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Real Life Dictionary of the Law: Taking the Mystery Out of Legal Language

Hill, Gerald N.;Hill, Kathleen Thompson

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ISBN 10: 1881649741 / ISBN 13: 9781881649748
Published by General Pub Group, 1995
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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Hard Cover - VG/VG - Book and dust jacket are clean and tight with light wear - First Edition - 479 pages. Bookseller Inventory # 254521

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Real Life Dictionary of the Law: Taking the ...

Publisher: General Pub Group

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: First Edition

About this title


The truth is often elusive, especially when it comes to law, justice, and the legal system. Researched and written by a leading attorney and a political psychologist, this complete, easy-to-use reference book explains everything the reader is supposed to understand, opening the doors to the sometimes deliberately confusing world of law.

From Booklist:

The press release for this specialized dictionary opens with the observation, "If you own a television set, you cannot escape the law." Simpson, Bobbit, Fleiss, and the Menendez brothers have all gotten high ratings at the electronic hearth. Real Life Dictionary, written in reader-friendly style, was created to demystify legalspeak. The authors, compilers of the Real Life Dictionary of American Politics [RBB O 1 94], are determined to bridge the gap between lawyers and laypeople.

The definitions of more than 3,000 terms may be as short as 10 words (e.g., emolument: n. salary, wages and benefits paid for employment or an office held; in fee, simple: adj. referring to holding clear title to real property) or in excess of 150 words (mechanic's lien, bigamy, negligence). Many definitions include examples, such as the one for the term innuendo: "Mayor Joe Alabaster was paid $100,000 by the Hot Springs Water Company, when it was known that Hot Springs was bucking for a contract with the city." Randomly sprinkled among the definitions are quotations from such individuals as John Locke and Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone. The final 40 pages of Real Life Dictionary consist of seven appendixes, such as the U.S. Constitution, "Major Supreme Court Decisions," and "Legal Trivia."

This source is reminiscent of such titles as Plain Language Law Dictionary (Penguin, 1981), with its simply written definitions, but is a bit more breezy and humorous in style. It will not replace standard legal dictionaries such as Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (2d ed., Oxford, 1995) or American Law Dictionary (ABC-Clio, 1991). At $19.95, it will serve as a contemporary adjunct to these titles in public libraries. For small libraries with limited funds, this title is not in the "must have" category.

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