Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates

With Point Made, legal writing expert Ross Guberman throws a life preserver to attorneys, who are under more pressure than ever to produce compelling prose. What is the strongest opening for a motion or brief? How to draft winning headings? How to tell a persuasive story when the record is dry and dense? The answers

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(as of December 17, 2017 4:21 am UTC - Details)

With Point Made, legal writing expert Ross Guberman throws a life preserver to attorneys, who are under more pressure than ever to produce compelling prose. What is the strongest opening for a motion or brief? How to draft winning headings? How to tell a persuasive story when the record is dry and dense? The answers are “more science than art,” says Guberman, who has analyzed stellar arguments by distinguished attorneys to develop step-by-step instructions for achieving the results you want.
The author takes an empirical approach, drawing heavily on the writings of the nation’s 50 most influential lawyers, including Barack Obama, John Roberts, Elena Kagan, Ted Olson, and David Boies. Their strategies, demystified and broken down into specific, learnable techniques, become a detailed writing guide full of practical models. In FCC v. Fox, for example, Kathleen Sullivan conjures the potentially dangerous, unintended consequences of finding for the other side (the “Why Should I Care? ” technique). Arguing against allowing the FCC to continue fining broadcasters that let the “F-word” slip out, she highlights the chilling effect these fines have on America’s radio and TV stations, “discouraging live programming altogether, with attendant loss to valuable and vibrant programming that has long been part of American culture.”
Each chapter of Point Made focuses on a typically tough challenge, providing a strategic roadmap and practical tips along with annotated examples of how prominent attorneys have resolved that challenge in varied trial and appellate briefs. Short examples and explanations with engaging titles-“Brass Tacks,” “Talk to Yourself,” “Russian Doll”-deliver weighty materials with a light tone, making the guidelines easy to remember and apply.

Comments

LegalWriter says:

Good with a caveat… As an experienced appellate advocate who has argued over a hundred cases, written several hundred briefs, edited several hundred more, and collected the literature in the field, I am always skeptical of new books on legal writing. Even the best books essentially just rehash the same advice: stay away from the passive voice, block quotations are bad, use footnotes sparingly, etc. Point Made does that too, but to his credit, the author gives these by-now hoary concepts colorful little names to…

Peter says:

One of the best and not just for lawyers I’m an engineer and have done a lot of writing to sell my proposals and ideas. Many of us with technical backgrounds have great ideas but have trouble selling them simply because our writing is often not very persuasive. And if you can’t be persuasive your ideas aren’t worth anything. I’ve taken various technical writing seminars but this book is hands down the best tool I’ve come across for improving my writing. This book offers lots of help, and showed me how to write about the facts…

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