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Category Archives: Writing

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Friday Review: A Place I Haven’t Been in a While

Posted in Writing

On my way home from the office yesterday, I darkened the doors of a place I haven’t been in a while: the public library. When I was throwing some things out recently, I stumbled upon my old library card. The card sat in my car for a while. And today I used it. Anticipating upcoming… Continue Reading

Were Briefs Better in the 40s-60s? If So, Why?

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing

Today, I attended a continuing legal education seminar featuring Ross Guberman. Ross is the author of Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates. When his book first came out, I briefly reviewed it and interviewed Ross here on the blog. I have enjoyed Ross’s book immensely and have used it as a… Continue Reading

To Be a Better Listener / To Ask for Advice Better

Posted in Attorney-Client Relationship, Writing

It’s been a long holiday season, and January’s been a busy time. I’m hoping to re-develop the blogging habit. And I find that I am much better at writing posts when I’m reading posts. Toward that end, I opened up the RSS app and caught back up on my favorite blogs, Simple Justice and Defending… Continue Reading

An Initial Problem about Initials

Posted in Writing

A lawyer wrote me yesterday with an interesting question. The lawyer is writing a Brief of Appellant where the client was convicted of child molestation. The lawyer’s question was whether it was proper to use the victim’s name in the Brief. Are there any rules or traditions that govern the use of the victim’s name?… Continue Reading

Scalia’s and Garner’s New Book Suggests Principled Approach

Posted in Opinions and Analysis, Writing

Readers of this blog may be surprised to know that I am a Scalia fan. Criminal defense lawyers who don’t like Jusice Scalia just don’t understand him yet. There is much to commend Jutice Scalia to a criminal defense attorney. He penned some of the most significant opinions in the last decade on the Confrontation… Continue Reading

An Update to the Typography Post

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of Georgia, Writing

This week, I received an email from Don Roch at Bowers & Roch in Canton, Georgia, in response to a post on a CLE talk I gave on typography. He took issue with my claim that, in Georgia appellate courts, you are stuck with Courier New 12 or Times New Roman 14. Don did a… Continue Reading

My Controversial Talk on Typography (No Kidding)

Posted in Georgia Court of Appeals, Supreme Court of Georgia, Uncategorized, Writing

If you read this blog regularly, it is no secret that I am a recent convert and evangelist for Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers. I have a long way to go in my legal writing before I reach a point of mastery, but I am happy to be paying attention. One of the chairs for… Continue Reading

Uniform Rule on Electronic Court Filing: A Step in the Right Direction For Georgia

Posted in News, Supreme Court of Georgia, Writing

Yesterday, I noticed that there is a proposed rule from the State Bar of Georgia to provide for electronic filing in Georgia courts. Of course, it’s just a proposed rule (PDF). And what comes of it may be simply a model rule for trial courts to follow if they choose to allow electronic filing. But… Continue Reading

What to do When You Get to Write the Order

Posted in Writing

This week’s theme has been orders. Every now and them, you are lucky enough to win. And when you’re even luckier, you get to prepare the winning order. Sometimes, though, you get asked to draft an order, and your opponent does, too. Drafting an order in that situation is a little tricky, because you have… Continue Reading

Bryan Garner’s SCOTUS Interviews Now Available in Print

Posted in Writing

It is now the talk of the appellate bar nationwide. Bryan Garner has recently released transcripts of his interviews with 8 United States Supreme Court Justices. If you plan on doing any legal writing (whether it’s before the SCOTUS, another appellate court, or any where else), you need to download the interviews, available at The Scribes… Continue Reading

Read Steven Pressfield’s New Book if You Want to Write Better Briefs

Posted in Writing

Appellate writers face some of the same challenges that novelists and other artists face. Those things include procrastination, anxiety, self-defeating thoughts, and even alcoholism and other types of drug abuse. A brief is a peculiar type of artistic endeavor, and such things are tough. To make things worse, if you represent the appellant, the finder… Continue Reading

The Changing Craft of the Appellate Brief

Posted in Writing

Ben Kerschberg, wrote yesterday about his experience as a paralegal in the mid-90s in the appellate litigation section of Sidley Austin. More particularly, he wrote about the process of getting briefs ready to file in the United States Supreme Court in the pre-pdf era. True, the technology has now developed to the extent that it… Continue Reading