Author Brian A. Garner, who has spent a lifetime examining and interpreting the written word, talked about his recent book co-authored with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia to a packed room on Friday, July 21, at the State Bar of Texas Annual Meeting.

Garner, the editor-in-chief of Black’s Law Dictionary, said he worked for 200 hours side by side over three years with Justice Scalia to produce Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts, which is their second collaboration. Writing a book with a U.S. Supreme Court justice was an organic process. Garner was working on a project and trying to secure interviews with all of the U.S. Supreme Court justices when he first wrote to Scalia, who declined to be interviewed but asked to meet Garner at another time. They met, shared ideas, and then Garner jumped on plane home. Once onboard, Garner got a great idea—to ask Scalia to write a book with him. He drafted the letter during the flight and then promptly sent it off upon arrival. Garner’s father thought he was crazy, but a few days later, Scalia accepted his offer. They later published their first book, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges.

Garner, who attended the University of Texas and received his J.D. degree in 1984, has written numerous books, including Garner’s Modern American Usage. He is the founder and president of LawProse Inc.