Brevity Is the Soul of Law


Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet that “Brevity is the soul of wit,” and this observation holds true for legal persuasion as well. Brevity is — or at least should be — the soul of law.

Years ago I wrote what I thought was a very clever, if somewhat long, brief in a patent case. Patent briefs can be rather dull, so I fancied myself quite creative for opening mine with the refrain of a then-popular country tune, “What Kinda Gone.” I thought the lyrics made my key argument — that even ordinary terms in the patent at issue had many different meanings.

Originally published in the May 2013 edition of the California Lawyer.

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Topics:  Career Development, Legal Writing

Published In: Professional Practice Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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