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From “Legisprudence” to “I Have to Move My Car”


I like looking at new law book catalogs, especially those with the scholarly books I don’t get to see or read much anymore. Some people dream of bigger houses, faster cars, expensive jewelry, extensive travel. I am one of that other group who dream of more time to walk, read, sleep, perchance to eat — in a nutshell, I dream of a little more leisure time (who doesn’t!). (For those of you still laboring under such a delusion, no, librarians do not get to read much on the job.)

I saw these titles in the Hart Publishing catalogue; they will serve a reminder that titles are as important as the literature they cover (as in, you can tell a book (and a comic book) by its cover).

My favorite: “I Have to Move My Car: Tales of Unpersuasive Advocates and Injudicious Judges” by David Pannick, QC. From the publisher’s blurb:

There are law books about constructive trusts, the Perpetuities and Accumulations Act 1964 and the rule in Foss v Harbottle. This is not one of them. David Pannick QC has always been much more interested in unpersuasive advocates and injudicious judges. In this collection of his fortnightly columns from The Times, David Pannick passes judgement on advocates who tell judges that their closing submissions to the jury will not take long because ‘I would like to move my car before 5 o’clock …‘”

Others from Hart:

1) “Mistakes in Contract Law
2) “Legisprudence” (doesn’t have quite the same winking-ring of jurisprurience, but an interesting journal in its own right)
3) “The Change of Position Defence
4) “Nuclear Law” (this could cover a lot of ground, but it really is about nuclear energy)
5) “Evidence of Bad Character” (who among us couldn’t have written this – it sounds as if it could be interesting commentary on evidence for the criminal bar- and I like the sound of this testimonial: a “valuable little book” – what book couldn’t be improved by hard editing!)
6) “The Bond: an educational novel” (we may have more than enough of these, but then again, can one really have too many novelists?)

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