Saturday, September 11, 2010

Working on a Draft

I was reading in our school's law library today and I overheard two students talking -- one of them was working on his "draft" and the other was helping him.

After a few minutes, I realized that the draft was not for his legal writing class.  It was the draft for his fantasy football league.

Back to my book . . . .


September 11, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Milani Writing Competition Winners

ABA The Adam A. Milani Disability Law Writing Competition is a national disability law writing competition sponsored by the Mercer University School of Law and the American Bar Association Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law. The competition honors the work of the late Professor Adam Milani, a passionate advocate for disability rights, an accomplished legal scholar, and a beloved faculty member at the Law School. Adam was a long-time legal writing professor and a dear friend and colleague in the legal writing community.

The competition organizers have just announced two winners selected from nearly sixty entries. Both winners this year came from the University of California at Berekely

  • The first place winner is Tracy Tefertiller.  Her legal writing professor was Cheryl Dyer Berg.
  • The second place winner is Emily Alise Prifogle, also from University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. Her legal writing professor was Erin Clarke.

Hat tips to Mercer, to Suzianne D. Painter-Thorne, and to the following judges of the competition:

  • Ian Gallacher--Syracuse University
  • Karen Henning--University Detroit Mercy
  • Allison Martin--Indiana University
  • John Mollenkamp--Cornell University
  • Shannon Moritz--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Terrill Pollman—University of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • Anne Rector--Emory University
  • Suzanne Rowe--University of Oregon
  • Judy Stinson--Arizona State University
  • Christine Venter--Notre Dame
  • Catherine Wasson—Elon University School of Law


September 10, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AALS Section Award Nominees Due by October 1

Aalslogo The Awards Committee of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research invites nominations for the recipient of the annual Section Award.  The award will be presented during the Section Luncheon at the AALS Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

The AALS Section Award is given to an individual who has made a significant lifetime contribution to the field of legal writing, reasoning, and research.  The Section Award is a wonderful opportunity to honor those who have contributed so much to the field.  Last year’s Section Award recipient was Joe Kimble (Thomas Cooley).  Previous recipients of the Section Award have been Ralph Brill, Eric Easton, Anne Enquist, Mary Lawrence, Terri LeClercq, Richard Neumann, Laurel Oates, Marjorie Rombauer, Helene Shapo, and Marilyn Walter.  

The deadline for nominations is October 1, 2010.  Please submit your nominations to Emily Zimmerman at ebz23 [at]  You should include a statement supporting your nomination.  The nomination and supporting statement together should not be more than 1000 words.  

Hat tip to the AALS Section Award Committee members: David R. Cleveland, Sabrina DeFabritiis, Anne M. Enquist, Greg Johnson, Mark Osbeck, Helene Shapo, Karen J. Sneddon, Kathy Stanchi, ex officio, and Emily Zimmerman (Committee Chair)


September 10, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

BNA Upgrades Its Products in a Big Way

I just attended an interesting and helpful program here at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago on new products from BNA (and new ways to search its old products).  Less than two weeks ago they launched a new "Labor and Employment Law Resource Center" and have plans to launch other centers soon, such as an "Intellectual Property Law Resource Center."  They also (last April) made some important enhancements to the BNA Newsletters.  I receive a couple of those daily and find them to be quite helpful for my teaching and scholarship (and general knowledge too).  Bottom line:  BNA is definitely working to become a search engine of choice for a lot of specialty areas.

If you would like to learn more about the new BNA materials (or perhaps invite a BNA representative to do a training session for your faculty or class), give BNA Customer Service a call at 800-372-1033 or visit

Hat tips to Scott Gerke from BNA (who put on the presentation) and Thomas Keefe of the John Marshall Law Library (who arranged for the presentation).


September 9, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

International Law Moot Court

ILSA-1 Do you need the schedule for the 2011 Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition?  Click here.


September 9, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Happy New Year

L’shana tova tikateivu. We extend our good wishes to everyone celebrating the new year.  Have a good year and may you be inscribed for blessings in the book of life.


September 8, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Congratulations, Mary Beth!

Beazley_marybeth-150x150 Over on the Marquette University School of Law website, they're crowing about the appointment of Mary Beth Beazley as the Robert E. Boden Visiting Professor of Law.  Wait until they hear her repertoire of jokes!

hat tip:  Jessica Slavin


September 8, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

save the date: D.C. legal writing conference

The George Washington University Law School will be hosting the First Annual Capital Area Legal Writing Conference, to be held on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday, February 25-26, 2011. Out of town participants are welcome; the law school is arranging a conference rate at a local hotel close to the law school and major public transportation options. There will be no conference fee.

The deadline to submit proposals is October 31, 2010. The proposal submission form is available for download here.

More information about general conference registration, speaker line-ups, and conference hotel options will be made available in the coming weeks.

The Planning Committee includes, among others, Karen Thornton (co-chair), Iselin Gambert (co-chair), Christy DeSanctis, and Jessica Clark. If you have any questions, you can contact the committee at

hat tip: Iselin M. Gambert


September 7, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

apostrophe wars

The Supreme Court--split on apostrophe usage.  And our students don't believe that anyone *really* cares about punctuation!!


September 7, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Board Members for Scribes - The American Society of Legal Writers

Picture 170 Scribes - The American Society of Legal Writers - announced the election of two new board members.

  • Frank Wagner, the longtime clerk Reporter of Decisions for the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Mark E. Wojcik, professor at The John Marshall Law School and Chair-Elect of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research (and a co-editor of this blog).

They join a great board whose members include Joe Kimble, Darby Dickerson, Bryan Garner, Richard Wydick, and many other leading figures in the field of legal writing.

Click here for more information about Scribes.

Hat tip to Joe Kimble

September 6, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Golden Pen Nominations Due Next Week

LWI 25 The Awards Committee of the Legal Writing Institute announced its call for nominations for the 2011 Golden Pen Award. Any member of LWI may nominate someone for the award. The committee asks that you submit your nominations directly to Susan Thrower at on or before September 15, 2010.

The Golden Pen Award recognizes those who make significant contributions to advance the cause of better legal writing. These contributions may take any form, such as promoting the use of clear language in public documents, improving the quality of legal writing instruction, advocating for better writing within the legal community, outstanding scholarship or journalism about legal writing, or exceptional writing in law practice. The award is normally given to someone who is not an active member of LWI, but active members are considered in exceptional circumstances.

Previous recipients of the award are Arthur Levitt, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission; Don LeDuc, Dean of the Thomas Cooley Law School; Linda Greenhouse, Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times; the late Honorable Robert E. Keeton of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts; Richard Wydick, Professor at the University of California at Davis School of Law; the late Joseph Williams, author of Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace; the Honorable Ronald M. George, the Honorable Carol A. Corrigan, and the Honorable James D. Ward, Justices of the Supreme Court of California and the California Court of Appeal; the Honorable Ruggero J. Aldisert of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; the National Association of Attorneys General; and William C. Burton, Esq.

The Awards Committee thanks you and looks forward to receiving your nominations.  Members of the committee are Leah Christensen, Sonia Bychkov Green, Hether MacFarlane, Lou Sirico, Susan Thrower, and Christopher Wren.


September 6, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

glamorous grammar

41DIIQ4q4hL__SL500_AA300_While driving around town yesterday, I heard Scott Simon on NPR interviewing Roy Peter Clark, the author of a new book, The Glamour of Grammar.  You can read a transcript of the interview here.  Be sure to read the comments, at least the first one!


September 5, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ralph Waldo Emerson's Rules for Reading

"The practical rules . . . which I have to offer are:

1. Never read any book that is not a year old.

2. Never read any but famed books.

3. Never read any but what you like."

Ralph Waldo Emerson (as quoted in Adams Sherman Hill, Our English 103 (1888)).

Hat tip to Bryan Garner


September 5, 2010 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)