Clash of the Titans

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Well, I know where I’m going to be at 5pm CST. It’s not every day that we get to watch the fate of the world being live-streamed from a San Francisco courthouse. That is, assuming the Ninth Circuit’s website doesn’t crash from all the traffic. Everyone pop some popcorn, sit back, relax, and enjoy your front-row seat to political, presidential, and legal history in the making!



Comma Drama

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Wait, so, every voter is by definition “physically disabled or … visibly pregnant or frail”?


The Dunning-Kruger Lawyer

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I recently ran across more awesomeness from Bryan Garner. (Sorry if you’re over the Garner craze. I’m a fan, even though I don’t always agree with him.) Dunning-Kruger debilitates many professions, but I’d have to agree with Garner that we lawyers are all but intellectually paralyzed by it. In pondering “Why Lawyers Can’t Write” back in March of 2013 for the ABA Journal, Garner noted: More

What’s in a Sandwich?

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This is just proof that lawyers will fight over anything.  I love it. More

New Rule #7 … Proofread!

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While I understand that the news media outlets all want to be first, I think this one probably could have spared the extra few seconds it would have taken to correctly spell “fire” and “working.”  Darned speed-typing!  Gets ya every time… More

Look It Up! Or Not…

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I always encourage my students to look up any words that confuse them as they read opinions.  But this 2011 New York Times article  cites a few scholars who don’t think it’s the most judicious practice to undertake from the bench.  Check out this excerpt: More

New Rule #6: What NOT to Say


New Rule!!!  Legal writers, never use the word “witnesseth” again.  Ever.

Even though I differ a bit from Bryan Garner on the use of footnotes, I think he’s right on the money when it comes to overused, archaic legalese.  Here’s Garner’s latest article on the topic.  He explains why these words/phrases should be retired from the legal lexicon:

  • and/or
  • herein
  • deem
  • know all men by these presents
  • provided that
  • pursuant to (I must admit I’m guilty of using this one)
  • said
  • same
  • shall
  • whereas
  • witnesseth
  • such

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