Writing Tips

Legal Writing

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Two Excellent Ways to Tell a Judge You Have No Case

Do These 2 Things To Weaken Your Legal Case

First, ask for an extension, the more pages the better.

In a speech titled “How You Too Can Lose Your Appeal,” Judge Alex Kozinski of the Ninth Circuit, once told law students at Brigham Young University:

 

“Even if you don’t get the extra pages, you will let the judges know you don’t have an argument . . . .”

Second, write something snide, hyperbolic, condescending, or obsequious. Or all four.

The lawyer who wrote the following sentence lost the case and a bunch of money when the court sanctioned him:

 

“[This case] is the stuff of which Turow best sellers and other works of ‘legal fiction’ are made, and by which no jurist, either de jure or de facto, would wish to be remembered, but as to which the current chapter is about to be written by the august members of this select Panel – albeit in a strangely oxymoronic, yet altogether predictable, ‘unpublished’ fashion the very nature of which . . . .” Castillo v. Koppes-Conway, 148 P. 3d 289 (2006).

You get the point.

 

Do you know how I know these two things? A roomful of laughing Ninth Circuit judges told me.

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About Gary Kinder

Gary Kinder

WordRake founder Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for AMLAW 100 firms, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. As a writing expert and coach, Gary was inspired to create WordRake when he noticed a pattern in writing errors that he thought he could address with technology.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to help writers produce clear, concise, and effective prose. It saves time and gives confidence. Writing and editing has never been easier.

WordRake takes you beyond the merely grammatical to the truly great—the quality editor you’ve always wanted. See for yourself.

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How Does it Work?

WordRake is editing software designed by writing expert and New York Times bestselling author Gary Kinder. Like an editor or helpful colleague, WordRake ripples through your document checking for needless words and cumbersome phrases. Its complex algorithms find and improve weak lead-ins, confusing language, and high-level grammar and usage slips.

WordRake runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and its suggestions appear in the familiar track-changes style. If you’ve used track changes, you already know how to use WordRake. There’s nothing to learn and nothing to interpret. Editing for clarity and brevity has never been easier.