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December 2005/January 2006 - Wildy's Book of the Month
Should horses in Charleston be required to wear diapers? Does the 'hotchpot' rule apply when dividing a testator's 17 residuary elephants? Which verse in the Old Testament was the life-saving 'neck verse'? May sexual intercourse be conducted on a 'without prejudice' basis? These questions and many others like them are raised but not always fully answered in A New Miscellany-at-Law.
This follows the same style as its two predecessors but consists of entirely new material, some of it suggested by the readers of the first two volumes. Like them, it collects accounts of strange and remarkable cases, striking court-room exchanges, wise and witty utterances from the Bench, and much else that illumines the law.
For the common law world its reach is global, with many riches from the USA; and Scotland is not forgotten. Although the book is primarily for lawyers, a glossary and explanatory footnotes enable non-lawyers to share in the humour. Some may read the book from cover to cover; but for most there will be the pleasures of browsing, often surprisingly prolonged.
A New Miscellany-at-Law also includes many other jewels. There is the touching Conveyancer's Ode to His Beloved, the court's refusal to consider whether trespassing bees should be classified as invitees, licensees or trespassers, a deplorable account of a wife being part-exchanged for a Newfoundland dog, the future Lord Denning's reference to a wife who 'was actually committing adultery while denying it in the witness box', and 'fustum funnidos tantaraboo' in Chancery