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The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Court 3rd edition Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195128086
ISBN-10: 0195128087
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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.
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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 x 1.3 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,054,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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