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The costs to practitioners

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Not too long ago, I told you about the costs to practice law in this jurisdiction. This week, I received an email from John Pethick, representative for Wildy and Sons introducing another book, the Caribbean Civil Court Practice dubbed the “Blue Book” by Lexius Nexis. This blue book is supposed to be the essential guide to CPR 2000, which every practitioner must have to practice Civil Law.{{more}} This blue book is the second edition and it is advertised at a cost of 184.20 pounds plus carriage, three years after the 1st edition (dated 2008). The book will be available in August this year and the representative promised to provide more information.

Blue print

The area’s representative offered us his good news as he claims that he is happy to announce that the errors in the first edition have been corrected in the 2nd edition. After books have been printed, readers reported errors they discovered. I bought the 1st edition of the Caribbean Civil Court Practice but correction of errors has not been reported to me. So a book that is a “blue print” is found to have errors after publication and three years after I bought it there is an announcement that there will be a second edition on the market with some improvements. No consideration is given to correcting the mistakes and making the corrections available to me as a purchaser of the 1st edition. The purchasers must buy the second edition. If you make mistakes and persons have bought the books, there should be a moral duty to correct the mistakes and have them available free of costs to the purchasers, not offer for sale another book in which you make a claim that there are improvements.

As purchasers, we should hold the sellers to certain standards because it is always the purchasers who suffer. Some manufacturing companies would recall certain items if they are defective. It is only book companies that are allowed to get away with these practices by offering improvements in the next edition. Like other items, books should be recalled and the purchasers should be offered the new edition perhaps at a reduced price or the corrections should be offered to those who purchased the first edition.

Book life

Book life is very short and new ideas are surfacing every day, but I think three years is much too short for the life of a book, especially a “blue print”. I have heard the same complaint in relation to textbooks from parents. Some times the improvement is not substantial but there is no reduced cost to persons who bought the previous edition.

A candid question

Would this be the case with the new laws (2009 edition) of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines? We have just been offered a new set of laws at a cost of EC$10,600.00. Do we have to wait for the 2nd edition for the correct version if mistakes are found? I hope not because this is too much money to go down the drain. I was alarmed at the announcement of the second edition of the Caribbean Civil Court Practice because I purchased the book only three years ago and it is not my desire to buy a new one so soon. Obviously no one wants to use outdated or incorrect information and there is always the desire to buy the latest edition, but to discard my recent purchase for another so soon is beyond comprehension.

Ada Johnson is a solicitor and barrister-at-law.
E-mail address is: [email protected]

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