If you either write or read judicial opinions, then you should read Opinion Writing and Opinion Readers, by Judge Ruggero Aldisert and two of his law clerks, Meehan Rasch and Matthew P. Bartlett. In this paper, Aldisert & Co. examine whether to write an opinion at all, the audiences to whom an opinion may be directed, the structure of an opinion. and the function of each section. If you write judicial opinions, this paper will help you write better ones. If you read judicial opinions, this paper will help you understand them better by understanding the writer’s purposes.
This paper is a preview of the forthcoming second edition of Judge Aldisert’s book Opinion Writing, which (the publisher promises) is “coming soon.”