New Legal Terms Just Added to Black’s Law Dictionary

For 30 years, Bryan Garner has been Chief Editor of Black’s Law Dictionary, the most-cited law book in the world.
“I’m a word nut,” Garner, who wrote his first legal usage dictionary as a law student at the University of Texas at Austin, told me. “I’m fascinated by the growth of language.”
The 12th edition of Black’s just came out earlier this month, with more than 2,500 new law-related words and phrases.
How does Garner decide which words merit inclusion?
It starts with “keeping my ear to the ground,” he said, looking for terms that repeatedly pop up in law review articles, judicial opinions and other legal literature.
He is aided by an in-house team of lexicographers, along with 100 or so contributors from academia and another 300 practitioners — not to mention unsolicited suggestions from “people campaigning to get a favorite term into the dictionary,” he said.
Before coming up with a definition, Garner said he might look at 50 to 75 different documents, aiming to incorporate scholarly and classical sources that a busy lawyer might not easily find.
Here are some newly added terms for this edition:
Hot-tubbing:”The practice of having expert witnesses testify as a panel rather than one by one, answering questions in each other’s presence.”
Crimmigration:“The confluence of immigration law and criminal law; specifically a body of law that determines whether a criminal conviction renders a noncitizen inadmissible or removable from the United States under immigration law, ineligible for relief or protection from removal, or ineligible for naturalization.”
Shotgun answer.  “An answer that asserts numerous defenses, esp. affirmative defenses, without explicitly responding to any of the specific claims.”
Bedbug letter: “A standard-form apology letter to a customer who has complained. 2. Securities. A more or less standardized letter from the Securities & Exchange Commission asserting that, after an initial review of a registration statement, the staff have concluded that under the disclosure standards of the Securities Act of 1933, the registration statement as filed is inadequate …”
Cybersmearing.  “The act of making one or more disparaging statements on a website, on social media, or in other electronic media.”
Shadow docket. “The list of unsigned orders issued by the U.S. Supreme Court in cases that have not been argued on the merits. • The orders include denials of certiorari and grants or lifts of stays and injunctions by lower courts. The orders often lack information about the reasoning behind them and how the justices voted on the order, thereby leaving them in shadows.“
You can read more about these newly added terms here.
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