"It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read…."James Madison, Federalist 62
The pursuit of a perfectly detailed understanding of anything eventually loses the truth because one knows too much. Historians, for instance, in their microscopic focus on their craft, once concluded the ancient city of Troy never existed, until Heinrich Schliemann exhumed not only one Troy but seven.
Following the daily churn of statutes passed by legislatures and cases interpreting and reinterpreting them, one could be led to observe, as Mark Twain did of New England weather, that if you don’t like it, just wait a few minutes. But as many of the articles on this page will suggest, the law tends to follow rather fixed patterns. We hope these articles, many about legal outcomes that seem surprising, will suggest the law might be more predictable than you think.