The Legal Kiss

The Legal Aspects of the Kiss

A light-hearted look at the many ways civil society has tried to control the power of the kiss with the rule of law. 

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*New* Book Review

. . .this book is interesting and intriguing from the start. . . .I would recommend this book for being able to make obscure concepts of the law come to life. . . . I don't believe libraries would have a hard time marketing this book to their patrons. It basically promotes itself. I think it would be an easy addition to any new books shelf or on a book display set up around our favorite February holiday because its title and appearance would spark the interest of shelf browsers. . .
Elizabeth (Liz) McCurry Johnson, JD/MLS, Reference Librarian, Wake Forest University School of Law

Here's what one reviewer had to say:


Witty, entertaining and fun! Sutton gives the reader a brilliant display of her wit and ingenuity in her unique “kissing book,” which dances with humor and appeal.  Sutton cleverly demonstrates a kiss can be played out with negligence, intent, and even malice as she delightfully confirms “a kiss is not just a kiss” except “when it is worth a lot of money.” Sutton adroitly and imaginatively analyzes a kiss’s many categories--a symbol of peace, respect, love, and friendship, a symbolic religious act, a symbolic legal act, and even a portrayal of death–and, with creative genius, provides the reader with a whole new perspective of “the kiss.” A must gift for one’s valentine who will be both entertained and enlightened with new ‘kissing” insights!


---Marilyn Phelan, J.D., Ph.D.

International Expert on Art and Museum Law and Author,

Museum Law: a Guide for Officers, Directors, and Counsel., 3rd Edition, 2007 (Kalos Kapp Press)


Did you ever think that a kiss was just a kiss?

Anything that has stirred the emotions as much as the kiss, would almost certainly be something that civil society would demand to be controlled!


Indeed, throughout history from the fateful kiss of betrayal by Judas in the Garden of Gethsemane leading to the most famous trial of human history, to 1019 when a kiss was required by law for the transfer of property, to the ban in 1439 by King Henry VI to avoid passing along the Black Death, to the 1500s when the “kiss of peace” was required for all peace agreements in Spain --- law has tried to harness this force of nature, through prohibiting it and requiring it!


Litigation over the famous Life Magazine kissing sailor, murder trials triggered by a kiss, kisses for votes, fidelity agreements not to “kiss and tell”, political kisses and the banning of kissing reptiles, and more.
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Victoria Sutton

Law Professor,

Texas Tech Univ.

School of Law

The Legal Aspects of the Kiss

by Victoria Sutton