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Legal Writing

What’s The Plural Of Condominium?

by Allen Matkins on

Wednesday’s post was entitled “Condominiums And The California Corporate Securities Law“. Today’s post concerns whether I used the proper plural form of “condominium”....more

Can “And” Be A Disjunctive Conjunction?

by Allen Matkins on

Yesterday, I wrote about New York Judge Marcy Friedman’s opinion in Special Situations Fund III QP, L.P. v Overland Storage, Inc., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3878, 2017 NY Slip Op 32125 (Oct. 10, 2017). The case involved a...more

Incorporating By Reference In Your NC Business Court Brief? Don't Do It!

by Brooks Pierce on

If you have ever drafted a Complaint, you have undoubtedly used the words that your previous numbered allegations were "incorporated by reference." It's a way of not having to repeat yourself. That shortcut is specifically...more

Of Section Symbols And Pilcrows

by Allen Matkins on

It wasn’t so very long ago that the lawyer who typed his or her own documents was a rara avis indeed. Nowadays, there are few attorneys who don’t. Therefore, I think most lawyers today share the annoyance of inserting the...more

How to Draft a Proposed Form of Judgment Under the New Rules

If you are in state court, remember that new rule changes took effect on January 1, 2017. The new version of Rule 54 includes several changes that will be important when drafting proposed forms of judgment. Please see...more

Five Ways to Be a Better Blogger

by Blattel Communications on

It can be intimidating to stare at a blinking cursor trying to figure out how to start a blog post. Let’s say you made a resolution to really start blogging in 2017. Now the time has come to get going. If you are at a loss...more

Breathe New, Prolonged Life into White Papers

by Blattel Communications on

Even though the content we consume is getting more and more concise, short and direct, white papers play an important role in professional services marketing – and particularly in the AEC industry...more

Rapid Patent Application Claims Drafting Technique

by Womble Bond Dickinson on

Here is a technique for rapidly drafting claims, for a patent application. This is a brainstorming mechanism that works for one person, or two, or more, and uses a free-form drawing or diagram to both gather words and prompt...more

Legalizing the Appellate Introduction

by Carlton Fields on

In polite society, it is rude not to introduce yourself, but if you are writing a brief to a Florida appellate court, the issue is complicated. The rule describing the required content of a brief does not describe an...more

Which Do You Use: Decisionmaking, Decision Making, or Decision-Making?

by Allen Matkins on

Recently, UCLA Law School Professor Stephen Bainbridge wrote about his allegiance to writing “decision making” as two words. In support, he cites the Chicago Manual of Style. I think that the Manual actually makes a...more

What’s With The “U” In Guarantee (Or Should That Be Guaranty)?

by Allen Matkins on

Spelling and pronouncing English words can be a challenge. I’ve often been puzzled by the word “guarantee”. What’s the point of including the unpronounced “u”? The word is derived from an Old French word, garantir meaning...more

6 Tips On Legal Writing From A Former Federal Law Clerk

In litigation, first impressions frequently are made through the written word. Professional, coherent and accurate writing is crucial to establishing a good reputation with the court, and ultimately winning your case....more

Synecdoche And The California Corporations Code

by Allen Matkins on

Synecdoche is a literary trope by which one refers the whole by a component, or vice versa. The word is derived from an ancient Greek word, su?e?d???, which means understanding one thing with another. Although I was first...more

Was Shakespeare “Sometimes Like a Lawyer”? Legal Writing With The Bard

William Shakespeare breathed his last on April 23rd, 1616, so this April 23rd marks 400 years since his death. It is also, supposedly, his 452nd birthday. Putting aside the oft-silly conspiracy theories and multitudinous...more

Just How Many Errors Can Be Found In The Securities Act?

by Allen Matkins on

I’ve recently completed my editing of the annual update to Marsh & Volk’s treatise, Practice Under the California Securities Laws. One source of frustration has been to account for and explain the numerous technical errors...more

Specific and Manageable Ideas for Enhancing Legal Briefs

by Ellis & Winters LLP on

Writing is central to what we do, and I enjoy thinking about what makes writing effective. In this article, I raise several specific ideas for how to enhance legal writing. The ideas revolve around the notion of what I call...more

With Periphrasis, “Success in Circuit Lies”

by Allen Matkins on

I initially titled Tuesday’s post “The Staff’s Position On Unbundling Gets Even Weirder” but I ultimately elected to substitute “More Weird” for “Weirder”. What I was struggling with was whether to use the comparative or...more

Enjoining The Correct Spelling

by Allen Matkins on

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about Judge Leigh Martin May had issued a ruling enjoining a SEC administrative proceeding. Presumably, Judge May has or will issue an injunction. This leads me to question why the verb is...more

Why The Capitol Is In The Capital?

by Allen Matkins on

Article III, Section 2 of the California Constitution provides that “Sacramento is the capital of California”.  The building in which the legislators meet, however, is denominated the “capitol” building.  Thus, the state...more

“Conforming With” May Not Be “Pursuant To”

by Allen Matkins on

Lawyers often will write “pursuant to [name of law or regulation]” without expecting the phrase to be the source of controversy.  But language is an inherently ambiguous tool and lawyers will, if adequately feed, argue about...more

INTERPOL’s CCF- How plain and clear responses will reduce the workload and increase transparency

by Estlund Law, P.A. on

Some of the best advice I ever received was from a professor who told my law school class to “knock off the legal mumbo-jumbo” and just speak plainly, so people can understand you.  When lawyers speak in legal-ese or in...more

Practical Rhetoric – Pleading & Plausibility

by McGuireWoods LLP on

There’s lots of recent scholarship complaining about how pleading standards have gotten too stringent. Professor Anne Ralph of Ohio State University Law School believes she’s found a solution. In her article in the Yale...more

"In Praise of Law Reviews (And Jargon-Filled, Academic Writing)"

by William Henderson on

That is the title of a forthcoming article by Cass Sunstein in the Michigan Law Review. Sunstein has unusual standing to make this case because, in addition to his academic perches at Chicago and Harvard Law, he was tapped...more

Grammatical Gender And The General Corporation Law

by Allen Matkins on

Many, but not all languages, employ grammatical gender.  Anyone who has studied Spanish or German will know that grammatical gender is essential and can be unrelated to biological sex.  For example, el vestido is a masculine...more

Know What You Are and Are Not Giving Up in a Release

by Burns & Levinson LLP on

Because over 95 percent of civil disputes are resolved without a final judgment, parties routinely enter into settlement agreements that include releases. Further, for those disputes that do not spawn formal litigation, it is...more

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