Introduction to Classical Legal Rhetoric: A Lost Heritage, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Introduction to Classical Legal Rhetoric

A Lost Heritage, 1st Edition

By Michael H. Frost


170 pages

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Paperback: 9781138249011
pub: 2016-09-09
Hardback: 9780754624134
pub: 2005-05-28
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315251868
pub: 2017-03-02
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Lawyers, law students and their teachers all too frequently overlook the most comprehensive, adaptable and practical analysis of legal discourse ever devised: the classical art of rhetoric. Classical analysis of legal reasoning, methods and strategy is the foundation and source for most modern theories on the topic. Beginning with Aristotle's Rhetoric and culminating with Cicero's De Oratore and Quintilian's Institutio Oratoria, Greek and Roman rhetoricians created a clear, experience-based theoretical framework for analyzing legal discourse. This book is the first to systematically examine the connections between classical rhetoric and modern legal discourse. It traces the history of legal rhetoric from the classical period to the present day and shows how modern theorists have unknowingly benefited from the classical works. It also applies classical rhetorical principles to modern appellate briefs and judicial opinions to demonstrate how a greater familiarity with the classical sources can deepen our understanding of legal reasoning.


'Michael Frost's summary of classical rhetoric as applied to contemporary legal argument transforms old gold into new money for work-a-day litigators. Mining ancient teachings on persuasion, particularly from Aristotle, Cicero and Quintilian, Frost offers a practical handbook for lawyers who want to win more often. And more than merely restating long-established principles of persuasion, Frost unearths invaluable persuasive techniques that most lawyers never learned, teaching points that smart advocates can use to empower their next motion or brief. The chapter on metaphors alone is worth the price of this remarkable book.' Professor Scott Wood, Loyola University School of Law, Los Angeles, USA 'Professor Frost's new book is a delight for any reader wishing to renew old acquaintances with more classical education, especially for lawyers: the text is an energized, insightful, informative, and engaging introduction to classic legal rhetoric and its relevance to today's art of public discourse. Frost brings classic rhetoric to life as the source and historical reference point for modern legal analysis and persuasion, including its essential elements of emotion and its role in lawyer credibility.' Professor Pat Hugg, Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans, USA '…Frost's…initiative to write about the close connection between law and rhetoric deserves praise. We must be grateful to Frost for recovering the lost heritage of classical legal rhetoric…it will certainly serve as an important source of inspiration.' Rhetorical Review

Table of Contents

Contents: Greco-Roman rhetoric: the canon and its history; Greco-Roman legal analysis: the topics of invention; Brief rhetoric: classical principles of organization; Ethos, pathos and legal audience; Greco-Roman analysis of metaphoric reasoning; Greco-Roman elements of forensic style; The rhetoric of dissent: a Greco-Roman analysis; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Michael H. Frost is Professor at the Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, California, USA.

About the Series

Applied Legal Philosophy

Applied Legal Philosophy
The principal objective of this series is to encourage the publication of books which adopt a theoretical approach to the study of particular areas or aspects of law, or deal with general theories of law in a way which is directed at issues of practical, moral and political concern in specific legal contexts. The general approach is both analytical and critical and relates to the socio-political background of law reform issues. This series includes studies of all the main areas of law, presented in a manner which relates to the concerns of specialist legal academics and practitioners. Each book makes an original contribution to an area of legal study while being comprehensible to those engaged in a wide variety of disciplines. Their legal content is principally Anglo-American, but a wide-ranging comparative approach is encouraged and authors are drawn from a variety of jurisdictions.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / Jurisprudence