Another perspective on writing from forms

Megan Boyd has a good post at Lady (Legal Writer) on the use of forms in legal writing. She does not ban them, but she does offer some wise cautionary advice on using them.

I am not a fan of writing from forms, at least in persuasive writing. See, for example, this old post. I can see their usefulness when the purpose is not persuasion. If you must use them, follow Megan’s advice. And take a look at these old post from 2007 and 2009.

Two good-looking legal-writing blogs

Two recent additions to my legal-writing blogroll:

  • Lady (Legal) Writer, by Megan Boyd. Megan’s blog recently made the ABA Journal’s Top 100 Blawg list. It’s great to see a legal-writing blog make the list, and Megan’s blog is worthy of the honor. (And of course, we here at The (New) Legal Writer approve the parentheses in the blog title!)
  • R+W Legal Consultants offers research and writing tools for today’s litigators. The proprietor is Eric Voigt, author of a recent article on effective use of parentheticals in legal citations, discussed in this post.

My resolution for the New Year: A new blog

For years, I have wanted to write a book on Louisiana appellate practice. Not some legal-theory thing, but a nuts-and-bolts, this-is-how-I-do-it thing. Problem is, I don’t have the time to write a book. But maybe, every now and then I could write a little piece of it. So I have started a new blog, A Louisiana Appellate Lawyer, where I may write a piece of the book at a time, in random order. I envision the content to be simple: what I do, and why I do it. I hope that it is helpful to aspiring appellate lawyers. I also hope that experienced appellate lawyers with ideas different from mine will enrich the blog with their comments. Maybe one day, I will write that book. But meanwhile, I will self-publish my thoughts on the blog.

Blogroll maintenance

Today I did some long-overdue maintenance of my legal-writing blogroll. If you haven’t browsed the selections there, why not have a look? It’s just to the left, right under “Recent Comments.” Relatively recent additions include the following:

  • Mark Adler. Mark is from England. He retired as a solicitor a few years ago and now lives in in the southern French mountains. His web site “is intended for lawyers and others (including lawyers' clients) who are interested in legal language; but it includes some items which deal with language in general for those who want a wider perspective.” Among the recent additions to his Comment page is Stressful Ambiguity, a short piece demonstrating how sentences that are clear when spoken can become ambiguous when written.

  • Sentence first, billed as “an Irishman’s blog about the English language.” Its proprietor is Stan Carey, who describes himself as “a scientist and writer turned editor and swivel-chair linguist.”

  • Appellate Record, where Texas appellate lawyer Kendall Gray writes entertainingly about legal writing.

The Appellate Record—a blog for those “comfortable with their inner law nerd”

Here’s a blog for appellate lawyers and others who care about good writing: The Appellate Record. Its author, Kendall Gray, strives to provide “online community and virtual watering hole for appellate lawyers and anyone else who is comfortable with their inner law nerd.” One of Kendall’s favorite topics is legal writing; his posts on that topic are both informative and entertaining.

Writers on Process

If you’re interested in how creative writers do their thing, then you should check out Ben Opipari’s new blog, Writers on Process. There, Ben posts the things he learns from interviewing writers in all sorts of genres. If you dream of a second career as a poet, a song writer, or a novelist, visit Ben’s blog, where you can read how people already doing those things do what they do.