Legal Writing in Plain English, Second Edition: A Text with Exercises

University of Chicago Press
12
Free sample

Admirably clear, concise, down-to-earth, and powerful—all too often, legal writing embodies none of these qualities. Its reputation for obscurity and needless legalese is widespread. Since 2001 Bryan A. Garner’s Legal Writing in Plain English has helped address this problem by providing lawyers, judges, paralegals, law students, and legal scholars with sound advice and practical tools for improving their written work. Now the leading guide to clear writing in the field, this indispensable volume encourages legal writers to challenge conventions and offers valuable insights into the writing process that will appeal to other professionals: how to organize ideas, create and refine prose, and improve editing skills.
Accessible and witty, Legal Writing in Plain English draws on real-life writing samples that Garner has gathered through decades of teaching experience. Trenchant advice covers all types of legal materials, from analytical and persuasive writing to legal drafting, and the book’s principles are reinforced by sets of basic, intermediate, and advanced exercises in each section.
In this new edition, Garner preserves the successful structure of the original while adjusting the content to make it even more classroom-friendly. He includes case examples from the past decade and addresses the widespread use of legal documents in electronic formats. His book remains the standard guide for producing the jargon-free language that clients demand and courts reward.
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About the author

Bryan A. Garner is president of LawProse, Inc., and the Distinguished Research Professor of Law at Southern Methodist University. The editor-in-chief of Black’s Law Dictionary, Garner is the author of several best-selling books, including Garner’sModern American Usage and, with Justice Antonin Scalia, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts and Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Aug 26, 2013
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780226031392
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / General
Law / Reference
Reference / Writing Skills
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Good legal writing wins court cases. It its first edition, The Winning Brief proved that the key to writing well is understanding the judicial readership. Now, in a revised and updated version of this modern classic, Bryan A. Garner explains the art of effective writing in 100 concise, practical, and easy-to-use sections. Covering everything from the rules for planning and organizing a brief to openers that can capture a judge's attention from the first few words, these tips add up to the most compelling, orderly, and visually appealing brief that an advocate can present. In Garner's view, good writing is good thinking put to paper. "Never write a sentence that you couldn't easily speak," he warns-and demonstrates how to do just that. Beginning each tip with a set of quotable quotes from experts, he then gives masterly advice on building sound paragraphs, drafting crisp sentences, choosing the best words ("Strike pursuant to from your vocabulary."), quoting authority, citing sources, and designing a document that looks as impressive as it reads. Throughout, he shows how to edit for maximal impact, using vivid before-and-after examples that apply the basics of rhetoric to persuasive writing. Filled with examples of good and bad writing from actual briefs filed in courts of all types, The Winning Brief also covers the new appellate rules for preparing federal briefs. Constantly collecting material from his seminars and polling judges for their preferences, the second edition delivers the same solid guidelines with even more supporting evidence. Including for the first time sections on the ever-changing rules of acceptable legal writing, Garner's new edition keeps even the most seasoned lawyers on their toes and writing briefs that win cases. An invaluable resource for attorneys, law clerks, judges, paralegals, law students and their teachers, The Winning Brief has the qualities that make all of Garner's books so popular: authority, accessibility, and page after page of techniques that work. If you're writing to win a case, this book shouldn't merely be on your shelf--it should be open on your desk.
With more than a thousand new entries and more than 2,300 word-frequency ratios, the magisterial fourth edition of this book-now renamed Garner's Modern English Usage (GMEU)-reflects usage lexicography at its finest. Garner explains the nuances of grammar and vocabulary with thoroughness, finesse, and wit. He discourages whatever is slovenly, pretentious, or pedantic. GMEU is the liveliest and most compulsively readable reference work for writers of our time. It delights while providing instruction on skillful, persuasive, and vivid writing. Garner liberates English from two extremes: both from the hidebound "purists" who mistakenly believe that split infinitives and sentence-ending prepositions are malfeasances and from the linguistic relativists who believe that whatever people say or write must necessarily be accepted. The judgments here are backed up not just by a lifetime of study but also by an empirical grounding in the largest linguistic corpus ever available. In this fourth edition, Garner has made extensive use of corpus linguistics to include ratios of standard terms as compared against variants in modern print sources. No other resource provides as comprehensive, reliable, and empirical a guide to current English usage. For all concerned with writing and editing, GMEU will prove invaluable as a desk reference. Garner illustrates with actual examples, cited with chapter and verse, all the linguistic blunders that modern writers and speakers are prone to, whether in word choice, syntax, phrasing, punctuation, or pronunciation. No matter how knowledgeable you may already be, you're sure to learn from every single page of this book.
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