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April 2012
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June 2012

Bryan Garner’s summer tour

If you're looking for some summertime CLE, check out Bryan Garner’s summer schedule. He’s offering three programs in one day: The Winning Brief, Making Your Case, and The Garner Method for Better Legal Memos. Bryan’s seminars are both entertaining and educational, so if you have the chance to attend, do. Here are the stops on Bryan’s tour:

  • Seattle — June 4
  • Kan. City, Mo. — June 11
  • Atlanta — June 14
  • Nashville — June 18
  • San Francisco — June 21
  • Wash., D.C. — June 25
  • New York — June 26
  • Los Angeles — June 29
  • New Orleans — July 12
  • Dallas — August 7

I wonder how many pages they used for their motion.

Here’s an interesting legal spat over typography, reported by the WSJ Law Blog and the ABA Journal. According to the stories, one law firm accused another of filing a brief with 1.75 line spacing instead of double-spacing, thus enabling them to squeeze about four more lines on each page of a brief limited to 25 pages. The accused law firm denied the charge, insisting that they used Times New Roman 12-point typeface with line spacing set at 24 points, exactly double the line height. Nevertheless, the judge gave the complaining law firm five extra pages for its response brief.

According to Matthew Butterick’s Typography for Lawyers, double-spacing in Word results in spacing about 233% of line height. So it does seem that, whether or not you can call it “double-spacing,” the accused law firm in fact managed to fit more lines on the page by opting for 24-point spacing in lieu of Word’s double-spacing.

On a related note, what do y’all think of this opening comment in the WSJ Law Blog item:

Lawyers, as good advocates, try to cram as many arguments as possible in their legal briefs, particularly when judges impose limits on how much they can say.

Interesting article on “hard” and “soft” words

Word choice goes a long way to establishing the tone of any writing. And the English language, with its widespread roots, often provides a menu of words to express a thought. Your menu choices will often either increase or lessen the writing’s impact. To heighten your sensitivity to the hardness and softness of your word choices, read Roy Peter Clark’s recent article, How to make your writing stronger by mixing ‘hard’ & ‘soft’ words.

Great seminar for appellate lawyers

If you’re looking for first-rate appellate CLE, I’ve got the seminar for you: the DRI Appellate Advocacy Seminar, to be held in Cambridge, MA on June 21–22, 2012. I’ve attended all the prior DRI appellate seminars except one, and based on my personal experience, I can promise you that the program will be excellent and the company most congenial. For more information about the seminar, download the brochure (PDF) or the press release (Word). You can also visit the seminar web page, where you will find more information about the seminar and can register on line.

Great article about ethos

Check out Scott Stolley’s new article on Reclaiming Your Writer’s Ethos. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Scott for about 12 years now, so I was pre-disposed to liking this article even before I read it. (Hint.)

To the writer, ethos means putting yourself into your writing. Here at T(N)LW, shedding the legal duckspeak and putting yourself into your writing is an article of faith. So we’re most pleased to recommend Scott’s article.