The requirements for legal writers are generally more stringent thus giving the writers the opportunity to command higher rates. This is not to say that you can simply declare yourself a legal writer. There will also be that transition period as you work your way to becoming a fully fledged legal writer.
This means that we resolve disputes by examining prior, similar disputes and applying the same rule of decision, which is considered binding precedent. The thinking is that people in similar circumstances are entitled to expect similar results, at least until the habits of the people i.
Our approach stands in stark contrast to the civil-law system, which predominates in most other countries; fixates on written legal codes rather than the evolving habits of the people; and pays no mind to precedent, thereby allowing judges to hand down any number of unpredictable and inconsistent rulings.
It is almost never enough to find a statute or regulation that appears favorable; instead, the attorney should find at least one court Legal writing tips that applies the statute or regulation in a favorable way. With this in mind, here are some useful techniques for finding the case law you need.
Identify The Ideal Case Before you search, you first should identify precisely what you want to find.
This usually boils down to four key criteria: A case from the same jurisdiction where your case is located; A case decided by an appellate court whose opinions are considered binding precedent in that jurisdiction ; A case with same type of issue as in your case; and A case whose ruling on the relevant issue is the same type of ruling you want.
Sometimes you will not be able to locate a case with all of these elements. If that happens, the best you can do is find a case with as many as possible. In some states this is fairly easy because there is only one appellate court, i.
In other states there are also intermediate appellate courts, so focus on the supreme court and the specific appellate court whose jurisdiction is involved. This same approach should work for federal cases that hinge on state law, but in any federal case you should also look for precedent from that federal circuit and from the United States Supreme Court.
At this point the decisions you find are not binding, but rather merely persuasive, so you must decide what authority indeed is persuasive.
It might be a decision from a neighboring jurisdiction whose rulings are often cited in your own. It might be a decision interpreting a uniform code that your jurisdiction also has adopted e.
It might be a decision interpreting a Restatement provision that your own jurisdiction considers authoritative.
And it might simply be a thorough, well-written, and persuasive opinion whose logic is difficult to refute. Calibrate Your Search Thematically It is often not enough merely to start typing words and phrases into a general search whose only constraint is your jurisdiction.
One of the best ways to put a thematic constraint on your search is to take advantage of the headnotes and key numbers used by databases such as Lexis and Westlaw.
If you target your search to those particular cases bearing the headnote most applicable to your own case, you will get a much smaller result that is easier to review, and which can be made even smaller by using words or phrases as search terms at that point. The decision will most likely list a headnote for the relevant issue, and you can launch your search from there.Some of my favorite tips from legal writing authority Bryan Garner: Don’t rely exclusively on computer research.
Also use print indexes, digests, and treatises, including resources like Corpus Juris Secundum and American Jurisprudence, to round out your understanding of the subject schwenkreis.com Books (especially the advanced-search function) can provide fresh resources to supplement what.
Six Legal Writing Tips from Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner That Will Improve Your Brief Writing. June 21, by [email protected] Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner’s short little handbook, Making Your Case, on persuading judges is a great asset for any lawyer. Tips for Better Writing in Law Reviews (and Other Journals) I originally prepared these tips with help and The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing.
• Write your article so that any literate per-son can understand it. Too often, authors Tips for Better Writing in Law Reviews (and Other Journals) Author: Joseph Kimble Subject: Plain Language.
Point First: Legal Writing Academy is brought to you by a team from the Legal Writing Academy project at the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Common Law.
Writing a Resume Knowing how to reference temporary work on a resume can be the difference between success in the job market and career frustration. Read our tips now. This is a guide to good legal writi ng. Good writing consists of avoiding common clunker s and using simpler replacements. The replacements aren't always perfect synonyms but 90% of the time they 're be tter than the or igina l.
Warning: Some cha nges also require grammatica l twiddling of other How 2 Write Good.