Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing

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Table of Contents




1: An Introduction to American Law

1.1 The Origin of Common Law

1.2 How American Courts Are Organized

1.3 An Overview of the Litigation Process

1.4 The Importance of Understanding Procedure

1.5 The Adversary System

2: Rule-Based Reasoning

2.1 The Inner Structure of a Rule

2.2 Organizing the Application of a Rule

2.3 Some Things to Be Careful About with Rules

2.4 Causes of Action and Affirmative Defenses

2.5 Where Rules Come From (Sources of Law)

3: An Introduction to Judicial Opinions

3.1 The Anatomy of an Opinion

3.2 The Interdependence Among Facts, Issues, and Rules

4: Briefing Cases

4.1 Introduction

4.2 How to Brief a Case


5: The Art of Legal Writing

5.1 The Language as a Professional Tool

5.2 Your Writing and Your Career

5.3 Predictive Writing and Persuasive Writing

5.4 The Art Forms of Legal Writing

6: The Process of Writing

6.1 Writing in Four Stages

6.2 Analyzing

6.3 Organizing

6.4 The First Draft

6.5 Rewriting

6.6 Some General Advice about Writing


7: Office Memoranda

7.1 Office Memorandum Format

7.2 Writing an Office Memorandum

8: Initially Obtaining the Facts: Client Interviewing

8.1 Introduction

8.2 Lawyers and Clients

8.3 How to Interview

9:Predictive Writing

9.1 How to Predict

9.2 How to Test Your Writing for Predictiveness

10: How to Organize Proof of a Conclusion of Law

10.1 A Paradigm for Structuring Proof

10.2 Why Readers Prefer This Type of Organization

10.3 How toVary the Paradigm to Suit Your Needs

10.4 How to Start Working with the Paradigm

10.5 How to Test Your Writing for Effective Organization

11: Selecting Authority

11.1 Introduction

11.2 The Hierarchy of Authority

11.3 How Courts Use Dicta

11.4 How Courts React to Foreign Precedent

11.5 How to Use Foreign Precedent and Other Nonmandatory Authority to Fill a Gap in Local Law

11.6 How to Select Nonmandatory Precedent

11.7 How to Work Effectively in the Library

12: Working with Precedent

12.1 Eight Skills for Working with Precedent

12.2 Formulating a Variety of Rules from the Same Precedent

12.3 Analogizing and Distinguishing

12.4 Eliciting Policy from Precedent

12.5 Synthesis and Reconciliation

12.6 Testing for Realism and Marketability

12.7 Pulling It All Together

13: Working with Statutes

13.1 Ten Tools of Statutory Interpretation

13.2 How to Pull Together Statutory Analysis (Before Writing)

13.3 How to Present Statutory Analysis in Writing

14: Working with Facts

14.1 What Is a Fact?

14.2 Identifying Determinative Facts

14.3 Building Inferences from Facts

14.4 Identifying Hidden and Unsupportable Factual Assumptions

15: Paragraphing

15.1 How Paragraphing Reveals Your Organization

15.2 Probative Paragraphs and Descriptive Paragraphs

15.3 Thesis Sentences, Topic Sentences, and Transition Sentences

15.4 The Two Most Common Ways of Botching the Beginning of a Paragraph

15.5 How to Test Your Writing for Effective Paragraphing

16: Effective Style

16.1 Clarity and Vividness

16.2 Conciseness

16.3 Forcefulness

16.4 Punctuation and Other Rules of Grammar

16.5 How to Test Your Writing for Effective Style

17: Citations and Quotations

17.1 A Tour of the Bluebook

17.2 Citation to Specific Types of Authority

17.3 Rules Governing All Citations

17.4 Bluebook Rules on Quotations

17.5 How to Test Your Writing for Effective Use of Quotations

PART IV: Client Letters and Law School Examination Answers

18: Advising the Client in Writing:

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Editorial Reviews

Based on his experience that students learn legal reasoning and legal writing better when they are taught together, Neumann offers guidance on making professional writing decisions, constructing proof of a conclusion of law, and developing processes of writing. No dates are noted for earlier editions; the fourth updates references, case studies, and examples. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316603799
  • Publisher: Wolters Kluwer Law & Business
  • Publication date: 3/1/1990
  • Pages: 482

Table of Contents

I Introduction to Law and Its Study 1
1 An Introduction to American Law 3
2 Rule-Based Reasoning 15
3 An Introduction to Judicial Decisions and Statutes 27
4 Briefing Cases 41
II Introduction to Legal Writing 49
5 The Art of Legal Writing 51
6 The Process of Writing 57
III Office Memoranda 67
7 Office Memoranda 69
8 Initially Obtaining the Facts: Client Interviewing 75
9 Predictive Writing 81
IV General Writing Skills 93
10 How to Organize Proof of a Conclusion of Law 95
11 Selecting Authority 119
12 Working with Precedent 135
13 Working with Statutes 157
14 Working with Facts 183
15 Paragraphing 195
16 Effective Style 205
17 Citations and Quotations 229
V Client Letters and Law School Examination Answers 255
18 Advising the Client in Writing: Client Letters 257
19 How to Write Exam Answers 263
VI The Shift to Persuasion 269
20 Developing a Persuasive Theory 271
21 Developing Persuasive Arguments 285
22 Handling the Procedural Posture 309
VII Motion Memoranda 323
23 Motion Memoranda 325
24 Point Headings and Sub-Headings 331
25 Statements of the Case 341
26 Questions Presented 355
VIII Appellate Briefs 365
27 Appellate Practice 367
28 Appellate Briefs 379
29 Writing the Appellate Brief 387
IX Into the Courtroom 397
30 Old Argument 399
Appendices 421
A Basic Legal Usage 423
B 24 Rules of Punctuation 429
C Sample Office Memorandum 441
D Sample Client Letter 447
E Sample Motion Memorandum 451
F Sample Appellant's Brief 461
G Sample Appellee's Brief 485
Index 503
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