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The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts Hardcover – May 13, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0195170757 ISBN-10: 019517075X Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (May 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 019517075X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195170757
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 1.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #118,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A thoroughly valuable and original reference for lawyers who want to win. It deserves a spot on every litigator's bookshelf."--The Federal Lawyer

"All judges should attach a copy of The Winning Brief to each briefing schedule they order from the bench.... A valuable addition to any library with legal writing resources."--Legal Information ALERT

"A book on 'writing' should be fun to read. In his book, Garner makes his teaching fun with the use of examples and quotations.... The more time you spend with this book, the more persuasive you arguments could be, whether in support of a otion in limine or in support of habeas corpus."--The Colorado Lawyer

"The profession badly needs an accessible primer for advice on and solutions to the most common problems. Bryan Garner's The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts is just such text. All lawyers who rely upon written argument in their practices shoud have a copy of the book close at hand."--New York Law Journal

About the Author


A best-selling legal author with more than a dozen titles to his credit, Bryan Garner is also the editor-in-chief of Black's Law Dictionary in all of its current editions. He has taught at numerous law schools, and is the president of LawProse, Inc., a Dallas-based company that provides writing and drafting seminars to lawyers and judges throughout the United States.

Customer Reviews

This book is great and shows you almost everything you need.
Drexxy
The Winning Brief is essential reading for any lawyer who cares about writing clearly and persuasively.
Jeffrey M. Pollock
Much better than any of the books assigned in any of the 3 mandatory research/writing classes I took.
A. Thompson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 53 people found the following review helpful By S. L. Fabros on November 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I became familiar with this book in law school and it has helped me tremendously. It debunks the myths about which practices are truly expected in briefs and which provide more latitude and freedom for legal writers.

The information is presented in 100 easy-to-understand "tips." Each tip provides quotes from judges, legal scholars, and other literary figures who help to explain why a particular facet of writing is important. Garner also includes examples, oftentimes what-to-do's and what-not-to-do's.

The format of the book makes it easy and helpful to use and the information is invaluable. It's like an advanced course in legal writing.

Highly recommended!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey M. Pollock on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Winning Brief is essential reading for any lawyer who cares about writing clearly and persuasively. As a litigation partner and trial lawyer, I am always looking to improve my own skills and find that Bryan Garner's comments are clear and practical. I strongly recommend The Winning Brief because it goes well beyond many texts that discuss generalisms on trial and appellate briefs--Mr. Garner provides instead direct insight into how to move the trier of fact.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M. Ivancie on October 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am currently a law student, this book provides some insightful ideas and is useful because it doesn't require an hour of reading to pick out helpful relevant tips. All the 100 tips are outlined in the front and back cover so you can skim for something specific and go to it and read it.

The author of this book is highly respected and provides many CLE classes, I recommend this book to anyone looking for ways to improve their brief writing.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Brian C. Hagerty on September 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've read a lot of books on writing, and all of the common books about legal writing, and this is the best of the bunch. If I had to recommend a single book about writing to anyone, lawyer or not, I would recommend this one. It is expensive but worth every penny. Throw away your Strunk and White!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jason D. Killips on July 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love this book, but I am very disappointed in the Kindle edition. So be warned.

I wanted a Kindle version of this terrific book because I wanted my own copy (I have borrowed a colleague's hard copy), and with my Kindle and iPad, I would always have it handy. As a way to read the book, this is great and helpful. But as a REFERENCE tool, it is nearly useless. There is no comprehensive table of contents to help you refer to past chapters to brush up on a particular topic. And the subject index--which is included--doesn't work. For example, when I look up "Mr., Ms. Mrs.," it refers to chapter 55 (which is right). But the link takes you to page 55, which is in the middle of chapter 8 and far from where you need to be. This simply isn't useful unless you are reading it only straight through.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marbury V. Madison on January 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I was formerly the Chief Administrative Law Judge of a nine-Judge panel. We heard highly complex cases and usually spent 5 to 10 days on the record when we heard a case. We started by attending Bryan Garner's drafting seminars. Subsequently, we brought him in to present his course on Judical Writing. Garner's books were the foundation of an exponential improvement in our orders. Moreover, it became easy for us to spot the briefs of "Garner graduates" as their work was always clearer, and more readable than anyone else's. Take it from someone who used to read briefs for a living, the brief that is easy to read and easy to understand is the brief that most easily persuades.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Carey Brian Meadors on September 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I am a practicing trial lawyer in a small town. This book is the best legal writing book I have encountered. Garner challenges many of the "white elephants" that practitioners and law professors alike cling to. (For example, the myth about ending a sentence with a preposition). His advice ranges from small grammar rules, to sentence structure, to the overall strategy in formulating briefs and arguments.

From my real world experience, I can tell you that Garner's advice is right on the money and will assist you in winning cases. On multiple occasions over the years, I have had different judges compliment my briefing, but the credit goes to the techniques I learned from Garner. I give this book my highest recommendation. If you can, also take Garner's CLE class that is centered on this same book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Pilar on December 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don't try to draft a brief without reading this book or one like it. Legal writing is a new language, with new rules, many of them counter-intuitive. This book will spare you many elementary mistakes and vastly increase the quality of your brief writing.
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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.