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

Ross Guberman (President, President, Legal Writing Pro)

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Oxford University Press Inc
20 October 2015
Legal skills & practice; Legal system: general; Company, commercial & competition law; Law: study & revision guides
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.
By:   Ross Guberman (President President Legal Writing Pro)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 208mm,  Width: 144mm,  Spine: 22mm
Weight:   448g
ISBN:   9780190268589
ISBN 10:   0190268581
Pages:   376
Publication Date:   20 October 2015
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Introduction 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 Biographies Practice Pointers Index

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).

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

If I were a judge, I'd make this required reading for my law clerks. Point Taken is an invaluable resource for any judge who cares about the craft of writing opinions. -David Lat, Managing Editor, Above the Law In Point Taken, Guberman has done both the wonderful and the impossible. He's done a wonderful job synthesizing the craft of writing judicial opinions. His insights and techniques are extraordinary, and he demonstrates great discipline in presenting a menu of approaches rather than dictating a particular style. He provides a superb tool for judges and arbitrators (and, yes, law clerks) to do their jobs better while cultivating a style that suits them. He also achieved what I thought was impossible: he transformed legal writing into a guilty pleasure. The book is fun, which is rare for any work that teaches so much. -Noah Messing, Lecturer, Yale Law School and AAA Arbitrator


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