90 ABA Journal Bryan Garner on Words articles.
Take the Editor’s Quiz: Give these briefs a minimalist edit—confining yourself to outright errors. In each sentence that follows, find one or more glaring errors and one or more venial errors.
Oct 1, 2017 2:40 AM CDT
You’ve been asked to give a speech. If you’re well-versed in the subject, you may think you can wing it. Don’t try.
Sep 1, 2017 1:35 AM CDT
Design decisions subliminally influence people’s experience at work—even their job satisfaction. The relative success or failure of meetings, whether with clients, colleagues or outside speakers, depends in part on how the space makes people feel.
Aug 1, 2017 1:05 AM CDT
It’s often said that you must know the rules before you break them. But why is that, exactly?
Jul 1, 2017 1:20 AM CDT
Let’s investigate a little-known secret of style.
Quick: What’s the most emphatic part of a sentence? Many legal writers don’t know, and this explains why many are so poor at phrasing.
Jun 1, 2017 2:10 AM CDT
If, in persuasive writing, your opening words must arouse your reader’s attention, your closing words must somehow prompt your reader to act.
May 1, 2017 1:40 AM CDT
An effective opener involves stating the problem to be solved. After all, what is a motion? It’s a request to resolve a specific problem by entering a specific order.
Apr 1, 2017 2:30 AM CDT
What’s the most important part of a motion or brief? The judges I’ve interviewed over the years give various responses to the question, but what I most often hear is…
Mar 1, 2017 3:20 AM CST
Years ago when I was playing competitive golf in junior tournaments throughout Texas and Oklahoma, my coach was the great Harvey Penick of Austin, Texas. He was the gentlest imaginable…
Feb 1, 2017 2:00 AM CST
Once upon a time, bar journals and law reviews typically devoted many pages to book reviews. Now they’re a rarity for three primary reasons.
Jan 1, 2017 2:00 AM CST
When editing most lawyers’ work, I have little regard for the writer’s voice because most lawyers haven’t cultivated a discernible voice. What all legal writers should strive for is to be the voice of reason.
Dec 1, 2016 2:20 AM CST
In 1680, an anonymous “well-wisher to the attainments of children” wrote A Treatise of Stops, Points, or Pauses. At only 19 pages, this punctuation guide is a slight affair.
Nov 1, 2016 2:10 AM CDT
This year marks two important anniversaries concerning the great Justice Robert H. Jackson.
Oct 1, 2016 2:50 AM CDT
Sep 1, 2016 2:30 AM CDT
May 1, 2016 2:10 AM CDT