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

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9780190268589: Point Taken: How to Write Like the World's Best Judges

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.

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About the Author:


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).

Review:

"Guberman's Point Taken is--by far--the best book I've seen on judicial writing. He explains the craftsmanship these exemplary judges use. And he provides solid guidance for how you could at least attempt to do similar work. Any judge who studies the book will become a better writer. And an already talented writer who reads the book will also become a better judge." -Steve Leben, Court Review

"Ross has selected some of the best snippets from the world's best judicial opinion writers to teach and inspire readers." Lady (Legal) Writer

"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


"In this essential book, Ross Guberman urges judges to 'go bold' -- and he follows his own advice. Guberman unflinchingly critiques and praises the opinions of judges ranging from Richard Posner to Elena Kagan. In the process, he offers practice points that any judge should embrace, such as 'Judges of the world, declutter!' and 'The more sentences per page, the better.' Ross's practical advice to judges will vastly improve American jurisprudence, and lawyers and journalists who read this book will learn a thing or two as well." -Tony Mauro, Supreme Court correspondent for The National Law Journal


"Ross Guberman has long done a true service to the legal profession by teaching writing excellence to lawyers. With Point Taken, he's gone the extra mile by teaching it to judges as well. But this book has something to teach every lawyer-indeed, every writer-about how to craft a persuasive argument, how to sharpen one's prose, and how to dissent eloquently and effectively. I learned a lot from Ross's book, and I think any reader would." -Michael H. Schill, Dean, and Harry N. Wyatt Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 35 prolific 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 35 featured judges. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780190268589

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 35 prolific 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 35 featured judges. Bookseller Inventory # AOP9780190268589

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