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McCarter & English Chairman is Tough on Typos

Posted May 30, 2008 11:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The chairman of McCarter & English is apparently a stickler for good grammar.

Chairman Drew Berry tells the Wall Street Journal Law Blog that every first-year lawyer at his firm gets a copy of The Elements of Style by Strunk & White. And he expects the rules to be followed.

“Do not ever for the second time give your senior a piece of writing with a typo or a grammatical mistake,” Berry told the blog. “I will take it once and I will tell the junior my set speech.”

The speech emphasizes that it is a lawyer’s job to force the reader’s mind to move forward through ideas. A grammatical or typographical error “derails the train of thought.” There’s no word on whether a second error could also derail an associate’s career.

Berry has also read an ABA Journal excerpt from a new book on appellate advocacy co-written by Justice Antonin Scalia, and says it’s a must read for all summer associates. Really. “If you don’t read Antonin Scalia’s book, you shouldn’t bother coming back for your next year at the law firm,” he told the blog.

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