ABA Journal

Legal Writing

309 ABA Journal Legal Writing articles.

Need to sharpen your legal writing? 10th Circuit Court judge shares his tips

There's plenty of conventional wisdom about what makes a good legal brief or court opinion. Judge Robert E. Bacharach of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says when judges socialize, their conversations often devolve into discussions about language and pieces of writing that they enjoy or revile.

Did Gorsuch misstate the number of flu deaths? The transcript—not the justice—was wrong

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued a corrected transcript of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch’s oral arguments comment about flu deaths after some observers claimed that he overstated the numbers.

Lawyer pens book about multiple personality disorder murder case that haunts him

“Just in the Nick of Time” is part memoir, part courtroom drama and part medical mystery that examines whether David Savitz’s handsome, charming client had a real psychiatric disorder or was a crafty manipulator trying to fake his way out of a murder conviction.

Online auction of RBG’s personal library set for this month

First-edition books owned by the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, including works signed by writer Toni Morrison, journalist Gloria Steinem and the late Justice Antonin Scalia, will be available in an online auction starting Jan. 19.

Roberts’ reference to memos of Blackmun on Roe v. Wade raises questions about SCOTUS justices’ private papers

The collected papers of late U.S. Supreme Court justices are typically of interest primarily to judicial biographers, legal researchers and a few journalists. On Dec. 1, during oral arguments in one of the most consequential cases of the term, a new aficionado of the genre revealed himself: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

In ‘All Her Little Secrets,’ the death of an attorney’s boss could bring her secrets to light

In her debut novel, All Her Little Secrets, attorney Wanda M. Morris has written a legal thriller full of corporate intrigue and small-town secrets. Morris takes readers inside Atlanta boardrooms and back into the past of her heroine, Ellice Littlejohn.

Novelist James Patterson tells the stranger-than-fiction story of criminal defense attorney Barry Slotnick

James Patterson, long known as a master of make-believe, took on nonfiction a few years ago. So he may be more qualified than anyone to confirm one of the oldest adages in the book: Truth is stranger than fiction.

Bryan Garner’s 2021 legal writing tips

This year, Bryan Garner gave us tips for using legal dictionaries, a three-part series on how to manage a day’s worth of legal writing, and an ode to a state bar journal that’s championing the use of plain English.

Check out our 9 favorite Instagram posts from 2021

It's been quite a year in the legal industry and for coverage here at the ABA Journal, and it's hard to believe that 2022 is right around the corner.

How to effectively use legal dictionaries

Many dictionary users don’t realize the extent of the improvements that take place from edition to edition of a dictionary. Perhaps that’s especially true with Black’s Law Dictionary, which has been substantially remade over the past quarter-century.


This short story was the winner of the 2021 Ross Writing Contest for Legal Short Fiction

Only 2 women make list of most cited legal scholars

A list of the 50 most cited U.S. legal scholars of all time contains many well-known names but only two women.

Discover the man behind ‘12 Angry Men’ and the real-life case that inspired him

Whenever the ABA Journal has conducted a survey to find the best legal movies or the best legal plays, 12 Angry Men has made the list. But the path to becoming a classic was not a simple one, and the man behind the script was not a simple man.

From the depths of addiction to helping attorneys overcome their own, lawyer and author Brian Cuban has made his mark

In 2006, the Dallas Mavericks were in the NBA finals. The team’s owner, Mark Cuban, gave two tickets for the opening game to his brother Brian to give to friends. But the younger sibling had other plans: He traded them to his drug dealer for $1,000 worth of cocaine.

Typo in 1928 Supreme Court opinion created ‘reign of error,’ law prof says

A tiny typographical error in a 1928 U.S. Supreme Court opinion had a big impact after it was picked up in subsequent opinions and used to bolster arguments for property rights, a law professor has found.

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