Judge Silberman of the DC Circuit recently revived the topic of how and whether to use acronyms in an appellate brief. He created a stir by harshly criticizing a law school professor for submitting a brief too laden with acronyms. Continue reading
It is easy to pick on lawyers who use Latin terms unnecessarily. Please let me pile on, and share three experiences which explain my thinking. Continue reading
Last week, I drafted a trial brief that referred to a judge as “he.” The judge is a she. So is the judge I was writing. Thank goodness I check my pronouns for gender before my briefs go out. Continue reading
Bryan A. Garner dates the origins to the classical Greek and Roman era’s competing rhetorical traditions. One tradition is florid Asiatic prose, and is the prose of John Milton and Benjamin Cardozo. The competing Attic prose is more plain, and is the prose of Hemingway and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. Others, including ancient Rome’s Cicero, used both. Bryan A. Garner, Garner on Language and Writing (American Bar Association 2009) 40-46. Continue reading
What do Chaucer, Einstein, and the Grammar Girl have in common? They begin sentences with conjunctions. And they are not alone. Continue reading
Pronouns are wonderful. No one wants to keep repeating someone’s name or a company’s title over and over if “she” or “it” will do the work. But problems come when the antecedent that the pronoun is replacing is missing, obscure, or ambiguous.
Ask yourself five questions to make sure your judges on appeal know who he, she, or it is. Continue reading