Law at Work: Studies in Legal Ethnomethods

ISBN : 9780190210243

Baudouin Dupret; Michael Lynch; Tim Berard
320 Pages
171 x 241 mm
Pub date
Aug 2015
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The studies in this volume use ethnographic, ethnomethodological, and sociolinguistic research to demonstrate how legal agents conduct their practices and exercise their authority in relation to non-expert participants and broader publics. Instead of treating law as a body of doctrines, or law and society as a relationship between legal institutions and an external society, the studies in this volume closely examine law at work: specific legal practices and social interactions produced in national and international settings. These settings include courtrooms and other tribunals, consultations between lawyers and clients, and media forums in which government officials address international law. Because law is a public institution, and legal actions are publicly accountable, technical law must interface with non-expert members of the public. The embodied actions and interactions that comprise the interface between professional and lay participants in legal settings therefore must do justice to legal traditions and statutory obligations while also contending with mundane interactional routines, ordinary reasoning, and popular expectations. Specific chapters examine topics such as family disputes in a system of Sharia Law; rhetorical contestations about possible violations of international law during a violent conflict in the Middle-East; the transformation of a courtroom hearing brought about by the virtual presence of remote witnesses relayed through a video link; the practices through which written records are used to mediate and leverage a witness's testimony; and the discursive and interactional practices through which authorized parties use legal categories to problems with individual conduct. Each chapter shows that it makes a profound difference to the way we understand the law when we examine its meaning and application in practice.


Introduction: Law at Work
Baudouin Dupret, Michael Lynch, and Tim Berard
Section I. Practical Action, Situated Interaction, and the Salience of Law
The Editors
Chapter One: The Practical Grammar of Law and Its Relation to Time
Baudouin Dupret and Jean-Noel Ferrie
Chapter Two: Aspiring Magistrates: Entry Exams and General Traineeship at the Court of Lecce
Luisa Zappulli and Karen Latricia Hough
Chapter Three: Practical Solutions: Praxiologial Analysis of Judgments in Civil Hearings
Pedtro Heitor Barros Geraldo
Section II. Practical Pedagogies in the Performance of Legal Activities
The Editors
Chapter Four: Hearing Clients' Talk as Lawyers' Work: The Case of Public Legal Consultation Conference
Shiro Kashimura
Chapter Five: Producing Records of Testimony: Some Competent Legal Methods for Incompetent Trials
Kenneth Liberman
Section III. Speech, Text, and Technology in Testimony
The Editors
Chapter Six: Reporting Talk When Testifying: Intertextuality, Consistency and Transformation in Witnesses Use of Direct Reported Speech
Renata Galatolo
Chapter Seven: Turning a Witness: The Textual and Interactional Production of a Statement in Adversarial Testimony
Michael Lynch
Chapter Eight : "Is there someone in my videoconference room?" Managing Remote Witnesses in Distributed Courtrooms
Christian Licoppe and Laurence Dumoulin
Section IV. Deviance, Membership Categories, and Legalities
The Editors
Chapter Nine: Hate Crimes, Labels, and Accounts: Pragmatic Reflections on U.S. Hate Crimes
Tim Berard
Chapter Ten: Descriptions of Deviance: Making the Case for Professional Help
Stephen Hester and Sally Hester
Chapter Eleven: Discursive Cartographies, Moral Practices: International Law and the Gaza War
Lena Jayyusi

About the author: 

Baudouin Dupret is Research Director at French National Centre for Scientific Research.; Michael Lynch is a Professor of Science & Technology Studies at Cornell University.; Tim Berard is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Kent State University.

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