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A primer; a book explaining the basics, fundamentals, or rudiments of any science or branch of knowledge. The phrase hornbook law is a colloquial designation of the rudiments or general principles of law.

A colloquial reference to a series of textbooks that review various fields of law in summary, narrative form, as opposed to casebooks, which are designed as primary teaching tools and include many reprints of court opinions.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


(US) a student textbook, as opposed to a treatise for practitioners.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
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[section] 78u-4(e)(l); HAZEN HORNBOOK, supra note 3, at 284 (rev.
[section] 78u-4(e)(2); HAZEN HORNBOOK, supra note 3, at 284 (rev.
1021, 1026; see also Hazen Hornbook, supra note 3, at 185 (rev.
All needs must there begin, that would be wise, Nor let them fall under Discouragement, Who at their hornbook stick, and time hath spent, Upon that A.
The item called The British Battledore (dimensions 14.3 x 8.2 cm) is, in fact, a hornbook printed on thick cardboard and contains exactly the same text described above, though enlarged and bordered on all four sides by illustrations for each of the capital letters of the alphabet.
The Hornbooks of Rita K marks a radical departure from Kroetsch's Collected Field Notes, reissued last year by the University of Alberta Press, even as his sensibility remains postmodern and multivocal.
In The Hornbooks of Rita K his story develops by accretion, or the slow process of sedimentation, as Raymond shuffles Rita's poems and his commentary into piles.
If Collected Field Notes marked a slow lapse into the poet's silence, The Hornbooks of Rita K marks a welcome return of one of Canada's foremost poets.
Popular hornbooks get cited in legal briefs and court decisions.
Typically, a commentary or hornbook is cited as support for the existence of a given rule.
Those of us who have written hornbooks have been tempted in moments of difficulty to take the easy way out, making strategic use of the maxim: "[W]hat the legal system cannot answer it organizes."(42) Faced with difficulties in synthesis or in the search for animating principles, authors of books conveying information in detail can use the process of organizing that detail as a dodge.
When it displaced the apprenticeship system, its purpose was to standardize the teaching of substantive and procedural law through a uniform core curriculum, originally based on the reading of hornbooks and treatises and later focused almost exclusively on the study of appellate opinions.(14) In time, law school courses gained a distinctive intellectual content, which consisted of a style of analytical reasoning that was deemed to be central to law and that came to be described in the phrase "thinking like a lawyer."(15)