CLE# 2013-009: Superior Legal Writing: Winning With Words / Superior Legal Drafting: Every Word Matters
2.0 General / 1.0 Ethics
Date: Friday, August 30, 2013
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Superior Legal Writing: Winning With Words
8:30-10:00--Introduction: Why Legal Writing Matters/Learning to be Precise, Concise, and Persuasive/Eleven Steps to Better Legal Writing
10:15-11:45--Conclusion of Eleven Steps/Ethical Considerations in the Writing Process
William Bernhardt, New York Times-bestselling author of more than twenty novels and a former trial lawyer, tells lawyers what they really need to know to succeed on the printed page, based upon personal experience and extensive interviews with judges and practitioners. Bernhardt takes participants through a practical and systematic consideration of the writing process, peppered with practical assignments based upon real-world legal scenarios. Bernhardt also includes a discussion of ethical issues raised by legal writing, professionalism, the importance of starting early enough to do the best job (time management), serving the court as well as the client (professional responsibility), conceding when appropriate, and other related issues.
Superior Legal Drafting: Every Word Matters
1:00-2:30-Using Superior Writing to Improve Briefs, Litigation Documents/Contracts and Other Transactional Documents
2:45-4:15-Correspondence/Ethical Considerations in Legal Drafting
William Bernhardt, New York Times-bestselling author and former attorney, applies the principles of superior legal writing to specific legal documents, such as briefs and other litigation documents, contracts, wills, trusts, correspondence, and even electronic communications such as email and texts. Bernhardt uses onscreen "Before and After" examples to demonstrate how attention to language and the application of good writing principles can improve any lawyer's written work. Bernhardt also includes a discussion of ethical issues raised by legal drafting, including the importance of complete truthfulness in writing (workplace ethics), avoiding barbs and personal attacks (collegiality and professionalism), maintaining the dual role of advocate and officer of the court (professional responsibility), and other related issues.
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