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The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Court Hardcover – May 3, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0195128086 ISBN-10: 0195128087 Edition: 3rd edition

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 3rd edition edition (May 3, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195128087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195128086
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,986 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a great book for any appellate practitioner who wishes to get better. Mr. Garner demonstrates admirably the brevity and clarity that he teaches. This book reflects great learning. Yet it is highly practical . . . we can speak no highter praise."--ABA Appelate Practice Journal

"...[The Winning Brief] is a terrific reference . . . [it] will occupy a prominent place on my bookshelf . . ."--Jurist www.law.pitt.edu/lawbooks/revsep99.htm

About the Author


Bryan A. Garner is one of America's leading experts on legal writing. He is president of LawProse, Inc., which conducts CLE workshops for lawyers across the country and advises law firms and in-house counsel on preparing briefs and revising contracts and drafting court rules. He has also been a consultant to state and federal courts on drafting court rules. He lives in Dallas.

More About the Author

Bryan Garner is the award-winning author or editor of more than 20 books. He is a prolific lecturer, having taught more than 2,500 writing workshops since the 1991 founding of his company, LawProse, Inc. His works include Garner on Language and Writing and Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, co-written with Justice Antonin Scalia. Garner has served as editor-in-chief of Black's Law Dictionary since 1995, and he is the author of the grammar-and-usage chapter in the venerable Chicago Manual of Style.

Customer Reviews

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See all 10 customer reviews
Bryan Garner's book on brief-writing is the finest of its kind.
Mark Vasco, Esq.
The tips are listed inside the front and rear covers for quick reference.
Kenneth Fair
This volume is by far the best work available on legal writing.
Zeldock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Barer on October 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
My practice focuses on law-and-motion and appellate law. Well-written and persuasive briefs are my bread and butter. Garner's book helps me butter the bread. I have several of Bryan Garner's books (The Elements of Legal Style; A Dictionary for Modern Legal Usage; his two editions of Black's), but this is the one that has had the biggest influence on my brief writing. I received it at one of his brief-writing seminars. Since I attended the seminar and read the book, the quality of my briefs has increased exponentially. Garner guides the brief writer from the initial planning stages, through framing the issues (invaluable!), editing, punctuation, word choice, tips for impact (don't start a sentence with "however"; use "but," "although", or insert the "however" after the subject), and even technical tips about formatting (e.g. using bulleted lists.) I recommend it wholeheartedly.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
One misses the point of Mr. Garner's book if they think this is another treatise on brief writing. Mr. Garner's approach, though commonsensical, is sorely needed in the legal world. So many briefs are too long, too boring, and too obtuse to be of any use. Granted one need not follow all of Mr. Garner's tips, such as footnotes, but if you follow most of them, you will end up with a brief that is not a chore to read, succinctly informs the judge of the issue and why she should rule in your favor. This book is definitely for people who think they already know how to write a brief, and who don't need any book to help them do so (and who also most likely churn out boring, difficult to read briefs). There is a world of difference between a typical brief and the type that Mr. Garner envisions. By the way, anyone who has not taken Mr. Garner's course should. He is one of the best public speakers and teachers you will ever encounter.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth Fair on March 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Bryan A. Garner, editor-in-chief for the latest edition of Black's Law Dictionary, is one of America's foremost proponents of the "plain English" movement in the law. In The Winning Brief, Mr. Garner distills the principles found in his seminars and his other books (such as The Elements of Legal Style) and channels them toward one goal: helping the reader write better legal briefs.
The Winning Brief presents its advice in the form of 100 tips, each followed by quotations, commentary, and examples. The tips follow the chronological order of a writing project, from initial brainstorming to proofreading. The tips are listed inside the front and rear covers for quick reference.
Mr. Garner's advice has contributed directly to my practice. I have applied his advice in writing four summary judgment motions; two were granted, while the other two led to favorable settlements for my clients.
The reader is sure to find at least one or two tips that can be applied immediately to a current writing project. Not only that, but Mr. Garner's advice can be applied to other non-fiction writing projects. In sum, I heartily recommend this book to all attorneys who hope to be more persuasive in their writing.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Zeldock on August 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This volume is by far the best work available on legal writing. Most of Prof. Garner's advice applies not merely to briefs but to memos, letters, and other persuasive or analytical forms. His chapters take you through every step of writing, from the earliest, painful efforts to collect your thoughts, through outlining, issue-framing, structuring an argument, and finally the specifics of sentence structure, word choice, and punctuation. Unlike many writing manuals, this book places emphasis where it is really needed: not on mechanics, but on the large structural tasks that can make or break a project. While some of Prof. Garner's formatting suggestions may not be acceptable in many jurisdictions, his more general advice -- the real reason for buying this book -- will be helpful everywhere.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By entropier on June 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Garner's book is helpful because:
1) It is written in an easy to understand accessible way.
2) It segregates and categorizes what he characterizes as tips. That allows the reader to weigh and evaluate the merit of Garner's judgment on a tip individually. It also allows the reader to conceptually focus on a narrow writing issue.
3) The advantage of each "tip" is supported by a brief observation or argument.
4) Garner uses examples to support the validity of his arguments in favour of a tip, often with before and after pieces of writing.
5) Because of the organization into 100 tips, the book also can be a helpful reference.
While the advice to avoid clutter, in words, ideas, and layout sounds commonsensical, applying that advice is not always so obvious. I think Garner does a terrific job.
Even though, in an effort to avoid clutter, I have been using many of these "tips", I had not engaged in the kind of analysis that Garner has. Even it you already observe these tips, there is some comfort in having validation--that you are on the right track.
An earlier reviewer refers favourably to Judge Aldisert's book from NITA about appeal briefs in the course of reviewing Garner's book. I am reading that book now. I do not think Judge Aldisert's book is a superior alternative to Garner's book. I think the books are complementary. Justice Aldisert's book has a number of points that are specific to certain areas of American appellate practice. Garner's book is more about getting your ideas across well through writing, and has a strong emphasis on some important components in putting sentences and paragraphs together, grammatical, structural, choice of vocabulary.
Overall, Garner's book is a tremendous resource. Lucky lawyers reading it; lucky judges when they get the benefit of better written briefs because of Garner's book.
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