A New Miscellany–at–Law: Yet Another Diversion for Lawyers and Others

A New Miscellany–at–Law: Yet Another Diversion for Lawyers and Others

(Hart Publishing, 2005)

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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 consists of entirely new material—some of it suggested by readers of its two predecessors. 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 even Scotland is not forgotten. Although the book is primarily for lawyers, the glossary and explanatory footnotes enable non-lawyers to share in the humor. 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., F.B.A., became a Chancery judge in 1967 and was Vice-Chancellor of the Supreme Court when he retired in 1985. He is a celebrated author of books on equity, land law, the Rent Acts, and the literature of the law.

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