Legal Writing


Get to the Point!

Nym Words: Sufferin’ Suffixes

By | Jul.11.18 | No Comments

Words with the suffix “–nym” pop up regularly. Some are common, but many of the 46 words with this suffix are not. “Nym” derives from the Greek word for name or word. Don’t include obscure –nym …Continue reading »


We're All Skimming Now

Write Like People Read

By | Jul.09.18 | No Comments

Have you noticed that the way you read websites, emails, text messages — even magazine and news articles — has changed over time? A growing body of research suggests the internet is changing how people pay …Continue reading »


Get to the Point!

Why Lawyers Are Redundant: History Is Destiny

By | Jun.12.18 | No Comments

History — and I’m going way, way back — informs why lawyers write in redundancies. Blame It on the French When William the Conqueror imposed Norman law on England in the 11th century, the Anglo-Saxon population was …Continue reading »


Get to the Point!

How Euphemisms Improve Your Lawyering

By | May.30.18 | No Comments

Euphemisms are words or phrases used in place of other words that might offend the recipient of the message. The prefix eu- means “good.” Euphemisms substitute good language for what some might consider bad. Sometimes …Continue reading »


THOMSON REUTERS PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT

Want to Quickly Build an Impressive Reputation in the Courtroom? Write Impressive Briefs

By | May.22.18 | No Comments

As a judge reviews your brief, they’re evaluating your argument and your professionalism. Consider the words of the Hon. Raymond M. Kethledge, a U.S. Court of Appeals judge, in an article he wrote for the …Continue reading »


Get to the Point

Making and Using Too Many Words

By | Apr.11.18 | No Comments

Do you make a decision before using litigation? Or do you just decide to litigate? “Make” and “use” are prime targets for revision as you edit your professional writing. These are transitive verbs. You’re going to …Continue reading »


Get to the Point!

You Lost Me Right From the Start: Avoiding Communication Turn-offs

By | Dec.12.17 | No Comments

You’re articulate, right? You appreciate and emulate good legal writing. So why do you turn off so many listeners and readers so soon? In the film “Jerry Maguire,” Renee Zellweger as Dorothy Boyd tells Tom Cruise’s …Continue reading »


Get to the Point!

The Death of Capitalization

By | Nov.07.17 | No Comments

It started with the iPod, the iPad and the iPhone. Capital letters appeared in places they never appeared before. Grammar rules call for capitalizing proper names, but now the correct reference to some brands calls …Continue reading »


The Analog Attorney

The Perfect Pencil, the Perfect Pen

By | Oct.28.17 | No Comments

Like you, I take a lot of notes in my professional life. Over the years I’ve developed silly obsessions with the quality of Ampad legal pads and National Brand 33-004 notebooks. But I never thought …Continue reading »


Get to the Point!

You Can Conduct an Internet Search, But Should You Google?

By | Oct.03.17 | No Comments

I once defended a product liability case where the client was adamant that the product always be called a “personal watercraft.” It most definitely was not, he insisted, a Jet-Ski. The issue was the use …Continue reading »