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Bryan Andrew Garner (born 1958) is an American lawyer, lexicographer, and teacher who has written more than two dozen books about English usage and style as well as advocacy. He also wrote two books with Justice Antonin Scalia: Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (2008) and Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts (2012).
The founder and president of LawProse Inc., he serves as Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.
As a student at the University of Texas School of Law in 1981, Garner began noticing odd usages in lawbooks, many of them dating back to Shakespeare. They became the source material for his first book, A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (1987). Since 1990, his work has focused on teaching the legal profession clear writing techniques.
In books, articles, and lectures, Garner has tried to reform the way bibliographic references are "interlarded" (interwoven) in the midst of textual analysis. He argues for putting citations in footnotes and notes that in-text information that is important but non-bibliographic. He opposes references such as "457 U.S. 423, 432, 102 S.Ct. 2515, 2521, 89 L.Ed.2d 744, 747" as interruptions in the middle of a line. However, such interruptions in judges' opinions and in lawyers' briefs have remained the norm. Some courts and advocates around the country have begun adopting Garner's recommended style of footnoted citations, and a surprising degree of internal strife has resulted within some organizations. For example, one appellate judge in Louisiana refused to join in a colleague's opinions written in the new format.
Garner and Justice Scalia wrote Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (2008). Garner maintains a legal consulting practice, focusing on issues in statutory construction and contractual interpretation.
In 1995, Garner became the editor in chief of Black's Law Dictionary. He created a panel of international legal experts to improve the specialized vocabulary in the book. Garner and the panel rewrote and expanded the dictionary's lexicographic information.
Only current editions are shown.
Nino and Me: My Unusual Friendship with Justice Antonin Scalia (2017). Threshold Editions. ISBN9781501181498
The Chicago Guide to Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation (2016; an expanded version of his chapter in TheChicago Manual of Style)