Monday, March 1, 2010

Writing Like the Best

For over a decade, dozens of litigants who could hire anyone to handle their US Supreme Court case called one lawyer first:  John Roberts.

One of his appellate briefs illustrates "Five Ways to Write Like John Roberts," says Ross Guberman at Legal Writing Pro.

I highly recommend the article, both as case study and practice guide.  Read the whole thing; it's only 3 pages.  But if your nose is to the grindstone, here are the 5 take-aways:
  • "Let your facts 'show, not tell.'"
  • "Add speed through short and varied transitions."
  • "Add elegance and clarity through parallel constructions."
  • "Add interest through short sentences, examples, and figure of speech."
  • "End with a bang."
I'd enjoy reading a brief like this.  Your appellate panel probably would, too.

(h/t How Appealing)