Category Archives: Legal Writing Tips

Legal Writing Tip: Seriously, Just Use the Serial Comma

By Savannah Blackwell, BASF Bulletin Contributor Of all punctuation marks, the comma is the one most often debated in courthouses; its presence or absence in statutes and other legal texts…

Legal Writing Tip: Statement of Facts, Part Two

By Savannah Blackwell BASF Bulletin Contributor When writing the statement of facts, choose your material wisely, set it forth clearly, and end it with a kick. Many judges consider a…

Legal Writing Tip: Write Your Statement of Facts in the Form of a Narrative

By Savannah Blackwell BASF Bulletin Contributor The first step in writing a compelling statement of facts for your brief or motion is to prepare a chronology of events in the…

Legal Writing Tip: Make Your Headings and Subheadings Full Sentences

By Savannah Blackwell BASF Bulletin Contributor When writing your brief, craft the section and subsection headings in complete, informative sentences. It’s a good idea to do this early on, at…

Legal Writing Tip: Start Your Brief with a Solid Introduction

By Savannah Blackwell BASF Bulletin Contributor If you do not begin your brief with an issue statement, that is, a syllogism ending in a question, then open with an introduction…

Legal Writing Tip: Start Your Brief With the “Deep” Issue

Savannah Blackwell, BASF Bulletin Contributor November’s column discussed the importance of drafting a clear and concise statement of the main legal question in the case. Framing the issue effectively is,…

Legal Writing Tip: Insight from the Pros

By Savannah Blackwell, BASF Bulletin Contributor This month we highlight tips from Dennis Hanshew, a paralegal with Blacker, Sammis & Blacker; Commissioner Marjorie Slabach, a private judge and retired commissioner…

Legal Writing Tip: Create a Nonlinear Outline

Savannah Blackwell, BASF Bulletin Contributor   Last month, we discussed the first stage of preparing a legal brief, that is, the period of research and note-taking, of jotting down ideas…

Legal Writing Tip: Don’t Get Fouled up by Commonly Confused or Misused Words and Phrases

Savannah Blackwell Here’s our final installment (at least for now) on the popular topic of tackling troublesome words and phrases. Either/or; Neither/nor “Neither” should be followed by “nor;” “either” should…

Legal Writing Tip: Common Usage Errors, Continued

Savannah Blackwell Here are more commonly confused words and expressions: E.g or I.e.? The first stands for the Latin expression exempli gratia and means “for example,” such as in the…