Matthew Salzwedel

Matthew R. Salzwedel is a former lead managing editor of the Minnesota Law Review. After law school, he clerked for the Minnesota Court of Appeals and practiced commercial and antitrust litigation in Minneapolis and Philadelphia. He now is corporate counsel at a Minneapolis-based company. Follow on Twitter @mrsalzwedel and @legalwritinged.

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The Enigmatic Em Dash

Don't fear the em dash—it can add energy and much needed variety to your prose.

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Faux Words of Precision—Part 1

It's a popular myth that "words of precision" make contracts more precise. This is the first of a two-part series devoted to debunking that myth.

Canterbury Tales

Fear Not Beginning Sentences with And or But

Old superstitions die hard. Yes, you can begin sentences with And and But

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Use 5-Cent Words for 10-Dollar Ideas

To convey big ideas in your legal writing, use short, familiar Anglo–Saxon words.

Efficiency Printing

Effective Writing is Efficient Writing

To write efficiently, uncover buried verbs and cut useless prepositions. Clients appreciate efficiency and the courtesy that comes with it.

Contractions

Is it Time for Contractions in Legal Writing?

Contractions don't deserve the label of uneducated vulgarisms. So why do judges and lawyers avoid them in their legal writing?

Face It — Bad Legal Writing Wastes Money

If you want to save your firm and its clients money, focus on the hard and opportunity costs of bad legal writing.

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Don’t Miss These Marks in Your Legal Writing

If you're confused about when to use hyphens, en dashes, and em dashes in your legal writing, here are some basic rules.

The Pitfalls of Sentence Adverbs in Legal Writing

Good legal writers avoid the myriad problems caused by using sentence adverbs in legal writing. Here's how you can too.

Legal-Writing Resolutions for 2013 (Part Two)

Assuming the world doesn't end on December 21, here are some New Year's resolutions that can improve your legal writing in 2013 (Part 2 of 2)

Legal-Writing Resolutions for 2013 (Part One)

Assuming the world doesn't end on December 21, here are some New Year's resolutions that can improve your legal writing in 2013 (Part 1 of 2).

Striking Introductions Make Memorable Legal Writing

Want to compose striking introductions to your legal writing? Try emulating the great composers.

Spell-Checkers Won’t Catch These Usage Bungles

Does your spell- and grammar-checker proof your writing and make your usage decisions? Some common usage errors should make you think twice.

Persnickety Lawyers Hyphenate Phrasal Adjectives

Persnickety lawyers hyphenate phrasal adjectives. Novices don't. So stop perpetuating this usage mistake by learning some basic rules.

Simple Legal Writing a Newfangled Idea? Hardly.

A simple, direct style of legal writing isn't a newfangled idea. In fact, this style has deep roots in Western literature and law. So let's defend it.