Democratic stalwarts Seth Waxman and Lloyd Cutler, along with 156 prominent lawyers, signed a letter attesting to John Roberts’s reputation as a “brilliant writer.” Thanks to Roberts’s recent confirmation, many people now know about the letter. But what is it that makes Roberts’s writing so brilliant? Let’s explore that question
In Justice Kagan’s debut opinion, she imagined a debtor buying an old junkyard car “for a song.” Now, a decade later, writing better than ever, she’s penned an opinion about a Ford Explorer. Leave it to Kagan to adorn this specific-jurisdiction matter with rhythm and punch, intellectual tension, and even a touch of pathos.
Many lawyers find themselves retelling—or regurgitating—testimony from fact witnesses, expert witnesses, or both. The default mode is often as painful to write as it is to read. A witness “stated that.” And then, in the next sentence, the witness “further stated that.” If the writer is feeling feisty, a few
Ted Olson and David Boies, opponents of California’s Prop. 8 had some unlikely allies to thank. Although the two men famously faced off in Bush v. Gore, their differences don’t end there. Olson argued against allowing women into the Virginia Military Institute; Boies once represented filmmaker Michael Moore. Olson served
A federal judge in Florida once “corrected” dozens of errors in a routine motion. He mainly fixed typos, but he also marked up several types of errors that many excellent writers make. Here are four examples; the sample sentences are from the judge’s corrected version. 1. Faulty Capitalization of ‘Order’ and