Archive for October, 2014

Some of my favorite tips from legal writing authority Bryan Garner: Don’t rely exclusively on computer research. Also use print indexes, digests, and treatises, including resources like Corpus Juris Secundum and American Jurisprudence, to round out your understanding of the subject matter. Google Books (especially the advanced-search function) can provide fresh resources to supplement what you find with Westlaw or Lexis. Lead with a summary of your conclusions, not with a full statement of facts. Start your brief, opinion letter, or research memorandum with an up-front summary, which will typically include the principal questions or main issue, the answers to those questions, and the reasons for those answers. Never open with a full-blown statement of facts. Facts are useless to a reader who doesn’t yet understand what the issue is. Instead, integrate a few key facts into your issue statement. Make your summary understandable to outsiders. Your biggest challenge is put your upfront summary in a way that your friends and relatives […]