- Series: Elements of Legal Style
- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (March 21, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0195141628
- ISBN-13: 978-0195141627
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 1.3 x 5.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 34 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Elements of Legal Style 2nd Edition
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From Library Journal
A decade after the key first edition, Garner, editor in chief of Black's Law Dictionary and other works on legal writing, provides expanded coverage of appropriate legal prose and common errors in legal language, with the goal of encouraging clarity in legal writing. Throughout, he emphasizes fundamental rules of usage and fundamental principles of legal writing that range from punctuation, word choice, and syntactic arrangement to various forms of repetition. Suggestions regarding word choice give a good indication of his approach: he guides writers to strike out and replace fancy words, challenge vague words, and eschew euphemisms. In the foreword, Charles Alan Wright accurately comments that for lawyers "words are the only things we have to work with." Indeed, this book speaks not only to lawyers but to other writers as well, urging them to use style to develop persuasion, description, or analysis. Highly recommended for academic and larger public libraries. Steven Puro, St. Louis Univ.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
"Publishers each year spew out writing books for law students by the dozen. Forget them. This is the best. We had not believed that this classic work could be substantially improved. The inimitable Mr. Garner has proven this belief wrong, and happily so."-ABA Appellate Practice Journal
"Garner has given to the legal profession [an] extraordinary book....Invaluable."--South Dakota Law Review
"Bryan Garner...is rapidly becoming--if he's not there already--America's foremost authority on language and the law."--Barrister
"An expanded and more relaxed edition of his 1991 sourcebook."--William Safire, New York Times Magazine
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This book is (1) a reference book, (2) an invaluable resource, (3) more than just a grammar or style book ever thought of being, (4) chocked full of historical information and legal literary quotes, (5) presented in a humorous and accessible manner, and (6) the standard to which all legal writers should aspire.
Poor writing and the use of legalese have always been bug-a-boos of mine. And, over the lifetime of my legal practice, having to slave over thousands of statutes, briefs, decisions, motions, etc., has only intensified my belief that too few lawyers know how to write well, and that the legal profession should abolish the use of legalese from the practice of law.
In Mr. Garner, I have found a champion. In "The Elements of Legal Style", writers wishing to take their craft beyond the stars will find a valuable cache of information that will lay the foundations to improve their writing and persuading skills. He shows you how to remove the legalese from your writing, how to make your writing dynamic and exciting, and how to use your writing to better persuade. This book, along with "The Winning Brief", should be the foundation of your arsenal of writing tools.
Scientific-technical writing, legal writing, or the best-selling novel all require different writing styles. Mr. Garner's book must be a help to law students based on other reviews but importantly to me; it is very accessable to those who have never attended law school.
Legal style is a "style" that is important in the profession of law. If you do any work in this area at all, whether it is on the stand or writing essays, it behooves the non-lawyer to read this book. So, even though I agree with the glowing reviews from lawyers, this book may be even more important to those of us who must do legal work but have never been to law school.
Garner has a real gift and this early book was just the first sign of his abilities. Enjoy!