BriefCatch Blog

Writing Tips & Legal Writing Articles

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Seven Ways to Write Like Justice Kagan

By Ross Guberman / March 30, 2021 /

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. Looking to…

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50 Advocacy Writing Exercises

By Ross Guberman / November 19, 2020 /

Here are 50 writing challenges based on the 50 techniques in my Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates. Enjoy! Introductions Brass Tacks. In one sentence each, answer these five questions about a dispute: Who are the parties and what is their relationship? What question does the dispute seek to answer? When…

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Writing About Regulations? Remember “You and Yours”

By Ross Guberman / April 24, 2020 /

So many people yearn to understand regulations right now. If you want to help, think of yourself as an interpreter. Less “copy and paste” and more “streamline and clarify.” Here’s an underused tip: Make it all about “You.” Let’s take the IRS’s attempt to explain a complex scheme involving inherited individual retirement accounts, or IRAs.…

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Writing to Clients and the Public in the COVID-19 Era: Some Clarity Tips

By Ross Guberman / April 7, 2020 /

So many are clamoring for guidance from lawyers right now. And so many lawyers are clamoring to be trusted advisors. Time pressure, high stakes, and ever-evolving rules make clear writing invaluable these days. But are we doing all we can? Let’s apply some clarity tips to a typical BigLaw client alert I found randomly. The…

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Force Majeure and Coronavirus: A Checklist

By Ross Guberman / April 1, 2020 /

I skimmed hundreds of pages of client alerts and other publications. Here’s a distillation. What is force majeure? A contract defense allowing you to (1) delay performance, (2) excuse performance, or (3) limit liability from nonperformance. You invoke force majeure over an event (or the effect of an event) that you couldn’t control or reasonably anticipate…

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Five Ways to Write Like George Conway III

By Ross Guberman / March 31, 2020 /

When you hear the name George Conway III, do you think “Kellyanne” or “That Twitter Guy”? My goal is to make the association “Peerless Securities Litigator” or “Crack Legal Writer.” After all, Mr. Conway figured in my Point Made long before he became a household name. Let’s take two routine briefs Mr. Conway signed at…

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Five Ways to Write Like Justice Kagan

By Ross Guberman / March 29, 2020 /

It’s hard to get lawyers and judges to agree on much these days, but here’s one exception: that Justice Elena Kagan is a terrific writer. Take her majority opinion in Allen v. Cooper. Kagan’s opening facts might already reel you in: But don’t be fooled. It’s still a case about sovereign immunity in copyright actions.…

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