Narrative and metaphor in the law

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  • Creator edited by Michael Hanne, Robert Weisberg
  • Format Books
  • Contributors
  • Publication Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2018. ©2018
  • Physical Details
    • xii, 426 pages ; 24 cm
  • ISBNs 1108422799, 9781108422796
  • OCLC on1001449928


  • "It has long been recognized that court trials, both criminal and civil, in the common law system, operate around pairs of competing narratives told by opposing advocates. In recent years, however, it has increasingly been argued that narrative flows in many directions and through every form of legal theory and practice. Interest in the part played by metaphor in the law, including metaphors for the law, and for many standard concepts in legal practice, has also been strong, though research under the metaphor banner has been much more fragmentary. In this book, for the first time, a distinguished group of legal scholars, collaborating with specialists from cognitive theory, journalism, rhetoric, social psychology, criminology, and legal activism, explore how narrative and metaphor are both vital to the legal process. Together, they examine topics including concepts of law, legal persuasion, human rights law, gender in the law, innovations in legal thinking, legal activism, creative work around the law, and public debate around crime and punishment"--
  • "Law lives on narrative, for reasons both banal and deep ... Clients tell stories to lawyers, who must figure out what to make of what they hear. As clients and lawyers talk, the client's story gets recast into plights and prospects, plots and pilgrimages into possible worlds ... If circumstances warrant, the lawyers retell their clients' stories in the form of pleas and arguments to judges and testimonies to juries ... Next, judges and jurors retell the stories to themselves or each other in the form of instruction, deliberations, a verdict, a set of findings, or an opinion. And then it is the turn of journalists, commentators and critics. This endless telling and retelling, casting and recasting is essential to the conduct of the law. It is how law's actors comprehend whatever series of events they make the subject of their legal actions"--


  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • Introduction -- On narrating and troping the law : the conjoined use of narrative and metaphor in legal discourse / Greta Olson -- What's it like? : Native Americans and the ambivalence of legal metaphors / Lawrence Rosen -- Metaphoric parable : the nexus of metaphor and narrative in persuasive legal writing / Michael R. Smith -- Embodied metaphor in persuasive legal narrative / Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr. -- Narrative in the legal text : judicial opinions and their narratives / Simon Stern -- Legal stories, the reality effect, and visual narratives : a response to Simon Stern / Peter Brooks -- Gender justice : the role of stories and images / Linda L. Berger and Kathryn M. Stanchi -- The "crime as a disease" metaphor : vision, power, and collaboration in social problems research / Roberto H. Potter -- The fertility (sic) of the crime/disease linkage for metaphor and narrative : response to Potter / Robert Weisberg -- Narrative conventions in crime reporting / Dahlia Lithwick -- Metaphors, stories, and media framing of crime : response to Lithwick / L. David Ritchie -- When rights-talk meets queue-talk / Katharine G. Young -- The cutters and others / Bernadette A. Meyler -- Through narrative and by metaphor : creating a lawyer-self in poetry and prose / Lawrence Joseph -- Secrets of civility in Lawyerland / Meredith Wallis -- A conversation with Mari Matsuda / Michael Hanne
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