October 3, 2022

Volume XII, Number 276

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October 03, 2022

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My Chief Experiments Re: Legal Writing v. Academic Writing

The event is finally here--meaning I can almost stop working on this project and return to normal life.

This Friday, April 26, 2013, is the Exceptional Legal Writing seminar at the Texas Law Center in Austin.

Part of my presentation on "Clarity and Grace" includes an investigation to see if the concepts taught by Joseph M. Williams hold true for legal writers the same way that they do for academic writers. To give that investigation some scientifical truthiness, I subjected three chief justices to a randomized, scientific trial.

I wanted to see if the judges known for clear and graceful writing crafted their prose like Williams said they ought to. I also wanted to see if the Williams DNA was absent in a chief justice whose prose was hard to read.

But don't worry. No Chiefs were harmed in the making of this presentation.

The results very clear, even if we ought not be surprised by them. There is no such thing as good legal writing. There is only good writing and lousy writing. The topic does not matter. The topic does not change what you need to do to engage your reader.

I hope you can attend.

Copyright © 2022, Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume III, Number 114
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About this Author

Kendall M. Gray, Antitrust Litigation Attorney, Andrews Kurth Law Firm
Partner

Kendall is a board certified civil appellate specialist who has represented clients in state and federal appellate courts such as the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Fifth, Ninth, Tenth and Federal Circuits, the Supreme Court of Texas and many intermediate courts of appeal. His practice includes a variety of complex commercial, medical malpractice and toxic tort matters, as well as a particular focus in disputes involving employee benefits, managed care and ERISA. The disputes commonly require complex written and oral advocacy on such topics as ERISA preemption,...

713-220-3981
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