Coming soon to torts and contracts text books: two law professors have sued West Publishing for releasing a supplement to their text book that wrongly listed them as authors. Professors David Rudovsky of the University of Pennsylvania and Leonard Sosnov of Widener Law School say that the supplement was a poor job and embarrassed them by association. They are demanding an injunction.
At issue is the annual supplement to a treatise on Pennsylvania criminal law, “Pennsylvania Criminal Procedure — Law, Commentary and Forms.” The professors noted that West added only three new cases to the supplement and failed to warn readers of cases overturned by the Supreme Court.
There is bad blood between the publisher and the professors after their compensation was cut in half. The briefs reflexed that animus and the court took West Attorney James Rittinger to task for the vitriol of his brief. Senior U.S. District Judge John P. Fullam, who noted “I’m disheartened by the tone of it — and you seem to be following in that same tone here today.”
The professors are seeking an injunction but West insists that it reserved the right for other authors to do the supplements. The issue, however, is the use of the names of the professors to suggest that they are the authors of a supplement that they consider deficient. Notably, West admits that the supplement was not particularly good work.
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