A Dictionary of Statutory Interpretation

by William D. Popkin

Tags: Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Statutory Interpretation

Table of Contents (PDF)

364 pp  $60.00

ISBN 978-1-59460-181-1
eISBN 978-1-5310-2630-1

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Statutory interpretation has become the most commonly-required skill of the modern lawyer. A Dictionary of Statutory Interpretation provides a ready reference to the important terms and ideas that arise in connection with determining the meaning of legislation.

Chapter 1 includes over 100 entries, including the following:

  • ambiguity
  • the absurdity canon
  • linguistic and substantive canons
  • legislative intent
  • legislative purpose
  • legislative history
  • textualism
  • Legal Realism
  • Law and Economics

Each entry includes a definition, an explanation of the relevance of the term and ideas for statutory interpretation, some history about its use, and a concise discussion of contemporary issues. The author expresses his point of view in the discussion of these issues – which is generally skeptical about textualism – but presents all sides of the debate. A "reference" section allows for further research on each subject.

Chapter 2 includes over 35 famous quotations dealing with the interpretation of statutes, along with historical and critical commentary. The entries include Learned Hand, Holmes, Calabresi, Posner, Easterbrook, Pound, Blackstone, etc.

The book will be useful for lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students who want an entry into the contemporary debate about how to interpret legislation, along with an insight into what is at stake in those debates.

"...filled with usefully extended treatments of important and interesting legal terms." — The Green Bag

"This book will be a useful tool for readers or libraries needing a good single-volume guide to statutory interpretation. Summing up: Highly recommended." — CHOICE

"Librarians and researchers . . . should consider A Dictionary of Statutory Interpretation an essential reference work (for a very affordable price). . . . [It] will likely become a go-to resource when quick but in-depth analysis of a statutory interpretation question is sought." — Legal Information Alert, (Volume 26, Issue #9), Alert Publications, Inc., Chicago, IL. www.alertpub.com