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Friday, May 18, 2012

Legal Writing - What are Judges looking for...

These articles and blogs have great tips for both pro se litigants and lawyers, "If a writer knows enough about what he is writing about, he may omit things that he knows. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one ninth of it being above water."  Ernest Hemingway brief writing tips from a variety of judges

20 Questions for the Appellant Judge

Indicators of great legal writing: "streamlined introductions, fact sections that are more persuasive than argumentative, varied sentence structure, liberal use of examples and analogies, clean transitions between points, eye-pleasing formatting, and smooth integration of authorities."
Ask the Author: Interview with Ross GubermanSCOTUSblog (Mar. 24, 2011, 4:37 a.m.), 

For the above and more ideas see: Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing Vol. 20 | Nos. 2 and 3 | Winter/Spring 2012  -

Exercise and then work - see the why here in Run to Walk

So you want to be an Attorney see what the schools are and are not teaching you and make better choices about where you attend; hint check MSL compared to other school theories:

Proof Reading:

Emotional Editing can the reader understand what you or someone else wrote?

"Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 28(d) reminds attorneys writing appellate briefs to use names or descriptions of people rather than generic words like appellant and appellee."

FDsys is free - to help you stay updated with Federal Regulations West and Lexius are only within a week: see

"...good advocates are adept at organizing arguments so that they dispose of the reader’s reasonably suspicious questions even before they are fully articulated in the reader’s mind."

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Leon Uris wrote Exodus which illustrate's the history of Palestine from the late 19th century through the founding of the state of Israel in 1948. It was a worldwide best-seller, translated into a dozen languages; I have to agree when Uris once said - "Research to me is as important or more important than the writing. It is the foundation upon which the book is built." PS. he never graduated high school and failed English 3 times; and that is exactly where he succeeded - the mind is a power tool use it.


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