An easy way to make your brief-writing more appealing? Shun deadweight openers—however, additionally, consequently, accordingly. That technique has worked wonders for the Chief Justice, who Justice Ginsburg once said was the greatest appellate advocate of his generation. Back in his brief-writing days, he showed how a lighter touch—thus, so, but,
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
“Kagan May Be Dangerous,” wrote the Wall Street Journal’s “Best of the Web” early on in her tenure. More politics as usual? Not at all. The popular right-leaning blog meant “dangerous” as a grudging compliment to the left-leaning Justice, who had just issued her first dissent, attacking the majority for
Lawyers love to quibble about everything. But of all the the potential topics to debate, grammar provides the best fodder for the persnickety legal practitioner. Here are four grammar topics certain to energize your next round of office icebreakers. 1. Should I Use a Serial Comma? Some say we should
Each year, the world awaits Warren Buffett’s letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. Investment insights and macroeconomic musings? Check. But the letter also showcases Corporate American writing at its best. On BriefCatch, in fact, Buffett’s latest missive garners a staggering 100/100 in overall Reader Engagement and another 100/100 in Flowing and Cohesive. Even more impressive: Despite the
As the nation’s first female Solicitor General, current Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan has signed her name to several first-rate briefs. One of her best was in United States v. Stevens. The case began when Congress decided to ban the distribution of “crush videos,” which appeal to fetishists who enjoy watching high-heeled women
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.
A single day at the Supreme Court generated three perfect composite BriefCatch scores. What can the rest of us borrow or steal? From Justice Kagan, how to punch up your prose by starting a series of sentences with one-syllable words. From Justice Gorsuch, how to start your brief or opinion by juxtaposing what