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Marc Galanter's New Book: Lawtalk: the Unknown Stories Behind Familiar Legal Expressions

UW Law Prof. Marc Galanter has a new book out called "Lawtalk: the Unknown Stories Behind Familiar Legal Expressions."

Like Galanter's last book entitled "Lowering the Bar: Lawyer Jokes and Legal Culture," this book looks like a lot of fun. WI State Journal columnist, Doug Moe, recently profiled Galanter and the new book. He writes:

The new book explains how words and phrases such as "shyster," "jailbait," "green card," "rainmaker" and "indict a ham sandwich" came into everyday language.

One of my favorites is "rap sheet" -- an individual's criminal record -- which dates to 1947 but jumped in popularity in 1954 when a self-promoting crook named Blackie Audett wrote a colorful but factually challenged autobiography titled "Rap Sheet." One reviewer suggested Blackie's biggest crime was writing "Rap Sheet."

Incidentally, the green card -- which documents a noncitizen's right to live and work in the United States -- hasn't been green since 1964.

The phrase "indict a ham sandwich" -- which speaks to how prosecutors can easily manipulate grand juries -- was popularized by a Jewish judge who later said he wished he had made the sandwich corned beef.

For more, read the full article.