ABA Journal

Legal Writing

347 ABA Journal Legal Writing articles.

How is ‘amicus’ pronounced? Justice Breyer and Judge Jackson disagree with each other and the majority view

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was once a law clerk for the justice she will replace, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, but she didn’t adopt his pronunciation of “amicus.”

Duped: New book explores what makes people confess to crimes they didn’t commit

Hanging on a wall in Saul Kassin’s office at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City are photos of 28 people who confessed to crimes they didn’t commit. He periodically updates this collection, which he calls his “wall of faces,” as more false confessions come to light. Kassin has written a new book exploring this phenomenon, Duped: Why Innocent People Confess and Why We Believe Their Confessions.

Grammar Rules: The case of the unhyphenated phrasal adjectives

Before this honorable court is the complaint of Marian Short-Dash, who accuses her local newspaper, the Blunderbuss Clarion, of omitting “obligatory hyphens” from phrasal adjectives, thereby impairing her ability to read without annoyance.

After Supreme Court copyright fight, Georgia makes annotated legal code freely available

Georgia capped a yearslong legal fight over whether interpretations of its official state code are copyrightable, announcing Monday that the annotated legal code is now available online for free.

The justice system is the antagonist in retired judge’s legal thriller novel

Retired judge and bestselling novelist Martin Clark had to deal with his fair share of rejection before he finally broke in more than two decades ago with his debut novel, The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living.

Tough decision to make? Here’s how to break it down like a lawyer

Law professor Kim Wehle is used to helping her students begin to think like lawyers. But the methodology behind making tough decisions as a legal professional can also benefit the general public. It's why How To Think Like a Lawyer—and Why: A Common-Sense Guide to Everyday Dilemmas was a natural follow-up to her two previous books, How To Read the Constitution—and Why and What You Need To Know About Voting—and Why.

A few ‘begats’ and ‘thou shalts’: An abbreviated history of lawyers

Where are the lawyers? As a retired one, I recently wondered about this, querying where in history we see lawyers mentioned and in what light? Actually, after thinking about it, I see little or no sign of lawyers for millennia.

The word ‘he’ is ‘not the default universal personal pronoun,’ judge says

A Florida appeals judge used her dissent last week to criticize a lawyer who used a male pronoun to refer to her in court papers.

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.

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