Bryan A. Garner, A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage (2nd ed. 1995)
Economist Style Guide

Bryan Garner on document design

Bryan A. Garner's advice on document design isn't in any one of his books; it's in several of them:

If you follow Garner's advice, you'll do the following things:

  • For text, use a readable, serifed typeface, such as Times New Roman or Palatino. Sans serifed typeface, such as Arial or Verdana, is okay for headings.
  • Create white space by using generous margins, headings and subheadings, and bulleted lists; and by placing citations in footnotes.
  • Don't use all capital letters. Many legal writers try to emphasize certain passages by putting them in all caps. This is counter-productive, as it makes the text more difficult to read.
  • To emphasize something, prefer italics to underlining. Underlining obscures the descending portions of letters like g, j, p, q, and y, making them more difficult to distinguish.
  • Prefer a ragged-right margin to full justification.
  • Most important: If court rules tell you to do something different from the above, follow the court rules.