ADVOCACY: THE JUDGE’S VIEW: SERIES 3: PART 9: “DON’T BITCHSLAP YOUR OPPONENT”: GUIDANCE FROM A CRANKY JUDGE

Here we are going to the USA and looking at guidance given by Federal Judge Richard G Kopf in his blog Hercules and the Umpire.  As every the aim here is to get you to read the original (follow the hyper links as well, they will give you some surprises).  The post is short – but punchy.

 

It would be nice if you gave me a concise and accurate statement of the facts backed up by citations to the record and addressed to the elements of the case.  The Court of Appeals does not give a rat’s ass about what I think of the law, but it does care (at least a little) what I think of the facts.  Comprende? “

WRITING HINTS

“Top ten legal writing hints when the audience is a cranky federal trial judge”

The title gives a taste of what is to come.  A short, and very no nonsense, guidance to those submitting written submissions.  The selected highlights.

 

  • Get a good editor.  Never send me something unless someone less dumb than you has read it first.”

  • “Justice Scalia writes smack.  You can’t.  Justice Kennedy waxes grand eloquent.  You can’t.  Justice Breyer writes simply.  You should.”

  •  “Is it too much to ask you to read and follow the local rules?  Remember the venerable Latin legal maxim:  Rules are the opposite of sucks.”

  •  “Please don’t “bitch-slap” your opponent.  It only makes me want to do the same to you, but in super slow motion.”

  •  “I have always appreciated the writing style used in the “Dick and Jane” books.  In addition to being vaguely titillating (which is always a plus), even I could understand the prose without having to read a sentence twice.  I wish that were true of most of the verbiage you send me.”