Point Made: How to Write Like the Nations Top Advocates

Paperback | March 19, 2014

byRoss Guberman

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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 isdry 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 detailedwriting 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.In addition to all-new examples from the original 50 advocates, this Second Edition introduces eight new superstar lawyers from Solicitor General Don Verrilli, Deanne Maynard, Larry Robbins, and Lisa Blatt to Joshua Rosencranz, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Judy Clarke, and Sri Srinvasan, now a D.C.Circuit Judge. Ross Guberman also provides provocative new examples from the Affordable Care Act wars, the same-sex marriage fight, and many other recent high-profile cases. Considerably more commentary on the examples is included, along with dozens of style and grammar tips interspersed throughout.Also, for those who seek to improve their advocacy skills and for those who simply need a step-by-step guide to making a good brief better, the book concludes with an all-new set of 50 writing challenges corresponding to the 50 techniques.

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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 isdry and dense? The answers are "more science ...

Ross Guberman is president of Legal Writing Pro, an advanced legal-writing training and consulting firm. He has worked with thousands of attorneys at more than 100 of the world's largest and most prestigious law firms and for dozens of state and federal agencies and bar associations. Guberman is also a Professorial Lecturer in Law at T...

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Melanie Klein
Melanie Klein

Kobo ebook|Jun 1 2010


Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:March 19, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199943850

ISBN - 13:9780199943852

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroductionPART ONE: The Theme1. Brass Tacks: "Explain who, what, when, where, why, how"2. The Short List: Number your path to victory3. Why Should I Care? : Give the court a reason to want to find for you4. Don't Be Fooled : Draw a line in the sandPART TWO: The Tale5. Panoramic Shot : Set the stage and sound your theme6. Show, Not Tell : Let choice details speak for themselves7. Once Upon a Time : Replace dates with phrases that convey a sense of time8. Headliners : Use headings to break up your fact section and to add persuasive effect9. Back to Life : Center technical matter on people or entitiesInterlude: Gauging your brief's readability10. Poker Face : Concede bad facts, but put them in context11. End with a Bang : Leave the court with a final image or thoughtPART THREE: The MeatUsing Headings12. Russian Doll: Nest your headings and subheadings13. Heads I Win, Tails You Lose : Argue in the alternativeInterlude: Love "because"Structuring the Sections14. Sneak Preview : Include an umbrella paragraph before your headings and subheadings15. Wish I Were There : Start each paragraph by answering a question you expect the court to have16. Sound Off : Start the paragraphs with numbered reasonsAnalogizing17. Long in the Tooth : Say "me too"18. Peas in a Pod : Link your party with the party in the cited case19. Mince Their Words : Merge pithy quoted phrases into a sentence about your own case20. One Up : Claim that the case you're citing applies even more to your own dispute21. Interception : Claim that a case your opponent cites helps you alone22. Rebound : "Re-analogize" after the other side tries to distinguishDistinguishing23. Not Here, Not Now : Lead with the key difference between your opponent's case and your own24. One Fell Swoop : Distinguish a line of cases all at once25. Not So Fast : Show that the case doesn't apply as broadly as your opponent suggests26. Authority Problems : Suggest that the case deserves little respectUsing Parentheticals27. Ping Me : Introduce your parentheticals with parallel participles28. Speak for Yourself : Include a single-sentence quotation29. Hybrid Model : Combine participles and quotationsIntroducing Block Quotations30. Lead 'Em On : Introduce block quotations by explaining how the language supports your argumentUsing FootnotesInterlude: Citations in footnotes31. Race to the Bottom : Use footnotes only in moderation to address related side points and to add supportPART FOUR: The WordsLiven Up the Language32. Zingers : Colorful verbs33. What a Breeze : Confident tone34. Manner of Speaking : Figures of speech35. That Reminds Me : Examples and analogiesJumpstart Your Sentences36. The Starting Gate : The one-syllable opener37. Size Matters : The pithy sentence38. Freight Train : The balanced, elegant long sentence39. Leading Parts : Two sentences joined as one40. Talk to Yourself : The rhetorical question41. Parallel Lives : The parallel constructionCreative Punctuation42. A Dash of Style : The dashInterlude: The hyphen43. Good Bedfellows : The semicolon44. Magician's Mark : The colonSeamless Flow45. Take Me by the Hand : Logical connectors110 Transition Words and Phrases46. Bridge the Gap : Linked paragraphsVisual AppealInterlude: Looking good47. Join My Table : Tables and charts48. Bullet Proof : Bullet points and listsPART FIVE: The CloseThe Last Word49. Parting Thought : End the argument with a provocative quotation or pithy thought50. Wrap-Up : Recast your main points in a separate conclusionAppendices:The Top Fifty Advocates: BiographiesHow to Write the Perfect Brief: Fifty TechniquesStep One: The ThemeStep Two: The TaleStep Three: The MeatStep Four: The WordsStep Five: The CloseTwenty Best Quotes from JudgesAnnotated ModelsBefore-and-after section from Jones v. ClintonAlaska v. EPAMercExchange v. eBayIndex