Writing Tips

Legal Writing

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Six Sentence Openings That Irritate Judges

6 Sentence Openings That Will Irritate Any Judge

No judge will sanction you for writing foolish words like “unfortunately.” She would like to, but she doesn’t have time. Words like that irritate many judges, and you do not want an irritated judge reading your brief, especially if you have caused the irritation. The typical pattern is the cute adverb followed by a comma at the beginning of a sentence:


Unfortunately, Defendant has cited the wrong subsection of that statute.

Interestingly, Plaintiff attaches page 40 from the Public Roster.

Curiously, Defendant admits that fact.

Conveniently, Plaintiff fails to refer to this affirmative defense in his opposition.

Surely, plaintiff’s counsel should have known to file plaintiff’s claim with the State Board of Control.

Incredibly, the Appellee contends the opposite.


Do not give the judge a reason for not liking you or your case. Opening like this is not advocacy anyway. It’s merely irritating and unprofessional.

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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.