New Book on Brief Writing

The most recent New Book List from the Brooklyn Law School Library includes the 2d edition of Judith D. Fischer’s Pleasing the Court: Writing Ethical and Effective Briefs, a reader-friendly book for both law students and practitioners. It examines ethical and effective legal writing with more than two hundred examples of judges’ reactions to errors in lawyers’ writing. This new edition covers errors ranging from serious ethical breaches, like misrepresenting facts, to grammatical and citation errors. Lawyers committing such mistakes suffered consequences that ranged from disbarment to strong verbal rebukes. Contents of the book include: State the law accurately — State the facts accurately — Provide cogent analysis — Write clearly — Avoid wordiness and legalese — Avoid grammar, spelling, punctuation, and typographical errors — Cite correctly — Follow court rules — Do not plagiarize — Be civil.

The author is associate professor of law at the University of Louisville’s Brandeis School of Law and practiced law as a partner in a large California law firm. She has written numerous articles on the subject of legal writing. The book is recommended for law school courses as well as for continuing legal education courses, law firms, and individuals interested in effective writing and the soundness of the legal system. Practical exercises are included to help readers improve their writing techniques.