9780827375390

Legal Writing

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780827375390

  • ISBN10:

    0827375395

  • Edition: 2nd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1997-01-07
  • Publisher: Delmar Cengage Learning

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Summary

The importance of communication in the legal environment cannot be underestimated. Effectively using the written word in dealings with clients, legal adversaries, the court, and interoffice communication is vital to ensuring a successful legal career. It examines research strategies and explains when to stop researching and start writing. Each of the five most common forms of legal writing are discussed from briefs to transaction documents. The final section explores methodology, style, editing and publishing the document.

Table of Contents

Preface xiii
CHAPTER 1: Introduction to Legal Writing
1(29)
1.1 Variety of Legal Documents
2(6)
Litigation Documents
2(3)
Briefs
5(1)
Memoranda
6(1)
Transaction Documents
7(1)
Correspondence
7(1)
1.2 The Importance of Legal Writing Skills
8(1)
1.3 Characteristics of Legal Writing
9(7)
The Author
9(1)
The Audience
10(3)
The Writing
13(2)
The Speech Community
15(1)
1.4 The Rules of Construction
16(3)
The Consistency Principles
17(1)
The Specific Limits the General
17(1)
Context Clues
18(1)
Intended Omissions
19(1)
1.5 The Counterrules of Construction
19(2)
1.6 Applying Writing Skills to the Legal Writing Process
21(9)
Beyond Technical Writing
22(1)
Learning About Your Subject Matter
23(7)
CHAPTER 2: The Prewriting Process
30(22)
2.1 The Importance of the Prewriting Process
31(1)
2.2 Stages of the Prewriting Process
31(18)
Identifying the Source Law
32(7)
Reading the Law
39(6)
Analyzing the Law
45(2)
Applying the Law
47(1)
Evaluating the Law
48(1)
2.3 Tips for the Prewriting Process
49(3)
CHAPTER 3: Structure in Legal Documents
52(15)
3.1 The Design of a Legal Document
53(2)
Omit Nothing Important
53(1)
Add Nothing Superfluous
53(1)
Use Parallel Structure
54(1)
3.2 Outline: The Basics of Design
55(7)
Division
55(1)
Classification
56(1)
Sequencing
57(1)
The Importance of Headings
58(1)
A Basic Outline for Memoranda and Briefs
59(1)
Paragraph Design
60(2)
3.3 Sentence Structure
62(5)
Vary Sentence Length
62(1)
Vary Sentence Type
62(1)
Use Sentences to Create Special Effects
63(4)
CHAPTER 4: Diseases of Legal Writing
67(21)
4.1 Avoid Ambiguity
68(2)
Words with Multiple Meanings
68(1)
Syntax Problems
69(1)
Vagueness
69(1)
4.2 Avoid Inconsistency
70(1)
The Ultraquistic Subterfuge
70(1)
The Elegant Variation
71(1)
4.3 Avoid Redundant Pairs
71(1)
4.4 Avoid Noun and Verb Strings
72(1)
4.5 Avoid The Vague Referent
73(2)
Specific Troublesome Words and Phrases
75(1)
4.6 Avoid Legal Jargon
75(1)
4.7 Learn the Difference Between Shall and May
76(2)
The Proper Use of Shall
77(1)
The Proper Use of May
77(1)
4.8 Know How to Use and and or
78(1)
Do not use and/or
79(1)
4.9 Avoid Problem Modifiers
79(5)
The Unnecessary Modifier
79(2)
The Squinting Modifier
81(1)
Successive Prepositions
82(1)
The Use of and or or with Adjectives or Adjective Phrases
82(1)
Terminal Because Clause
83(1)
The Vague Participle
83(1)
4.10 The Importance of Spotting Diseased Writing
84(4)
CHAPTER 5: Style: Polishing Your Writing
88(20)
5.1 Build Sentences Around Verbs
89(1)
Avoid Overuse of Inert Verbs
90(1)
Avoid Superfluous Verbs
90(1)
5.2 Choose Active Rather than Passive Voice
90(2)
Active Voice Identifies the Person Responsible for an Action
91(1)
Active Voice Aids Readability
91(1)
When to Use the Passive Voice
92(1)
5.3 Do Not Overuse Prepositional Phrases
92(1)
5.4 Avoid Fat Nouns
93(1)
The Nominalized Noun
93(1)
The Superfluous Noun
94(1)
5.5 Be Positive, Not Negative
94(1)
Negatives Convey Imprecision
94(1)
Negatives Emphasize Important Points
95(1)
5.6 Use Correct Tense
95(1)
Briefs and Memoranda
95(1)
Transaction Documents
96(1)
5.7 Think Singular (Even When Using Plural)
96(1)
5.8 Use Third Person Except for Correspondence
97(1)
Transaction Documents
97(1)
Correspondence
97(1)
5.9 Use Nonsexist Language
97(2)
Avoid Standard "Gender Definition" Paragraphs
98(1)
Replace Gender Pronouns
98(1)
5.10 Avoid Intrusive Words
99(1)
Keep the Subject and Verb Together
99(1)
Keep Objects with Their Verbs and Prepositions
99(1)
5.11 Put Modifiers in Their Place
99(1)
Split Infinitive Only to Prevent Ambiguity
100(1)
Use Familiar Words
100(1)
5.12 Omit Needless Words
100(4)
Intensifiers
100(3)
The Unnecessary Windup
103(1)
Words Between the and of
103(1)
5.13 Include All Necessary Words
104(1)
That
104(1)
The Whiz Deletion
104(1)
5.14 Write Naturally
105(3)
CHAPTER 6: Editing
108(25)
6.1 The Difference Between Macro and Micro Editing
109(1)
6.2 Macro Editing
110(4)
Is the Tone Appropriate?
110(1)
Is the Writing Coherent?
111(2)
Is the Writing Complete?
113(1)
Does the Document Comply with All Laws?
114(1)
6.3 Micro Editing
114(15)
Check Style
114(1)
Check Spelling
115(1)
Check Word Usage
116(2)
Check Grammar
118(2)
Check Punctuation
120(2)
Check Pronoun Reference
122(1)
Check Capitalization
123(1)
Check Enumeration
124(1)
Check Dates, Ages, and Weights
125(1)
Check Definitions
126(1)
Check Citations
127(1)
Check Quotations
128(1)
6.4 Some Final Editing
129(1)
Edit and Reedit
129(1)
Shorten the Document
129(1)
Proofreading Symbols
129(1)
6.5 Conclusion: The Importance of the Redraft
129(4)
CHAPTER 7: Litigation Documents
133(29)
7.1 Background of Pleading Practice
134(2)
Common Law Pleading
134(1)
Code Pleading
135(1)
Notice Pleading
135(1)
7.2 Distinction Between Pleadings and Motions
136(2)
Pleadings
137(1)
Motions
138(1)
7.3 Form of Court Documents
138(3)
Caption
139(1)
Introductory Paragraph
139(1)
Recitation of Basis of Relief Sought
139(1)
Demand or Prayer
140(1)
Certificate of Service
140(1)
7.4 The Importance of Deadlines
141(1)
7.5 The Tools of the Litigation Professional
142(3)
Court Rule
142(1)
Form Books
143(2)
7.6 Guidelines for Preparing Legal Documents
145(2)
Be Precise and Accurate
145(1)
Develop the Facts
146(1)
7.7 Write Simply and Directly
147(1)
7.8 Sample Pleadings and Motions
148(3)
The Complaint
149(1)
The Summons
150(1)
Responding to the Complaint
150(1)
7.9 Discovery Practice
151(1)
7.10 Other Pretrial Motions
152(1)
7.11 Preparation for Trial
153(9)
CHAPTER 8: Legal Correspondence
162(15)
8.1 Functions of Legal Correspondence
163(3)
To Seek Information
163(1)
To Persuade
164(1)
To Provide Information
164(1)
To Threaten
165(1)
To Record Information
166(1)
8.2 Effective Letter Writing
166(3)
Guidelines for Effective Letter Writing
167(2)
8.3 The Format of Letters
169(3)
The Legal Business Letter
169(3)
8.4 Examples of Legal Correspondence
172(5)
Settlement Letters
173(1)
Report Letters
174(1)
Demand Letters
174(1)
Opinion Letters
174(3)
CHAPTER 9: Transaction Documents
177(26)
9.1 Putting Together Legal Relationships
178(7)
Objectives of the Parties
179(1)
Functions of Transaction Documents
179(1)
Legal and Ethical Considerations
180(2)
The Details of the Transaction
182(1)
Practical Considerations
183(2)
9.2 Volunteering to Draft the Document
185(1)
Advantages of Drafting the Document
185(1)
Disadvantages of Drafting the Document
185(1)
9.3 Consulting Checklists and Form Books
185(5)
Use of Checklists
186(1)
Use of Forms
186(4)
9.4 The Components of the Document
190(3)
Preamble
191(1)
Recitals
191(1)
Consideration
192(1)
Operative Provisions
193(1)
The Parties' Signatures
193(1)
The Importance of Logical Structure
193(1)
9.5 Examples of Transaction Documents
193(10)
Bills of Sale
193(2)
Deeds
195(1)
Corporate Documents
195(1)
Promissory Notes
195(4)
Leases
199(1)
Contract for the Sale of Real Estate
200(3)
CHAPTER 10: Legal Memoranda
203(21)
10.1 What Is a Memorandum?
204(1)
10.2 Preparing to Write a Memorandum--Some General Guidelines
205(2)
Give a Neutral Analysis
205(1)
Get Sufficient Instructions
205(1)
Ascertain the Objectives of the Memorandum
206(1)
Learn the Facts
206(1)
Gather the Source Authority
206(1)
Organize the Issues
206(1)
10.3 Form of the Memorandum
207(13)
Facts of the Memorandum
207(2)
Issues in the Memorandum
209(2)
The Discussion Section of the Memorandum
211(7)
The Conclusion of the Memorandum
218(2)
10.4 Style of the Memorandum
220(1)
10.5 A Sample Memorandum
221(3)
CHAPTER 11: Legal Briefs
224(24)
11.1 Types of Briefs
226(1)
Trial Briefs
226(1)
Appellate Briefs
226(1)
Other Briefs
227(1)
11.2 Brief Writing Process
227(1)
11.3 Form and Content of a Brief
228(15)
Table of Contents
228(1)
Table of Authority
228(3)
Jurisdictional Statement
231(1)
Statement of the Facts
231(3)
Statement of the Case
234(2)
The Issues
236(2)
Argument
238(5)
The Conclusion Section
243(1)
11.4 Style of a Brief
243(2)
Rules for Effective Brief Writing
244(1)
11.5 Response or Reply Brief
245(1)
11.6 A Sample Brief
246(2)
Appendices 248(141)
Glossary 389(4)
Index 393

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