READING LAW THE INTERPRETATION OF LEGAL TEXTS

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Reading Law

Author : Antonin Scalia
ISBN : 031427555X
Genre : Law
File Size : 42.54 MB
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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.
Category: Law

A Matter Of Interpretation Federal Courts And The Law

Author : Antonin Scalia
ISBN : 1400822173
Genre : Law
File Size : 45.39 MB
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We are all familiar with the image of the immensely clever judge who discerns the best rule of common law for the case at hand. According to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a judge like this can maneuver through earlier cases to achieve the desired aim--"distinguishing one prior case on his left, straight-arming another one on his right, high-stepping away from another precedent about to tackle him from the rear, until (bravo!) he reaches the goal--good law." But is this common-law mindset, which is appropriate in its place, suitable also in statutory and constitutional interpretation? In a witty and trenchant essay, Justice Scalia answers this question with a resounding negative. In exploring the neglected art of statutory interpretation, Scalia urges that judges resist the temptation to use legislative intention and legislative history. In his view, it is incompatible with democratic government to allow the meaning of a statute to be determined by what the judges think the lawgivers meant rather than by what the legislature actually promulgated. Eschewing the judicial lawmaking that is the essence of common law, judges should interpret statutes and regulations by focusing on the text itself. Scalia then extends this principle to constitutional law. He proposes that we abandon the notion of an everchanging Constitution and pay attention to the Constitution's original meaning. Although not subscribing to the "strict constructionism" that would prevent applying the Constitution to modern circumstances, Scalia emphatically rejects the idea that judges can properly "smuggle" in new rights or deny old rights by using the Due Process Clause, for instance. In fact, such judicial discretion might lead to the destruction of the Bill of Rights if a majority of the judges ever wished to reach that most undesirable of goals. This essay is followed by four commentaries by Professors Gordon Wood, Laurence Tribe, Mary Ann Glendon, and Ronald Dworkin, who engage Justice Scalia's ideas about judicial interpretation from varying standpoints. In the spirit of debate, Justice Scalia responds to these critics.
Category: Law

Making Your Case

Author : Antonin Scalia
ISBN : 0314184716
Genre : Law
File Size : 50.52 MB
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Presents the basics of writing legal briefs and giving oral arguments, with discussions on the essentials of building a case through legal reasoning and the key elements of persuasive and successful oral pleading in the courtroom.
Category: Law

Originalism

Author : Steven G. Calabresi
ISBN : 9781596980600
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 83.28 MB
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What did the Constitution mean at the time it was adopted? How should we interpret today the words used by the Founding Fathers? In ORIGINALISM: A QUARTER-CENTURY OF DEBATE, these questions are explained and dissected by the very people who continue to shape the legal structure of our country.This is a lively and fascinating discussion of an issue that has occupied the greatest legal minds in America, and one that continues to elicit strong reactions from both those who support and those who oppose the rule of law. Steven G. Calabresi, co-founder of the Federalist Society and professor of law at Northwestern University School of Law, has compiled an impressive collection of speeches, panel discussions, and debates from some of the greatest and most prominent legal experts of the last twenty-five years.
Category: Political Science

Legal Writing In Plain English Second Edition

Author : Bryan A. Garner
ISBN : 9780226031392
Genre : Law
File Size : 34.7 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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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.
Category: Law

Nino And Me

Author : Bryan A. Garner
ISBN : 1501181513
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 45.88 MB
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From legal expert and veteran author Bryan Garner comes a unique, intimate, and compelling memoir of his friendship with the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. For almost thirty years, Antonin Scalia was arguably the most influential and controversial Justice on the United States Supreme Court. His dynamic and witty writing devoted to the Constitution has influenced an entire generation of judges. Based on his reputation for using scathing language to criticize liberal court decisions, many people presumed Scalia to be gruff and irascible. But to those who knew him as “Nino,” he was characterized by his warmth, charm, devotion, fierce intelligence, and loyalty. Bryan Garner’s friendship with Justice Scalia was instigated by celebrated writer David Foster Wallace and strengthened over their shared love of language. Despite their differing viewpoints on everything from gun control to the use of contractions, their literary and personal relationship flourished. Justice Scalia even officiated at Garner’s wedding. In this humorous, touching, and surprisingly action-packed memoir, Garner gives a firsthand insight into the mind, habits, and faith of one of the most famous and misunderstood judges in the world.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

Reflections On Judging

Author : Richard A. Posner
ISBN : 9780674184657
Genre : Law
File Size : 35.50 MB
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For Richard Posner, legal formalism and formalist judges--notably Antonin Scalia--present the main obstacles to coping with the dizzying pace of technological advance. Posner calls for legal realism--gathering facts, considering context, and reaching a sensible conclusion that inflicts little collateral damage on other areas of the law.
Category: Law

The Winning Brief 100 Tips For Persuasive Briefing In Trial And Appellate Courts

Author : Bryan A. Garner
ISBN : 0199826625
Genre : Law
File Size : 69.18 MB
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Good legal writing wins court cases. It its first edition, The Winning Brief proved that the key to writing well is understanding the judicial readership. Now, in a revised and updated version of this modern classic, Bryan A. Garner explains the art of effective writing in 100 concise, practical, and easy-to-use sections. Covering everything from the rules for planning and organizing a brief to openers that can capture a judge's attention from the first few words, these tips add up to the most compelling, orderly, and visually appealing brief that an advocate can present. In Garner's view, good writing is good thinking put to paper. "Never write a sentence that you couldn't easily speak," he warns-and demonstrates how to do just that. Beginning each tip with a set of quotable quotes from experts, he then gives masterly advice on building sound paragraphs, drafting crisp sentences, choosing the best words ("Strike pursuant to from your vocabulary."), quoting authority, citing sources, and designing a document that looks as impressive as it reads. Throughout, he shows how to edit for maximal impact, using vivid before-and-after examples that apply the basics of rhetoric to persuasive writing. Filled with examples of good and bad writing from actual briefs filed in courts of all types, The Winning Brief also covers the new appellate rules for preparing federal briefs. Constantly collecting material from his seminars and polling judges for their preferences, the second edition delivers the same solid guidelines with even more supporting evidence. Including for the first time sections on the ever-changing rules of acceptable legal writing, Garner's new edition keeps even the most seasoned lawyers on their toes and writing briefs that win cases. An invaluable resource for attorneys, law clerks, judges, paralegals, law students and their teachers, The Winning Brief has the qualities that make all of Garner's books so popular: authority, accessibility, and page after page of techniques that work. If you're writing to win a case, this book shouldn't merely be on your shelf--it should be open on your desk.
Category: Law

Purposive Interpretation In Law

Author : Aharon Barak
ISBN : 9781400841264
Genre : Law
File Size : 82.85 MB
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This book presents a comprehensive theory of legal interpretation, by a leading judge and legal theorist. Currently, legal philosophers and jurists apply different theories of interpretation to constitutions, statutes, rules, wills, and contracts. Aharon Barak argues that an alternative approach--purposive interpretation--allows jurists and scholars to approach all legal texts in a similar manner while remaining sensitive to the important differences. Moreover, regardless of whether purposive interpretation amounts to a unifying theory, it would still be superior to other methods of interpretation in tackling each kind of text separately. Barak explains purposive interpretation as follows: All legal interpretation must start by establishing a range of semantic meanings for a given text, from which the legal meaning is then drawn. In purposive interpretation, the text's "purpose" is the criterion for establishing which of the semantic meanings yields the legal meaning. Establishing the ultimate purpose--and thus the legal meaning--depends on the relationship between the subjective and objective purposes; that is, between the original intent of the text's author and the intent of a reasonable author and of the legal system at the time of interpretation. This is easy to establish when the subjective and objective purposes coincide. But when they don't, the relative weight given to each purpose depends on the nature of the text. For example, subjective purpose is given substantial weight in interpreting a will; objective purpose, in interpreting a constitution. Barak develops this theory with masterful scholarship and close attention to its practical application. Throughout, he contrasts his approach with that of textualists and neotextualists such as Antonin Scalia, pragmatists such as Richard Posner, and legal philosophers such as Ronald Dworkin. This book represents a profoundly important contribution to legal scholarship and a major alternative to interpretive approaches advanced by other leading figures in the judicial world.
Category: Law

Dynamic Statutory Interpretation

Author : William N. Eskridge
ISBN : 0674218787
Genre : Law
File Size : 60.17 MB
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Contrary to traditional theories of statutory interpretation, which ground statutes in the original legislative text or intent, legal scholar William Eskridge argues that statutory interpretation changes in response to new political alignments, new interpreters, and new ideologies. It does so, first of all, because it involves richer authoritative texts than does either common law or constitutional interpretation: statutes are often complex and have a detailed legislative history. Second, Congress can, and often does, rewrite statutes when it disagrees with their interpretations; and agencies and courts attend to current as well as historical congressional preferences when they interpret statutes. Third, since statutory interpretation is as much agency-centered as judgecentered and since agency executives see their creativity as more legitimate than judges see theirs, statutory interpretation in the modern regulatory state is particularly dynamic. Eskridge also considers how different normative theories of jurisprudence--liberal, legal process, and antiliberal--inform debates about statutory interpretation. He explores what theory of statutory interpretation--if any--is required by the rule of law or by democratic theory. Finally, he provides an analytical and jurisprudential history of important debates on statutory interpretation.
Category: Law