Tag Archives: LPL

LawProse Lesson #172: What’s new in the third edition of “The Winning Brief”?

What’s new in the third edition of The Winning Brief? Answer: Hot off the presses, the 775-page third edition contains nine new sections. This new material includes tips on understanding judges’ reading habits, answering opponents’ arguments, writing effective reply briefs, … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #171: “On” or “upon”?

On or upon? These prepositions are usually synonymous and used in virtually identical ways. The distinctions are primarily in tone and connotation. On — the shorter, simpler, more direct word — is generally preferable {the trial court’s decision was based … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #170: Why does it matter how you state a legal issue?

Why does it matter how you state a legal issue? It matters in the most fundamental way: it can determine whether you win or lose. It’s the most important aspect of a lawsuit. Bryan Garner, author of The Winning Brief, … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #169: Persuasive motion practice.

How much can you learn about persuasive motion practice in one day? A whole lot — if you have the right teacher and the right approach. LawProse’s new Winning Brief seminar — with its 3d-edition 775-page coursebook published by Oxford … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #168: Structuring a textual argument.

Structuring a textual argument. Here’s a little-known secret of advocacy: courts tend to analyze questions of interpretation systematically — in this order: (1) text, (2) structure, (3) purpose, and (4) history. The courts, especially federal courts, have explicitly endorsed the … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #167: The evolution of “beg the question.”

The evolution of beg the question. Traditionally, this phrase means “to base a conclusion on an assumption that is as much in need of proof or demonstration as the conclusion itself.” The formal Latin name for this logical fallacy is … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #166: Which do you suppose is correct: “supposed to” or “suppose to”?

Should you write supposed to or *suppose to? The correct phrase when you mean “expected to” is supposed to {That movie is supposed to be the summer blockbuster}. But writing *suppose to is an exceedingly common error {We are *suppose … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #165: “Ruling” vs. “opinion” vs. “judgment,” etc.

Ruling, order, opinion, judgment, decree, and verdict: What are the differences? Although these terms are sometimes used interchangeably, they shouldn’t be. A ruling is the outcome of a court’s decision, whether on some particular point of law (such as the … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson # 164: What’s the difference between a court’s finding and a court’s holding?

Lesson #164 What’s the difference between a court’s finding and a court’s holding? Judges at any level make findings of fact and holdings or conclusions of law. Good legal writers observe the distinction and never say that a court holds on questions of … Continue reading

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LawProse Lesson #163: Can a case “hold” something?

Can a case “hold” something? Yes. It’s fine to write that a certain case held something {Erie held . . .}, rather than to say that the court, in that case, held such and such {The court in Erie held … Continue reading

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