Point Taken: How To Write Like the World's Best Judges

Point Taken: How To Write Like the World's Best Judges

by Ross Guberman

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In Point Taken, Ross Guberman delves into the work of the best judicial opinion-writers and offers a step-by-step method based on practical and provocative examples. Featuring numerous cases and opinions from 34 esteemed judges - from Learned Hand to Antonin Scalia - Point Taken, explores what it takes to turn "great judicial writing" into "great writing".

Guberman provides a system for crafting effective and efficient openings to set the stage, covering the pros and cons of whether to resolve legal issues up front and whether to sacrifice taut syllogistic openings in the name of richness and nuance. Guberman offers strategies for pruning clutter, adding background, emphasizing key points, adopting a narrative voice, and guiding the reader through visual cues. The structure and flow of the legal analysis is targeted through a host of techniques for organizing the discussion at the macro level, using headings, marshaling authorities, including or avoiding footnotes, and finessing transitions. Guberman shares his style "Must Haves", a bounty of edits at the word and sentence level that add punch and interest, and that make opinions more vivid, varied, confident, and enjoyable. He also outlines his style "Nice to Haves", metaphors, similes, examples, analogies, allusions, and rhetorical figures. Finally, he addresses the thorny problem of dissents, extracting the best practices for dissents based on facts, doctrine, or policy. The appendix provides a helpful checklist of practice pointers along with biographies of the 34 featured judges.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190268589
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 09/01/2015
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 376
Sales rank: 359,257
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Ross Guberman is the president of Legal Writing Pro. From Alaska to Paris and Hong Kong, he has conducted more than a thousand workshops on three continents for many of the world's largest and most prestigious law firms, for judges and courts, and for corporations and governmental agencies. He has spoken at several judicial conferences, has trained both new and experienced federal judges, and has worked with many judges abroad as well. Mr. Guberman is a graduate of Yale, the Sorbonne, and The University of Chicago Law School. He is the coauthor of Deal Struck: The World's Best Drafting Tips (Legal Writing Pro Press, 2014) and the author of Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation's Top Advocates (Now in its Second Edition, Oxford University Press, 2014).

Table of Contents


Part I. Set the Stage: The Opening

Part II. The Tale: The Facts

Part III. The Meat: The Legal Analysis

Part IV. The Words: Style "Must-Haves"

Part V. The Words: "Nice-to-Haves" in Style

Part VI. Dissents: The Road Not Traveled

Part VII. Appendices


Practice Pointers


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