-Discovery and ESI: From Pre-Litigation Through Trial; The Trial Lawyer: What It Takes To Win; Attacking Adverse Experts; Effective Depositions; Discovery from Current and Former Employees; Civil RICO: A Definitive Guide; and Injunctive Relief: Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunctions.

2. Books for litigators in specific fields of litigation practice
    Some examples: Environmental Litigation; Employment Litigation; and Model Jury Instructions: Copyright, Trademark & Trade Dress Litigation

3. Books on alternative dispute resolution of practical interest to litigators.
    An example from this category is Alternative Dispute Resolution: The Litigator’s Handbook.

4. Practical treatises on areas of law that are useful both for litigators and a broader range of lawyers.
    The major and most successful example: Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work-Product Doctrine, which is now in its fifth edition.

5. Books that entertain while educating litigators and other lawyers.
    Two great examples: The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law and McElhaney's Trial Notebook.

    In listing the examples above, our intention is to provide jumping-off points for your innovation and creativity as a legal author—not to limit the possibilities

Resources for Individual Authors


FAQ for Individual Authors

Advice on Style

Book Proposal Form: Litigation