Bryan A. Garner, J.
Lawyers know Bryan Garner as the Editor in Chief of Black’s Law Dictionary. Garner is also the author of 20 other books, including Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage; Garner’s Modern English Usage; The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation, and most importantly, in my opinion, The Rules of Golf in Plain English. He is also the author of two books with Antonin Scalia: Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges and Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts.
Nino and Me is based upon Garner’s ten years of working with Associate Justice Antonin Scalia on Making your Case and Reading Law. Garner is the Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University, and he also teaches at the law school of Texas A&M University and the University of Texas. This is a personal insight into the life of Antonin Scalia, authored by one of the world’s most prominent lexicographers and legal scholars. It presents the opportunity to see the other side of a Supreme Court Justice who for thirty years was portrayed as a curmudgeon. Garner dispels this notion with his detailed observations and many personal, non-law related conversations he shared with Scalia.
Garner and Justice Scalia were both snoots, and very proud of being identified as such. A snoot is defined as a person who cares intensely about words, usage, and grammar, and who adheres to a kind of enlightened prescriptivism that assesses language for its aptness, clarity, succinctness, and power. That persnicketiness is seen throughout the book, and offers a unique insight into the making of the two coauthored books, as well as Nino and Me.
Making our Case took two years (2006-2008) to write, and the authors spent over 100 hours working on the book in Justice Scalia’s chambers alone. Once the book was published, the authors lectured at many presentations for both members of the bar and general public. The time spent in the preparation for the lectures, as well as the lectures themselves, are revealed...