Q 3. Do the existence of all of these differences mean that law students always should go and read the original unedited versions of all of the cases that they are assigned to read from the casebook?

Certainly not! There simply are not enough hours in the day for most students to be able to do this, even if they wanted to. In most basic law classes studied during the first year of law school, students can generally trust that the cases in their casebooks have been edited in such a manner as to teach them the basic legal rules and doctrines, and to provide examples of various different kinds of legal arguments and analyses, without too much undue “indoctrination” as to particular legal philosophies.

However, at the same time, you are being trained to ALWAYS THINK CRITICALLY. So, whenever you do encounter relevant questions that you cannot “answer” by simply reading the case as edited in your casebook, then occasionally it still may be appropriate to go and at least look at the actual unedited version of the opinion. Sometimes, doing so will clarify your understanding of the legal issue(s) in the case (in which event the additional time spent in reading the unedited version of the case may actually save you time and frustration in the long run). Nevertheless, for most all of your normal casebook assignments in Torts (as well as most other first-year law classes) a critical reading and analysis of the edited version of the assigned case from your casebook will be quite sufficient to enable you to gain a proper understanding of the various legal issue(s) presented by that case.

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