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A New Miscellany-at-Law

Yet Another Diversion for Lawyers and Others

By: Robert Megarry Editor(s): Bryan A Garner
Media of A New Miscellany-at-Law
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Published: 29-11-2005
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 392
ISBN: 9781847310903
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £45.00
Online price : £36.00
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Loren Epson

About 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.

Table Of Contents

1 Lex Loquens
2 Judex Non Juridicus
3 Beggar or Fool
4 Into Battel
5 Ars Bablativa
6 Short of Water
7 Figs and Pippins
8 Living in our Ancestors
9 All Deliberate Speed
10 Le Needfulness De Eux
11 Statutes at Larger
12 A Plain and Simple Question
13 Maxima
14 Andorandororand
15 Dark with Excessive Brightness
16 An Uncharted Sea of Doubt and Difficulty
17 The Paperwork
18 Every Prospect Pleases
19 Winter'd One Whole Summer
20 Fustum Funnidos Tantaraboo
21 A Certain Amount of Sobriety
22 Narrowed to a Filament
23 The Evil of Evils
24 Powafuchswowitchahavagganeabba (Chicago)


“After having been engrossed in this book for a week or more, it came as no surprise to me to learn that this amusing tome had been Wildy's of Lincoln's Inn's the booksellers 'Book of the Month'. It deserves a place on all law students' desks - if only as a source of interesting anecdotes for dinner and other parties.” –  John Gibson, Legal Information Management, Vol 6

“...the best way to describe these legal joys is to say that they are much more than a collection of legal wit, humour and wisdom, although they are certainly all of these…Do treat yourself to it.” –  The Litigation Letter

“This is, without doubt, one of the great works of legal literature of our times.” –  David Pannick, Times Online,

“…admirable prose…there are records of incidents concerning the conduct of judges and lawyers which are of high contemporary relevance.” –  A.G. Noorani, Frontline

“Sir Robert's ability to entertain has clearly not deserted him… No law library should be without A New Miscellany. It is a perfect bedside book or something to be dipped into during a quiet day in chambers of a tiresome day on the bench.” –  Mark McGinness, Australian Law Journal, Vol 80, No. 7

“I have just read the New Miscellany-at-Law, which has cheered me up and given me more kindly feelings about my profession than anything since I was called to the Bar.” –  Simon Levene, 12 King's Bench Walk,

“…a rich source of useful information...Students in particular would profit enormously from dipping into its pages, as will anyone even remotely interested in the history, the quirks and the peculiarities of the law.” –  The Commonwealth Lawyer, Vol 15, No 2

“Every page carries the unmistakable Megarry imprint. As Professor David Walker…put it: bringing this volume to publication has done legal literature a service. In the reviewer's opinion that service is indeed considerable… The dominant impression of his writing, whether in judgment or text, is of wide yet profound learning.” –  Stephen Cretney, The Law Quarterly Review, Volume 123

“…if you are called upon to give after-dinner speeches regularly and need a source of legal quotes and quips this is an essential arrow in your quiver.” –  The New Zealand Law Journal

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