Reasonable people can disagree on whether citations should be in footnotes or in main text. But if a court rule or order tells you to put them in text, follow the rule or order. If you don’t, you may get bench-slapped with one of these. (Hat tip to Above the Law.)
Here is an interesting old book that’s available online for free reading: The Art of Readable Writing (© 1949 by Rudolf Flesch). You may recognize Flesch’s name from those readability algorithms you’ve encountered, like the one built into Word. So far I’ve just read part of the first chapter—the part where Flesch says that Aristotle was wrong (or at least wrong about English). Anyone who writes expository prose should at least be acquainted with Flesch’s work. (Hat tip to Cheryl Stephens.)
Here at T(N)LW, we try to cover all aspects of legal writing. And of course, we love good legal research. With those thoughts in mind (and with an offensive-language warning), here is the brief filed by the Washington Redskins in the team’s appeal of an order cancelling its trademarks. The brief, filed by Quinn Emanuel and Arnold & Porter, makes the point that the Redskins’ trademark is no more offensive than some other trademarks that have not been cancelled. The results of the legal research on that point are on pages 4, 23, 24 (including n. 4), 39, and 40. I suppose they would have found room for more if they were not bumping up against the word-count limit (13,997 words, according to the certificate of compliance).
Since this is an appellant’s brief, the hard copies will have a blue cover. That seems appropriate.
The second edition of Matthew Butterick’s instant classic, Typography for Lawyers, has hit the streets. If you don’t have your copy yet, don’t fret; you can start improving your typography now. Just read and follow Matthew Salzwedel’s 10 Takeaways from Typography for Lawyers.