This book considers how law is always enacted, or performed, in ways that can be analyzed in relation to fiction, theatre, and other dramatic forms.

Of necessity, lawyers and judges need to devise techniques to make rules respond situationally. The performance of law supplements, or it extends the reach of, the law-as-written. And, in this respect, the act of lawyering is in many ways an instantiation of acts often associated with, for example, literature and the plastic and performing arts. Combining legal theory and legal practice, this book maintains that the modes of enquiry found in, and applied to, novels, paintings, and plays can help us understand how things like legal arguments and trials work—or don’t. As such, and through the examination of a wide range of both historical and fictional legal cases, the book pursues an interdisciplinary analysis of how law is performed; and, moreover, how legal performances can be accomplished ethically.

This book will appeal to scholars and students in sociolegal studies, legal theory, and jurisprudence, as well as those teaching and training in legal practice.

chapter |5 pages


chapter |4 pages

Overview of Book

chapter Chapter 1|32 pages

Fiction as a Mode of Justice1

chapter Chapter 2|35 pages

Institutionalizing Exemplary Narratives

Stories as Models for and Movers of Law1

chapter Chapter 3|28 pages

Law and Its Places of Performance

chapter Chapter 4|53 pages


chapter Chapter 5|33 pages

Legal Narratives Performed and Imagined

chapter |24 pages

A Conclusion without Closure