Law's Stories: Narrative and Rhetoric in the Law

Law's Stories: Narrative and Rhetoric in the Law

by Peter Brooks
     
 

This important volume brings together an exceptional group of well-known figures in law and literary studies to take a probing look at how and why stories are told in the law and how they are constructed and made effective. How do legal stories gain or lose their impact? What are the uses and risks of storytelling as opposed to arguments and theories? Why is it that… See more details below

Overview

This important volume brings together an exceptional group of well-known figures in law and literary studies to take a probing look at how and why stories are told in the law and how they are constructed and made effective. How do legal stories gain or lose their impact? What are the uses and risks of storytelling as opposed to arguments and theories? Why is it that some stories - confessions, victim impact statements - can be excluded from decisionmakers' hearing? What rhetorical strategies do judges use to gain persuasiveness or to claim authority to impose certain stories on reality? Law's Stories opens new perspectives on the law - looking at it not as rules and policies but as stories, narrative exchange, performances, interpretation. It provides a compelling encounter of law and literature, seen as two wary but mutually animating fields.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300066753
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
04/28/1996
Pages:
298
Product dimensions:
6.57(w) x 9.53(h) x 1.04(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Narrative and Rhetoric in the Law2
The Law as Narrative and Rhetoric14
Stories in Law24
Legal Storytelling and Constitutional Law: The Medium and the Message37
Leontius' Tale54
Storytelling on Its Own Terms57
Proclaiming Trials as Narratives: Premises and Pretenses61
Untold Stories in the Law84
Life Is Not a Dramatic Narrative99
The Side-Bar Conference106
Rhetoric and Result in the Bobby Seale Trial110
Storytelling Without Fear? Confession in Law and Literature114
Victims and Voyeurs: Two Narrative Problems at the Criminal Trial135
Some Stories About Confessions and Confessions About Stories162
Speech Acts in Criminal Cases165
Legal Rhetoric176
The Rhetoric of the Judicial Opinion187
Judicial Opinions as Literature206
A Night in the Topics: The Reason of Legal Rhetoric and the Rhetoric of Legal Reason211
In the Eyes of the Law: Reflections on the Authority of Legal Discourse225
Law's Stories as Reality and Politics232
Notes239
Contributors279
Index281

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