Class 2 Advanced (Legal) Writing. POLS 363 International Law P. Brian Fisher Spring 2010. Why Legal Writing: The Case for Legal Writing Legal Writing Skills Part I Legal Writing Skills Part II Legal Writing Skills Part III. Detesting simplifiable jargon.
POLS 363 International Law P. Brian Fisher Spring 2010
Why Legal Writing: The Case for Legal Writing Legal Writing Skills Part I Legal Writing Skills Part II Legal Writing Skills Part III
Detesting simplifiable jargon Example: A prehearing conference was held on July 15, 2000, and the result of said conference was that Rawson was given an extension of time until August 6 to respond to Vicker's motion. Rawson subsequently failed to file any response thereto. Solution: On July 15, 2000, in a prehearing conference, the court extended Rawson’s time to respond to Vicker’s motion until August 6. But Rawson failed to file a response. Fisher: At the prehearing conference on July 15, 2000, Rawson was given an extension until August 6 to respond to Vicker’smotion; however, Rawson failed to respond.
Detesting simplifiable jargon #2 Example: In the event that any employee is requested to testify in any judicial or administrative proceeding, said party will give the company prompt notice of such request in order that the company may seek an appropriate protective order. Solution: An employee who is subpoenaed to testify in a judicial or administrative proceeding must give the company prompt notice of the subpoena so that it can decide whether to seek a protective order. Fisher: A subpoenaed employee testifying in a judicial or administrative proceeding must provide sufficient notice to the company so that it can decide whether to seek a protective order.
“Deep Issue” Technique Summary on page 1 (Fisher: in first paragraph): a summary that encapsulates the upshot of the message. 3 Parts 1. the question (issue) 2. the answer (resolution of the issue) 3. the reasons (rationale—why) Why? 1. helps to test the validity of your conclusion 2. ensures that you will focus on those issues/conclusions in middle 3. eliminates extraneous details/issues not directly on point
Topic Sentences & Signposts Topic Sentences Open paragraph with topic sentence (what the next para will be about). TS should transition neatly from the previous para. Use the para as a basic unit of the thought Signposts Use heading and textual signposts to aid the reader State explicitly the issues/problems you will discuss and then discuss them in the same order with explicit signposts (first, second, third).
Counterarguments Deal with them up front—acknowledge and address them as part of your argument Anticipate the weaknesses of your arguments and bring them into the analysis Well constructed argument Legal premise factual premise conclusion possible objection or counterargument answer to this objection Further point(s) in support Clincher (or wrapping up the issue)
Writing Sample WS on Carbon Trading
Keys to Good Writing GOAL: To write with economy of power and cogency ELEMENTS Frame your thoughts carefully Preparation—Whirlybird (nonlinear outlining) Seek cogency, clarity and conciseness Logical Sequencing Use headings and subsections for clarity Simplify sentence structure (less than 20 words) ** Omit unnecessary words Eliminate simplifiable jargon “Deep Issue” Technique: Lead with most important points and summary in 1st paragraph Be forthright with counterarguments (trying to persuade) Introduce each para with a strong topic sentence Use Simple signposts: either headings or list within paragraphs