Bryan A. Garner

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Bryan A. Garner (born November 17, 1958, in Lubbock, Texas) is an American lawyer, lexicographer, and teacher who has written more than two dozen books about English usage and style,[1][2][3][4][5][6] advocacy,[7][8][9] jurisprudence,[10] legal drafting, and golf[11] (including Garner's Modern American Usage[12] and Elements of Legal Style[13]). He is the editor-in-chief of all current editions of Black's Law Dictionary.[14][15] He has coauthored two books with Justice Antonin Scalia: Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (2008)[16] and Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts (2012).[17]

Founder and president of LawProse, Inc.,[18] he serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.[19] In recent years, he has also taught at The University of Texas School of Law, the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall), and Texas Tech University School of Law. He has been award three honorary doctorates (Stetson, La Verne, and Thomas M. Cooley Law School).

Biography[edit]

Garner was born in Lubbock, Texas[20] and raised in San Marino, California, and Canyon, Texas. He attended Canyon High School and then the University of Texas at Austin, where he was enrolled in a liberal arts honors program called Plan II (1977-1980). Garner published excerpts from his senior thesis, notably "Shakespeare's Latinate Neologisms" and "Latin-Saxon Hybrids in Shakespeare and the Bible."[21][22][23][24][25] Upon seeing an early draft of his undergraduate work, the linguist Thomas Cable declared, "Let's give him a Ph.D!"[26]

Upon receiving his B.A. degree, Garner entered the University of Texas School of Law, where he served as associate editor of the Texas Law Review. After receiving his J.D. degree in 1984, he clerked for Judge Thomas M. Reavley of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit before joining the Dallas firm of Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, where he worked as a litigation associate from 1985 to 1988. He then returned to the University of Texas School of Law as a visiting associate professor of law and was named director of the short-lived Texas/Oxford Center for Legal Lexicography, while teaching upper-division seminars on writing and editing at the law school. In 1990, he left the University to found LawProse, Inc., a Dallas company that provides seminars on clear writing for lawyers and judges.[27]

Career[edit]

As a student at the University of Texas School of Law in 1981, Garner began noticing odd usages in lawbooks—many of them dating back to Shakespeare. These became the source material for his first book, A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage. That book was published by Oxford University Press in 1987 and is now in its third edition (published in 2011 and retitled Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage).[28] Since 1990, his main work has been teaching seminars such as Advanced Legal Writing and Editing, Advanced Legal Drafting, and The Winning Brief. Garner created many set up online seminars on writing and advocacy.[29]

Since 2006, Garner has interspersed in his lectures numerous video clips from the many dozens of judges he has interviewed on the art of writing and on advocacy. In 2006–2007, he interviewed eight of the nine Justices of the United States Supreme Court.[30] Since then, he has interviewed a ninth: Justice Elena Kagan. All his Supreme Court interviews are available online.[31] When these interviews first appeared in print, they were featured on the front page of the New York Times.[32] In addition, Garner has interviewed circuit judges on all the federal circuits. He has compiled an extensive archive of what American judges in the early 21st century say about effective writing and advocacy.

On July 8, 2001, the New York Times ran a front-page Sunday article about a controversy that had emerged as a result of Garner's teachings.[33] In various books and articles,[34][35][36][37][38] as well as in his lectures, Garner has tried to reform the way bibliographic references are "interlarded" (i.e., interwoven) in the midst of textual analysis. He argues for putting citations in footnotes while noting in-text information that is important but nonbibliographic. He opposes references such as 457 U.S. 423, 432, 102 S.Ct. 2515, 2521, 89 L.Ed.2d 744, 747 as interruptions in the middle of a line. To this day, however, interruptions in judges' opinions and in lawyers' briefs remain the norm. Some courts and advocates around the country have begun adopting Garner's recommended style of footnoted citations, and a surprising degree of internal strife has resulted within some organizations. For example, one appellate judge in Louisiana refused to join in a colleague's opinions written in the new format.[33] Garner says that one of the main reasons for the reform is to make legal writing more comprehensible and accessible to readers without a legal education. Yet he has attracted vehement opposition, most notably from Judge Richard A. Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit,[39] and from his co-author, Justice Antonin Scalia.[40]

Garner has contributed to the field of procedural rules. From 1992 to 1994, he revised all amendments to the various sets of Federal Rules—Civil, Appellate, Evidence, Bankruptcy, and Criminal— the United States Judicial Conference. In the mid-1990s, he restyled the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which were adopted by the Judicial Conference, then by the United States Supreme Court, and enacted by Congress. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were restyled in 1993–1994 and adopted on December 1, 2007. The Administrative Office of the United States Courts has printed and distributed Garner's booklet Guidelines for Drafting and Editing Court Rules (1996). Garner has revised the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure, the California Rules of Appellate Procedure, the California Judicial Council Rules, the Local Rules of the United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, and the Rules on Judicial-Conduct and Disability Proceedings (for federal courts).[citation needed] In 2015, after a 15-year hiatus, he returned as a style consultant to the U.S. Judicial Conference's Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure.

Since 2012, Garner has had a monthly column in the American Bar Association Journal.[41][42] Since 1999, he has had a similar column in the ABA's Student Lawyer.[42]

Garner appears to be the only person ever to have coauthored a book with a sitting Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. He and Justice Scalia wrote Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (2008)[43] during the year 2007 and Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts (2012)[44] from 2009 to 2012. The two have made many joint presentations to bar associations and other groups since July 2008, when the first appeared together in a 5-hour seminar at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Justice Scalia and Garner have also appeared together on CBS's 60 Minutes[45] and CNN's Piers Morgan.[46]

As a lawyer, Garner maintains a consulting practice, serving as cocounsel on many appellate matters, especially those involving statutory construction and contractual interpretation.

English grammar and usage[edit]

Books Garner has written on English usage include Garner's Modern American Usage. When the University of Chicago Press published the 15th edition of The Chicago Manual of Style in 2003, Garner contributed a chapter on grammar and usage. Garner is one of only two solo authors of a section in The Chicago Manual of Style. Garner's chapter focused on traditional English grammar with its eight parts of speech. The linguist Geoffrey K. Pullum, who wondered why a professional linguist was not invited to write the chapter,[47] had this criticism of the 15th edition:

His chapter is unfortunately full of repetitions of stupidities of the past tradition in English grammar – more of them than you could shake a stick at.... [O]n page 177 he appears to claim that progressive clauses are always active (making clauses like Our premises are being renovated impossible); on page 179 he states that English verbs have seven inflected forms, including a present subjunctive, a past subjunctive, and an imperative (utter nonsense);...[47]

In defense of Garner, the copyeditor John E. McIntyre wrote that:

As much as people need description of how language works and how people are using it, they also want instruction in how they ought to use it for particular purposes, mainly the niceties of standard written English for publication. Bryan Garner meets a deeply felt need, and he does so responsibly.[48]

Black's Law Dictionary[edit]

In 1995, Garner became the editor in chief of Black's Law Dictionary, the bible of legal lexicography dating back to 1891. Since 1995, Garner has overhauled the book over the course of four unabridged editions (7-10). He created a panel of international legal experts to improve all the specialized vocabulary in the book, including Roman law, international law, and transactional terminology. With the help of these experts, Garner and his team have rewritten the entire dictionary and added tens of thousands of new entries.

Books by Garner[edit]

  • Black's Law Dictionary
    • West Group, unabridged 10th edition, 2014
    • West Group, Deluxe unabridged 9th edition, 2009
    • West Group, abridged 8th edition, 2005
    • Thomson West, 3rd pocket edition, 2006, (Pocket)
  • Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (with Justice Antonin Scalia, West, 2008)
  • Reading Law: The Art of Interpreting Legal Texts (with Justice Antonin Scalia, West 2012)
  • Harvard Business Review, HBR Guide to Better Business Writing (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013)
  • Garner on Language & Writing (foreword by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, ABA, 2009)
  • Garner’s Modern American Usage (Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 2009)
  • Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage (Oxford University Press, 3rd edition, 2011)
  • The Elements of Legal Style (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2002)
  • Legal Writing in Plain English: A Text with Exercises (Chicago University Press, 2nd edition, 2013)
  • A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 1995)
  • The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2004)
  • The Winning Oral Argument: Enduring Principles with Supporting Comments from the Literature (West, 2nd edition, 2009)
  • The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (West, 3rd edition revised, 2013)
  • The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style (Oxford University Press, 2000)
  • A Handbook of Basic Law Terms (West Group, 1999)
  • A Handbook of Business Law Terms (West Group, 1999)
  • A New Miscellany-at-Law: Yet Another Diversion for Lawyers and Others (by Robert Megarry: Garner edited, Hart Publishing, 2005)
  • The Rules of Golf in Plain English (with Jeffrey S. Kuhn, University of Chicago Press, 3rd edition, 2012)
  • The Chicago Manual of Style, Ch. 5 “Grammar and Usage", (University of Chicago Press, 15th edition, 2003, ISBN 0-226-10403-6; 16th edition, 2010, ISBN 978-0-226-10420-1)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Books by Bryan Garner – LawProse.org". www.lawprose.org. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  2. ^ Legal Writing in Plain English, Second Edition: A Text with Exercises (Second ed.). University Of Chicago Press. 2013-08-26. ISBN 9780226283937. 
  3. ^ Garner's Modern American Usage (3 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2009-08-27. ISBN 9780195382754. 
  4. ^ Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage (3 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2011-07-01. ISBN 9780195384208. 
  5. ^ The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (3 ed.). West Academic Publishing. 2013-07-11. ISBN 9780314289018. 
  6. ^ The Elements of Legal Style (2 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2002-03-21. ISBN 9780195141627. 
  7. ^ The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts (3 ed.). Oxford University Press. 2014-05-01. ISBN 9780199378357. 
  8. ^ Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (1st ed.). St. Paul, Minn: Thomson West. 2008-04-28. ISBN 9780314184719. 
  9. ^ The Winning Oral Argument: Enduring Principles with Supporting Comments from the Literature (2nd ed.). St. Paul, MN: West Academic Publishing. 2009-04-22. ISBN 9780314198853. 
  10. ^ Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts (1 ed.). St. Paul, MN: West. 2012-06-19. ISBN 9780314275554. 
  11. ^ Kuhn, Jeffrey S.; Garner, Bryan A. (2012-04-20). The Rules of Golf in Plain English, Third Edition (Third ed.). University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226458212. 
  12. ^ Garner's Modern American Usage (3 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2009-08-27. ISBN 9780195382754. 
  13. ^ The Elements of Legal Style (2 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2002-03-21. ISBN 9780195141627. 
  14. ^ Black's Law Dictionary, 10th Edition (10th ed.). St. Paul, Minn: Thomson West. 2014-05-09. ISBN 9780314613004. 
  15. ^ Black's Law Dictionary, Pocket Edition, 4th (4 ed.). St. Paul, Minn: West. 2011-06-17. ISBN 9780314275448. 
  16. ^ Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (1st ed.). St. Paul, Minn: Thomson West. 2008-04-28. ISBN 9780314184719. 
  17. ^ Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts (1 ed.). St. Paul, MN: West. 2012-06-19. ISBN 9780314275554. 
  18. ^ "Who is Bryan Garner – LawProse.org". www.lawprose.org. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  19. ^ SMU Faculty
  20. ^ "Lubbock, Texas". City-Data.com. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  21. ^ John W. Velz, Looking Back at Some Turns in the Road, in Burnt Orange Britannia (Wm. Roger Louis ed., 2005), at 390, 400.
  22. ^ Carlton Stowers, Courtly Language, Dallas Observer, 19–25 July 2001, pp. 20–21.
  23. ^ Nancy Kruh, "Bryan Garner: The Lawyer and Lexicographer Is a Man of His Words", Dallas Morning News, 9 May 1999, High Profile §, pp. E1, 4–5.
  24. ^ Paul Kix, "The English Teacher", D Magazine, Nov. 2007, at 41–44.
  25. ^ Dave Moore, "On a Language Quest", Dallas Business Journal, Oct. 5–11, 2007, at 37, 42–43.
  26. ^ Velz, John W. (2008-01-01). Exit Pursued By a Bear: Encounters with Shakespeare and Shakespeareans. Dallas, Tex: LawProse. ISBN 9780979606014. 
  27. ^ Legal Lexicographer
  28. ^ Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage (3 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2011-07-01. ISBN 9780195384208. 
  29. ^ [1].
  30. ^ These interviews are accessible in full at lawprose.org.
  31. ^ "Garner’s Interviews – LawProse.org". www.lawprose.org. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  32. ^ Liptak, Adam (2011-05-20). "Keep the Briefs Brief, Literary Justices Advise". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  33. ^ a b William Glaberson, Legal Citations1 on Trial in Innovation v. Tradition, The New York Times, 8 July 2001, pp. 1, 16.
  34. ^ Bryan A. Garner, Footnoted Citations Can Make Memos and Briefs Easier to Comprehend, Student Lawyer, Sept. 2003, pp. 11–12.
  35. ^ Bryan A. Garner, The Winning Brief (2d ed. 2004), at 139–158.
  36. ^ Bryan A. Garner, Legal Writing in Plain English (2001), at 77–83.
  37. ^ Bryan A. Garner, A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (2d ed. 1995), at 156.
  38. ^ Bryan A. Garner, The Elements of Legal Style (2d. ed. 2002), at 91–92.
  39. ^ Richard A. Posner, Against Footnotes, 38 Court Rev. 24 (Summer 2001)(answering Garner, Clearing the Cobwebs from Judicial Opinions, 38 Court Rev. 4 (Summer 2001)).
  40. ^ Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, West, 2008, pp. 132–135.
  41. ^ Journal, ABA. "10 tips for better legal writing". ABA Journal. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  42. ^ a b "Articles by Bryan Garner – LawProse.org". www.lawprose.org. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  43. ^ Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (1st ed.). St. Paul, Minn: Thomson West. 2008-04-28. ISBN 9780314184719. 
  44. ^ Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts (1 ed.). St. Paul, MN: West. 2012-06-19. ISBN 9780314275554. 
  45. ^ "Scalia: Supreme Court disagreements not personal". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  46. ^ "Piers Morgan Tonight: Justice Antonin Scalia Exclusive Interview". Retrieved 2015-12-06. 
  47. ^ a b Geoffrey K. Pullum, "The Chicago Manual of Style — and grammar", Language Log, February 2, 2005.
  48. ^ John E. McIntyre, "[2], The Baltimore Sun, May 27, 2012.

External links[edit]