You know what’s embarassing? When a judge takes the time to respond to your motion for a longer brief with by editing part of your brief (pdf) and referring you to The Elements of Legal Style.

A review of the proposed, twenty-nine-page motion’s commencement confirms that a modicum of informed editorial revision easily reduces the motion to twenty-five pages without a reduction in substance.

Oh, snap.

Read “A federal judge demonstrates the value of editing” on Legal Writing Prof Blog (via The Legal Writing Editor).

  • Ouch!

  • They are called “briefs” after all. If only more judges would at least take the time to read and comment like this, we’d all have less to read.

  • Daphne Macklin

    There is writing and there is writing well. It takes practice and discipline and as the judge indicated a certain sense of humor. Maybe I should become a freelance editorial consultant as there seems to be a growing need for lawyers who know how, to well, write.

  • I don’t think in all my time as a lawyer so far, I have come across such an occurrence in England UK. Lawyers are though criticised for sometimes being paper-heavy but that sort of comes with the job.