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This book is designed to introduce and cover its subject in a simple and entertaining, yet comprehensive, way. It contains chapters on such topics as style, substance, structure, questions, and rebuttal to explain effective approaches to this peculiar form of conversation.
Advice for lawyers on how to improve their legal brief writing and oral argument skills for appeals
When the late Ruggero J. Aldisert wrote Winning on Appeal in 1992, it became an instant classic in law school classrooms and appellate law practices across the country. To celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of the book’s release, Tessa L. Dysart and Leslie H. Southwick carry on the Aldisert tradition of revealing the "nuts and bolts" of how to prepare an effective brief with the nuanced art of a delivering a persuasive appeal to the court. Their meticulously rendered update is replete with dozens of interviews with leading appeals judges and practitioners—treasured guidance from a bona fide who’s who of appellate advocacy in America—and escorts readers into the “wired” courtroom of the twenty-first century, where they explore the benefits and challenges of melding technology with appellate advocacy. With a Foreword penned by U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr., Winning on Appeal conveys the perfect blueprint for any lawyer who wants to win on appeal.
Not long ago, an appellate court fined a lawyer for filing an "incomprehensible brief." That negligence hurt the lawyer's wallet and reputation, but his carelessness hurt his client's case even more. Today, most of our law depends on the written word. A single error can tarnish the writer's image in the eyes of the court and make his or her writing less persuasive. In the end, the client suffers. Even the simplest error reduces the effectiveness of any brief or pleading. Spellcheck won't cure every ill; neither will a loyal and efficient secretary. This little book is dedicated to real legal writing, terse, persuasive, and accurate. It not only teaches brevity, clarity and power in writing, but lists the common pitfalls that infest so much legal writing and destroy the lawyer's meaning and the client's life. It includes tables of commonly misspelled and misused words and commonly confused prepositions. It lays out guidelines for persuasive brief-writing, deals with the letters lawyers regularly write - and some they shouldn't - with office memoranda, and with the basic rules of punchy, persuasive oral argument. It addresses the rules of grammar; the violations of those rules that instantly mark the writer as illiterate at best, and can destroy any amount of clever reasoning and knowledge of the law. It gives examples of how to write effectively . . . and some horrors that good lawyers must avoid. Most important, The Literate Lawyer shows the road to simple, common-sense persuasion, powerful, solid writing that makes the lawyer's point with strength and clarity. And wins cases. About the author: Robert Barr Smith is a Professor at the University of Oklahoma Law Center. He earned a BA in History and a Doctor of Laws from Stanford, and is a member of both the Oklahoma and California Bars. He came to the Law Center in 1982, after retiring from the United States Army as a Colonel. He designed the Law Center's writing, oral advocacy and research class, taught and directed it for fifteen years, served six years as Associate Dean for Academics, and taught trial and appellate advocacy, advanced brief writing, and paralegal writing courses.
This book contains transcripts of twenty-three live recordings of landmark cases argued before the United States Supreme Court between 1955 and 1993.
The Little Black Book is designed to fill a gap in law school pedagogy: the skills needed for succeeding in law school competitions. Law schools perpetually struggle with the need to fit an ever-expanding universe of both doctrinal studies and skills development into a finite curriculum. Training in competition skills inevitable gets squeezed and edited down, and sometimes even left on the cutting room floor. Yet students can benefit enormously from these competitions, as they provide a way for students to practice and develop skills that will benefit themselves and their clients once they enter the workforce. Part I of this manual is designed to guide the user in applying the analytical, writing, and research skills students learned (or are learning) in the first-year courses to the task of preparing an appellate brief. The manual does presuppose some background in legal analysis and persuasive argument. Part I also instructs students on developing and presenting an oral argument based on their briefs. Part II focuses on non-brief writing competitions, specifically the Client Counseling, Negotiation, and Mediation Competitions. Bucholtz, Frey, and Tatum have created a book that is easily adapted to a broad spectrum of instruction: individual, self-teaching, coach-student training, and classroom teaching.
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