A New Miscellany At Law
Should horses in Charleston be required to wear diapers? Does the hotchpot rule apply when dividing a testator’s 17 residuary elephants? Which verse in the Old Testament was the life-saving ‘neck’ verse? May sexual intercourse be conducted on a without prejudice basis?
These questions and many others like them are raised but not always fully answered in A New Miscellany-at-Law. This follows the same style as its two predecessors but consists of entirely new material, some of it suggested by the readers of the first two volumes. Like them, it collects accounts of strange and remarkable cases, striking court-room exchanges, wise and witty utterances from the Bench, and much else that illumines the law. For the common law world its reach is global, with many riches from the USA; and Scotland is not forgotten. Although the book is primarily for lawyers, a glossary and explanatory footnotes enable non-lawyers to share in the humour. Some may read the book from cover to cover; but for most there will be the pleasures of browsing, often surprisingly prolonged.
A New Miscellany-at-Law also includes many other jewels. There is the touching Conveyancer’s Ode to His Beloved, the court’s refusal to consider whether bees should be classified as invitees, licensees or trespassers, a deplorable account of a wife being part-exchanged for a Newfoundland dog, the future Lord Denning’s reference to a wife who was actually committing adultery while denying it in the witness box, and ‘fustum funnidos tantaraboo’ in Chancery.
The Rt Hon Sir Robert Megarry, LL.D, FBA, became a Chancery judge in 1967 and was the Vice-Chancellor of the Supreme Court when he retired in 1985. He was Reader in Equity in the Inns of Court, 1951-1967, a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Law Reform Committee, 1952-1973 and Chairman of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting, 1972-1987. He is a celebrated author of books on equity, land law, the Rent Acts and the literature of the law. His first two Miscellanies were legal bestsellers.
Bryan Garner teaches and publishes extensively on legal writing, usage, and drafting. He has written several acclaimed books on the subject, and is hailed by the American Bar Association as “the pre-eminent expert in America on good legal writing.”