In this groundbreaking book, Scalia and Garner systematically explain all the most important principles of constitutional, statutory, and contractual interpretation in an engaging and informative style with hundreds of illustrations from actual cases. Is a burrito a sandwich? Is a corporation entitled to personal privacy? If you trade a gun for drugs, are you using a gun in a drug transaction? The authors grapple with these and dozens of equally curious questions while explaining the most principled, lucid, and reliable techniques for deriving meaning from authoritative texts. Meanwhile, the book takes up some of the most controversial issues in modern jurisprudence. What, exactly, is "textualism?" Why is "strict construction" a bad thing? What is the true doctrine of "originalism?" And which is more important: the spirit of the law, or the letter? The authors write with a well-argued point of view that is definitive yet nuanced, straightforward yet sophisticated.
Admirably clear, concise, down-to-earth, and powerful—all too often, legal writing embodies none of these qualities. Its reputation for obscurity and needless legalese is widespread. Since 2001 Bryan A. Garner’s Legal Writing in Plain English has helped address this problem by providing lawyers, judges, paralegals, law students, and legal scholars with sound advice and practical tools for improving their written work. Now the leading guide to clear writing in the field, this indispensable volume encourages legal writers to challenge conventions and offers valuable insights into the writing process that will appeal to other professionals: how to organize ideas, create and refine prose, and improve editing skills. Accessible and witty, Legal Writing in Plain English draws on real-life writing samples that Garner has gathered through decades of teaching experience. Trenchant advice covers all types of legal materials, from analytical and persuasive writing to legal drafting, and the book’s principles are reinforced by sets of basic, intermediate, and advanced exercises in each section. In this new edition, Garner preserves the successful structure of the original while adjusting the content to make it even more classroom-friendly. He includes case examples from the past decade and addresses the widespread use of legal documents in electronic formats. His book remains the standard guide for producing the jargon-free language that clients demand and courts reward.
There is no book of political strategy more canonical than Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince, but few ethicists would advise policymakers to treat it as a bible. The lofty ideals of the law, especially, seem distant from the values that the word "Machiavellian" connotes, and judges are supposed to work above the realm of politics. In The Judge, however, Ronald Collins and David Skover argue that Machiavelli can indeed speak to judges, and model their book after The Prince. As it turns out, the number of people who think that judges in the U.S. are apolitical has been shrinking for decades. Both liberals and conservatives routinely criticize their ideological opponents on the bench for acting politically. Some authorities even posit the impossibility of apolitical judges, and indeed, in many states, judicial elections are partisan. Others advocate appointing judges who are committed to being dispassionate referees adhering to the letter of the law. However, most legal experts, regardless of their leanings, seem to agree that despite widespread popular support for the ideal of the apolitical judge, this ideal is mere fantasy. This debate about judges and politics has been a perennial in American history, but it intensified in the 1980s, when the Reagan administration sought to place originalists in the Supreme Court. It has not let up since. Ronald Collins and David Skover argue that the debate has become both stale and circular, and instead tackle the issue in a boldly imaginative way. In The Judge, they ask us to assume that judges are political, and that they need advice on how to be effective political actors. Their twenty-six chapters track the structure of The Prince, and each provides pointers to judges on how to cleverly and subtly advance their political goals. In this Machiavellian vision, law is inseparable from realpolitik. However, the authors' point isn't to advocate for this coldly realistic vision of judging. Their ultimate goal is identify both legal realists and originalists as what they are: explicitly political (though on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum). Taking its cues from Machiavelli, The Judge describes what judges actually do, not what they ought to do.
The Legal Education Group is proud to announce the creation of a new series built on the tradition of excellence of the world's most widely cited and best-selling legal reference, Black's Law Dictionary. The first book in this new series, A Handbook of Basic Law Terms, includes more than 1,000 key words and phrases with accurate and clear definitions. The Handbook is an essential guide to legal literacy for students, business people, journalists, politicians-anyone who wants to be an informed citizen. The Handbook also includes the full U.S. Constitution and a list of basic law books for easy reference.
Enduring Principles with Supporting Comments from the Literature
Author: Bryan A. Garner
Publisher: West Academic
In this eminently browsable book, Bryan A. Garner has collected and arranged the most important, interesting, and penetrating statements from judges and lawyers about how to conduct an oral argument. Each didactic principle is stated, briefly explained, and then illustrated with quotations from a dazzling array of sources, ancient and modern. Novices and veterans alike will find helpful advice in these pages, which systematically explain the subtleties of the art more lucidly than any previous work has done.
This new Garner title consolidates into one set of covers all the best advice on legislative drafting. Garner elucidates his blackletter principles with statutory rewrites from all 50 states as well as from federal statutes. He demonstrates how legislation can be streamlined, simplified, and clarified. The exmaples show stunning improvements. Commissioned by the Uniform Law Commission, Garner's work here represents another in his string of first-rate reference books. No legislative drafter should be without it. In the back of the book are two model statutes plus a typically poor statute annotated to explain its deficiencies. Also included is a groundbreaking essay on the optimal method for expressing criminal prohibitions. Throughout the book appear shaded boxes containing timeless quotations from leading commentators on legislative drafting from the 18th century to the present day. Together the the book's extensive bibliography, these quotations place Garner's principles into a historical context. They also underscore the degree to which legislative drafters have neglected many long-standing principles of legal drafting. The foreward by Harriet Lansing, president of the Uniform Law Commission, says of Garner's work: "With these Guidelines--with his earlier booklet on court rules--Bryan Garner has made an incomparable contribution to clarity and coherence in the halls of our legislatures, the pages of our statute books, and the everyday world of all people as we try to plan our lives and predict legal consequences."
Created by the Legal Education Group in the tradition of the worlds widely cited and best-selling legal reference, "Blacks Law Dictionary." The second book in a new series, this handbook includes accurate, clear definitions to more than 3,000 business law key words and phrases.
With more than a thousand new entries and more than 2,300 word-frequency ratios, the magisterial fourth edition of this book-now renamed Garner's Modern English Usage (GMEU)-reflects usage lexicography at its finest. Garner explains the nuances of grammar and vocabulary with thoroughness, finesse, and wit. He discourages whatever is slovenly, pretentious, or pedantic. GMEU is the liveliest and most compulsively readable reference work for writers of our time. It delights while providing instruction on skillful, persuasive, and vivid writing. Garner liberates English from two extremes: both from the hidebound "purists" who mistakenly believe that split infinitives and sentence-ending prepositions are malfeasances and from the linguistic relativists who believe that whatever people say or write must necessarily be accepted. The judgments here are backed up not just by a lifetime of study but also by an empirical grounding in the largest linguistic corpus ever available. In this fourth edition, Garner has made extensive use of corpus linguistics to include ratios of standard terms as compared against variants in modern print sources. No other resource provides as comprehensive, reliable, and empirical a guide to current English usage. For all concerned with writing and editing, GMEU will prove invaluable as a desk reference. Garner illustrates with actual examples, cited with chapter and verse, all the linguistic blunders that modern writers and speakers are prone to, whether in word choice, syntax, phrasing, punctuation, or pronunciation. No matter how knowledgeable you may already be, you're sure to learn from every single page of this book.