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Weinstein Law Blog

Friday, September 23, 2016

THE IMPORTANCE OF LEGAL WRITING

Probably the most important aspect of the law, which is shielded from the general public, is legal advocacy in the form of the written word. The movies do not cover it and you will never find it in a television show. Yet, good writing wins cases. Proper and necessary advocacy skills definitively extend beyond the written form. However, any competent and experienced attorney will tell you about the extreme importance of writing well.  The combination of great speaking skills and great writing, is unbeatable.

Why is Writing Important?

The law is built on the past. Courts, Judges, and other lawyers look at previously decided cases (case law), statues and history when evaluating a case.  At the very outset of a civil case the judge/court will not hear or see their attorney prior to reading many submissions from both the lawyer that you hired and the opposing counsel. This first impression, one that is only done in writing, is extremely important. Not only is it a first impression for the court, but it really shows opposing counsel and other side what kind of attorney they are dealing with. The importance of a well written complaint is immeasurable when entering the case. 

What is Good Legal Writing?

Legal writing is different than traditional or creative writing.  On one hand, the lawyer must tell the story and on the other, you must hit all the elements of each claim being brought to the courts attention.  This is the unique aspect of legal writing; it is utilitarian yet also passionate story telling.  Even in a motion to dismiss, which is to be just on the law, you can often hear the author hitting the keys – hard – when reading the submitted result. Good legal writing is not about getting lost in the excitement, it is an attempt to move the reader into your corner.  To sway, on paper, the thoughts of someone you have never met or have relatively little contact with.  The term, true in essence, is writing to your audience.  A lawyer who is using a motion or even complaint to vent his/her frustrations is doing more harm than good for their client.

 

 

For an experienced and skilled attorney, call the Law Office of Jacob Z. Weinstein, PLLC at (646) 450-3484


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As a former prosecutor, I fully understand the power law enforcement has. As a trial attorney, I know the law seems very scary.