Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Basics of Writing Statutes Continued

A few trustworthy dictionaries and a killer legal thesaurus are just as important as the right style and grammar resources from the individual legislative drafters' point of view, but far more important to the lawyers, judges, police officers, felons, law abiding citizens, etc., who will rely upon, or be affected by, the law every day of their lives and even into the grave. [More about long, silly sentences later.]

All that being said, I have these dictionaries in my office:

  • Black's Law Dictionary, 6th Edition (1990) -- Speaks for itself.
  • Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Edition (1996) -- Newest not required.
  • Websters Popular Illustrated Dictionary (1937) -- Old defintions can come in handy. I like the pictures, too.
My thesaureses of choice are:
  • Burton's Legal Thesaurus, 3rd Edition (1999) -- Simply fabulous.
  • Roget's II The New Thesaurus (1980) -- Same old, same old, but the old reliable.
Time is money, so I need not tell you why these books are helpful since you already know that. I will have a lot more to say about them, however, when I opine later about statutory construction.

No comments:

Post a Comment