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New York Law Journal Marks Hamilton Bicentennial with Publication of `Practical Proceedings,' Nation's First Legal Manual.

NEW YORK -- The New York Law Journal(R) (NYLJ) today announced the publication of a neglected work by Alexander Hamilton that represents the first manual for practicing lawyers ever written in America. Unable to find a handbook on legal practice and procedure to guide his studies for the bar following the Revolutionary War, Hamilton wrote one himself that proved so complete and accurate that modern legal scholars have found only eight minor errors in the entire 40,000-word work. This year marks the bicentennial of Hamilton's death, following his fatal duel with Aaron Burr.

"Practical Proceedings in the Supreme Court of the State of New York" is based on a 177-page manuscript, in an unknown hand, given to the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. The volume is believed to be a copy made by a contemporary of Hamilton. Hamilton's original has never been found. The book includes a foreword covering Hamilton's life and achievements, written by Willard Sterne Randall, award-winning author of the biography "Alexander Hamilton, A Life."

"The manual, never before independently published, offers a unique portrait of the earliest American law practice, in all of its sophistication and complexity, during the transition from English to American law," said George M. Dillehay, publisher of the NYLJ. "Copies will be distributed, free of charge, to law schools, state and federal courts, and bar associations and societies throughout the state, by the New York Law Journal and will be available for sale on"

"This rescue of one of Alexander Hamilton's forgotten contributions to American law is a wonderful idea. Lawyers and everyone interested in the law will read it with fascination," added Thomas Fleming, author of "Duel: Alexander Hamilton, Aaron Burr and the Future of America."

After distinguished service in the army under Washington, Hamilton passed his bar examination, becoming one of only thirty-five lawyers in New York City when he opened his practice on Maiden Lane. He suspended his law business for nearly a year to campaign for ratification of the Constitution and authored fifty-six of the eighty- five Federalist Papers, generally regarded as the greatest commentary on the Constitution and federalism ever written. Hamilton became the first Secretary of the Treasury, rescuing the young nation from a sea of debt and later emerged as the leader of the Federalist Party, forerunner of today's Republican Party.

For additional information on Hamilton's "Practical Proceedings," priced at $24.95, or to order a copy, please contact Michael Bennett at (212) 454-6029, e-mail or visit

Founded in 1888, the NYLJ is the oldest and largest circulation regional legal newspaper in the nation. The New York Law Journal is published by American Lawyer Media, Inc. (ALM), the nation's leading legal journalism and information company.

Headquartered in New York City, ALM is a leading integrated media company, focused on the legal industry. ALM currently owns and publishes 34 national and regional legal magazines and newspapers, including The American Lawyer(R) and The National Law Journal(R). ALM's is the Web's leading legal news and information network. ALM's other businesses include book, custom and newsletter publishing, court verdict and settlement reporting, production of legal trade shows and conferences, educational seminars and distribution of content related to the legal industry. ALM was formed by U.S. Equity Partners, L.P., a private equity fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP. More information on ALM and its business and services is available on the Web at
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 9, 2004
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