Point Taken: How to Write Like the Worlds Best Judges

Paperback | September 15, 2015

byRoss Guberman

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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 whatit 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, includingor 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 featuredjudges.

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From the Publisher

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 whatit takes to turn "great judicial writing" i...

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...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:376 pages, 8.19 × 5.51 × 1.1 inPublished:September 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190268581

ISBN - 13:9780190268589

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I. Set the Stage: The OpeningPart II. The Tale: The FactsPart III. The Meat: The Legal AnalysisPart IV. The Words: Style "Must-Haves"Part V. The Words: "Nice-to-Haves" in StylePart VI. Dissents: The Road Not TraveledPart VII. AppendicesBiographiesPractice PointersIndex

Editorial Reviews

"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 analready talented writer who reads the book will also become a better judge." --Steve Leben, Court Review