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$86.00 $63.00
1. International Building Code 2003
$22.00 $21.00
2. Getting to Maybe: How to Excel
$59.95 $25.99
3. Black's Law Dictionary (Black's
$99.95 $79.99
4. Criminal Procedure (with CD-ROM
$32.99 $30.00 list($49.99)
5. Patent It Yourself (Patent It
$85.00 $65.85
6. The Law of Higher Education :
$102.95 $75.00
7. Criminal Procedure for the Criminal
$82.00 $73.48
8. International Building Code 2000
$40.95 $40.92 list($65.00)
9. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme
$41.00 $34.89 list($50.00)
10. The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for
$9.00 $8.00
11. An Introduction to Legal Reasoning
12. American Public School Law
$69.30 list($110.00)
13. The Trial Lawyer: What It Takes
$32.99 $32.80 list($49.99)
14. Your Limited Liability Company:
$17.32 $17.31 list($27.50)
15. Law 101: Everything You Need to
$8.06 $5.90 list($8.95)
16. Dictionary of Legal Terms: A Simplified
$10.88 $10.55 list($16.00)
17. Legal Writing in Plain English:
$25.00 $18.00
18. Introduction to the Study and
$23.09 $22.89 list($34.99)
19. The Executor's Guide: Settling
$73.95 $45.95
20. Survivor's Guide to the Legal

1. International Building Code 2003
by International Code Council
list price: $86.00
our price: $86.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1892395568
Catlog: Book (2003-02-16)
Publisher: Thomson Delmar Learning
Sales Rank: 5736
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The 2003 International Building Code addresses the design and installation of building systems through requirements that emphasize performance.Fully compatible with all the International Codes, the 2003 edition provides up-to-date, comprehensive coverage that establishes minimum regulations for building systems using prescriptive- and performance-related provisions.Content is founded on broad-based principles that make possible the use of materials and building designs.Structural as well as fire- and life-safety provisions covering seismic, wind, accessibility, egress, occupancy, roofs, and more are included. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars 49 states are now adopting this Code
Better learn this code. Local codes are being swept away by one standard. Here is Colorado each town had its own test, amendments and licensing system. California is the only state, having revamped its code 2 years ago, to keep its system.
I finish basements, often for homeowners who think they can do it. From Loveland, I can work any city without irate inspectors wondering why I don't know their specific requirements. Good book. ... Read more

2. Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams
by Richard Michael Fischl, Jeremy Paul, Jeremy R. Paul
list price: $22.00
our price: $22.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0890897603
Catlog: Book (1999-06-01)
Publisher: Carolina Academic Press
Sales Rank: 42417
Average Customer Review: 4.52 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Professors Fischl and Paul explain law school exams in ways no one has before, all with an eye toward improving the reader's performance. The book begins by describing the difference between educational cultures that praise students for "right answers," and the law school culture that rewards nuanced analysis of ambiguous situations in which more than one approach may be correct. Enormous care is devoted to explaining precisely how and why legal analysis frequently produces such perplexing situations.

But the authors don't stop with mere description. Instead, Getting to Maybe teaches how to excel on law school exams by showing the reader how legal analysis can be brought to bear on examination problems. The book contains hints on studying and preparation that go well beyond conventional advice. The authors also illustrate how to argue both sides of a legal issue without appearing wishy-washy or indecisive. Above all, the book explains why exam questions may generate feelings of uncertainty or doubt about correct legal outcomes and how the student can turn these feelings to his or her advantage.

In sum, although the authors believe that no exam guide can substitute for a firm grasp of substantive material, readers who devote the necessary time to learning the law will find this book an invaluable guide to translating learning into better exam performance. ... Read more

Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book on law school test taking and legal thinking
What most surprised me about this book was that I found it fascinating reading. It is doubtless extremely helpful for anyone facing a law school exam, particularly in the first year, but it is equally valuable, perhaps more valuable, for anyone CONSIDERING GOING TO LAW SCHOOL. I would be surprised if anyone reading this book didn't gain both an advantage on their law school exams and a better understanding of what the legal system is all about. I learned a lot.

5-0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for All Law Students!!
Getting to Maybe should be required reading on every law student's list! The authors take the mystery out of writing great law school exams. They tell you what the professor wants, and how to deliver that message. I wish I had had this book in law school. I spent the better part of 3 years wondering which coins the professors flipped to give grades. This book also is helpful for anyone taking a bar examination. The investment of $19.95 is a great deal!

5-0 out of 5 stars The way to pass the law school exam.
This book saved my law school carreer. law school tests are notoriously ambigous. There are no right answers. Unfortunatly, there seems to be no help for students. One of the proscribed methods is the IRAC method (when you get to school you will learn this and this is not the time to write about it). This book gives you a different way of acheving success in the test. The book does criticize IRAC and offers its own way of handling the testing questions. "Getting To Maybe" is written by law professors and who would know more about passing their tests as well as how a professor thinks? The book is a well written philosophy on the test and the mistakes. The authors spend a great deal of time explaining their philosophy and it is helpfull for the second half of the book. The book shows the common test question mistakes and how to fix them. The book also provides sample tests with sample answers and explanations of why they are good answers. This is the best part of the book, a side by side comparison of good and bad answers which makes this book invaluable. Highly reccommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Blessing
Who better to get advice on law exams from than two law professors, who also graduated at the top of Harvard Law's class? My grades have gone up and up since reading (and re-reading) this book. Anyone who goes to law school, especially where competition for grades is tight will benefit. The more you read it, the more you grasp the strategy. So don't get discouraged if you're a bit confused the first time. I'd recommend reading through this before you enter law school and at least once (maybe twice) a semester as you can squeeze in a few extra minutes. I've looked at every book about legal reasoning and taking law exams that I've been able to get my hands on and this book has the best system by far. It might not be the easiest system to understand (after all the easy road isn't always the best road in law school), but once you grasp it you'll be thankful.

2-0 out of 5 stars Maybe may not be enough
I gave this book two stars for its discussion on addressing policy issues on the exam--this was helpful, indeed. It also gives good tips and provides answers to frequently asked questions on how to prepare--but this is standard advice you'll hear in any law school. Does this book provide a concrete strategy on handling a law school exam? No. In sum, it describes what is wanted on an exam, but doesn't come close to adequately showing students how to get to this "maybe." You are on your own... ... Read more

3. Black's Law Dictionary (Black's Law Dictionary)
list price: $59.95
our price: $59.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0314228640
Catlog: Book (1999-08-01)
Publisher: West Group
Sales Rank: 69214
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Completely revised in 1999, the Seventh Edition of Black's Law Dictionary is the premier legal reference resource. This edition contains over 24,000 definitions, 4,500 of which are completely new to the Seventh Edition. Helpful extras include a list of legal maxims, the U.S. Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a time chart of the United States Supreme Court, a Federal Circuit Map, and British Regnal Years. ... Read more

Reviews (52)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must have for the legal proffesional or law studnet!
Know of of a lawyer (whom does not already have this indespenseable tool) or of a person heading to law school; then you should buy this book for them, i.e., Black's Law Dictionary by Bryan A. Garner (Editor), et al. The reference book starts out with a pronunciation guide; preface (which is very well written indeed); guide to dictionary; list of abbreviations; dictionary; seven appendixes, legal maxims, the constitution of the united states of america, universal declaration human rights; time chart of the united states supreme court; federal circuita map; british regnal years; list of works cited. The price is abit steep ... but it is well worth its price.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ideal for starting a study of law...
As mentioned in an earlier review, the pocket version of Black's Law Dictionary is ideal for the beginning law student, such as myself. While not as thorough as the unabridged version, it is much more convenient to carry around for one. Second, the concise definitions are ideal for getting the gist of a legal definition. I have found that many of the cases studied in first year classes are seventy to one-hundred-and-fifty years old. As a result, many legal terms used in those cases are a bit outdated. Enter the pocket dictionary, which does an admirable job of giving a concise clear defintion, just right for understanding the term used in the case.

As the semester has rolled along, I have found that I am using the dictionary less, which is natural I suppose since I am becoming more familiar with the language of law. I still keep it handy as a refresher. While the internet does offer many valuable resources for defining legal terms, the pocket dictionary is still a valuable resource for use on a plane, on the bus, or when the internet isn't available in class.

If you are planning on studying law, I would recommend picking up a copy of the pocket version of Black's Law Dictionary.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Better Doorstopper or Child's Booster Seat Can't Be Found
Every first year law student spends the evening before his or her first day of law school examining this weighty tome, leafing through its dense double-columned pages of arcane and obsolete legalese, rolling the syllables of Latin phrases like "consentientes et agentes pari poena plectentur" or "in dubio, pro legi fori" around on the back of the tongue, experimenting with various pronunciations of harsh old Anglo-Saxon terms like "lyef-geld" or "gisle" or "feoffee", and pondering the shaded meanings of such linguistic curiousities as "nudum pactum", "girth and sanctuary" or "estate tail". All of this and more is taken in by the eager law student, who reads on into the night before parking the tome on the shelf and dropping off to sleep. Nine times out of ten, the book thereafter remains unopened, gathering dust, dutifully moving from apartment to apartment, then from office to office in the course of one's legal career (should the law student be so fortunate as to have one). Very occasionally, the student or lawyer may encounter an unfamiliar word or phrase, and Black's Law Dictionary will come down off the shelf for a brief interlude. Those few lawyers who have the time or inclination will marvel at the wealth of legal arcanography contained between the boards of a single volume. One or two might even take it home for bedtime reading. For most, however, it is merely a part of the furniture, little used, underappreciated and generally ignored. Even so, I heartily recommend it, not only as an indispensible part of every lawyer's library furniture, but also as a veritable treasure trove of tidbits such as "lex fingit ubi subsistit aequitas", "tenants by the verge" and "smoke farthings". For sheer power to amaze and entertain, how could this not be one of the ten great books of the English language?

5-0 out of 5 stars Clasic - all law students need a Blacks Law Dictionary
This is a minor cost on top of a major investment.

Also, all 3Ls should get another legal classic, "Common Sense Rules of Advocacy for Lawyers" by Keith Evans.

Search Amazon for ISBN 1587330059

5-0 out of 5 stars For Lincoln-Douglas Debaters
If you're an LDer, this dictionary is pretty nice, unless you actually like hauling around the entire latin language in your briefcase. In that case the full ultra deluxe Black's Law Dictionary is for you! ... Read more

4. Criminal Procedure (with CD-ROM and InfoTrac)
by Joel Samaha
list price: $99.95
our price: $99.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0534629288
Catlog: Book (2004-06-30)
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
Sales Rank: 696731
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Book Description

Joel Samaha's CRIMINAL PROCEDURE, Sixth Edition presents in clear, clean prose the central theme in constitutional democraciesbalancing the need for government power to protect public safety with the guarantee of individual liberty and privacy. Samaha's straightforward approach helps students grasp the complexities of the criminal justice system.By focusing on comprehension and not memorization, he helps students understand our criminal procedures and why we need them. This text examines the constitutional requirements of criminal procedure and how these requirements are applied by the courts to law enforcement, prosecution, defense, pre-trial proceedings, adjudication, sentencing, appeal, and habeas corpus. ... Read more

5. Patent It Yourself (Patent It Yourself)
by David Pressman
list price: $49.99
our price: $32.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1413300251
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Sales Rank: 6058
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Celebrating 20 years of success!

Patent It Yourself is the world's bestselling patent book, recommended by patent attorneys, inventors, librarians and journalists.

Patent attorney and former patent examiner David Pressman takes you -- step-by-step and in plain English -- through the entire patent process, from conducting a patent search to filing a successful application.

Patent It Yourself also covers:

*documenting the invention process
*successful marketing strategies
*foreign patent rights
*assigning and licensing your invention to others
*and much more

The 10th edition of Patent It Yourself is completely updated and revised, providing the latest USPTO filing rules, as well as new amendment rules, mailing rules and fees. It also covers the new European Patent Office and Patent Cooperation Treaty rules.

Whether you're new at the inventing game or a grizzled veteran, Patent It Yourself will save you grief, time, and most importantly, money. ... Read more

Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars Patent It Yourself by David Pressman is a sure winner!
If you have a great idea, but don't know what to do with it, "Patent It Yourself" by David Pressman is here to help. This book is a true blessing to both novice and seasoned inventors alike. It's organized format and light-hearted illustrations make this a truly enjoyable read. Packed to the gills with information, "Patent It Yourself" will answer virtually any question an aspiring inventor may ask. It covers everything from avoiding invention marketing companies to patent searching, from drafting a patent application to licensing your creation. The author is a practicing patent attorney registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a former patent examiner, as well as an inventor himself with his own patents. His experience definitely shines through in each page of this work. As an inventor myself, I have truly put this book to the test. With the aid of "Patent It Yourself", I have taken two ideas from images in my head, to patented, finished products that are supplementing my income. This book has saved me thousands of dollars in legal fees and has also saved me from many a headache. I would definitely recommend "Patent It Yourself" to anyone interested in turning an idea into profit. Christine Hanisco - Lansdale, PA

5-0 out of 5 stars Worth 6 stars
I have used Pressman's Patent It Yourself since the late 80s to file and process 18 patents, and have saved myself and my business partner (a lot of money) in legal fees. I can't recommend this book highly enough. Pressman is not just knowledgeable, he is a master teacher, imparting information with consumate pedagogic skill. He makes learning of complex legal issues as easy as one can imagine. His prose is often humorous and entertaining as well.

One recommendation: If you use this book to write your first patent filing, let a patent lawyer review the filing before you submit. This shouldn't cost you more than an hour or two in attorney fees and from my experience can enhance your submission and improve its chances for allowance significantly. I did this for my first several submissions and learned something each time. Eventually there was little the attorney could offer, and I then ceased the practice.

Wish I could give 6 stars for this remarkable book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't fire your attorney just because you read this book
One area where I see this book being extremely helpful is in understanding what an attorney needs from the inventor. With a new inventor it can take forever to get the right language to put into an application. If you've read this book though you have a clearer understanding that the whole idea is taking technical language and creating a legal document. If you know the specifics and the structure of the application, preparing yourself to be most efficient with your attorney time is a great way to save on attorney bills the smart way. Having the examples ready, knowing what drawings might be required and understanding what others have already done is nothing but helpful in the process.

That being said, the intellectual property world has many twists and turns through the process that really only someone with experiences can accurately assess. The slightest mistake in a fork in the road can mean the difference between success and failure, spending a fortune or losing it. So although this book really is excellent (spoken from experience) it cannot replace good counsel. Filing patent applications and engaging in the process of prosecuting them can be expensive anyway, with or without a lawyer. For many steps in the process having a lawyer can save you money by steering you away from expensive, unnesessary searches. Once you have a patent it doesn't mean you're free and clear to market your invention either. Licensing and cross licensing can be tricky. International circles of intellectual property law have even more hidden quagmires to circumnavigate. Many lawyers are so highly specialized that negotiating license agreements is all they do. Royalty structures can be complicated and only experience can provide the most comprehensive contracts. Having an attorney provides great leverage just in presence as well. They know how to ask the right questions and for the most part won't waste alot of time. So bottom line is this helps immensely in making the process smoother and more efficient but don't fire your lawyer if you want to be sure you make the most of whatever you created.

Most highly recommended, this new edition has important, substantive additions that reflect changes in the law.

5-0 out of 5 stars Use this book and save thousands!!!
If you're thinking of filing a patent, David Pressman's Patent It Yourself is an absolute must! The patenting process is fraught with legal pitfalls that can trap even the savvyest, most experienced inventor. This book translates all of the complex, circuitous legalese that lawyers use to make law inaccessible into plain english. Chock-full with diagrams, step-by-step instructions, and tear-out forms, Patent It Yourself is a one-stop guide to patent success.
I have no legal backround and have successfully filed four patents with this book, saving thousands of dollars in lawyers fees. If you're thinking of hiring a lawyer, think again! The average lawyer charges upwards of $5,000 per patent! Why pay all that money when you can buy a book and do it yourself for only $50? From evaluating how well your idea will sell, to preparing the actual application, to understanding international patent protection laws this book covers all of the bases. Pressman has over 40 years of experience as both a patent attorney and a patent examiner and it really shows! Buy this book, it won't let you down!

5-0 out of 5 stars Detailed, Informative, and very fun to read
This is a truly excellent Book. The author guides the applicant carefully through every step of a patent application, unscrambles the legalese into easy to understand terms, and then provides the legal vocabulary again to create professional sounding patent applications. This book is very useful for inventors whith any level of legal knowledge, from the total beginner to the seasoned inventor with multiple patents. Even professional patent attourneys might learn a few new tricks from this book. The author also covers all aspects of securing inventions, from the decision to patent with respect to the financial benefits, to the patent application, marketing, international patents, and licensing and infingement problems. He points out frequently made errors and gives lots of tips and tricks. A truly excellent book for inventors of all types. (This review refers to the 8th edition) ... Read more

6. The Law of Higher Education : A Comprehensive Guide to Legal Implications of Administrative Decision Making (Jossey Bass Higher and Adult Education Series)
by William A.Kaplin, Barbara A.Lee
list price: $85.00
our price: $85.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0787900524
Catlog: Book (1995-05-11)
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
Sales Rank: 47156
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Book Description

Since the 1985 publication of the second edition of The Law of Higher Education, new developments in the courts and in Congress have continued to place campuses under increased scrutiny. In this third edition of William A. Kaplin's indispensable guide to the laws that bear on the conduct of higher education, Kaplin and Lee provide a revised and up-to-date reference, research source, and practical guide for college administrators, legal counsel, and researchers.

This third edition--with fifty percent of the material entirely new--updates the latest major developments in all of the topics covered in the previous edition and offers detailed information on a range of emerging issues including sex discrimination, hate speech, academic freedom in religious institutions, athletic scholarships, animal research, environmental laws, and much more.

... Read more

7. Criminal Procedure for the Criminal Justice Professional (with CD-ROM and InfoTrac)
by John N. Ferdico
list price: $102.95
our price: $102.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0534629199
Catlog: Book (2004-08-03)
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
Sales Rank: 401150
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8. International Building Code 2000 (International Building Code)
list price: $82.00
our price: $82.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1892395258
Catlog: Book (2000-04-01)
Publisher: International Code
Sales Rank: 44278
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9. The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States (Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States)
by Kermit L. Hall
list price: $65.00
our price: $40.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195176618
Catlog: Book (2005-05-19)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 82790
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Supreme Court has continued to write constitutional history over the thirteen years since publication of the highly acclaimed first edition of The Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court. Two new justices have joined the high court, more than 800 cases have been decided, and a good deal of new scholarship has appeared on many of the topics treated in the Companion. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist presided over the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, and the Court as a whole played a decisive and controversial role in the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. Under Rehnquists's leadership, a bare majority of the justices have rewritten significant areas of the law dealing with federalism, sovereign immunity, and the commerce power. This new edition includes new entries on key cases and fully updated treatment of crucial areas of constitutional law, such as abortion, freedom of religion, school desegregation, freedom of speech, voting rights, military tribunals, and the rights of the accused. These developments make the second edition of this accessible and authoritative guide essential for judges, lawyers, academics, journalists, and anyone interested in the impact of the Court's decisions on American society. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Oxford Companion to the Supreme Court of the United States
This volume is equally as good as the first edition only it's been brought up to date.Unfortunately the Supreme Court is not static and decisions keep appearing which will eventually make a third edition necessary.In the meantime one can purchase this book and use it as a handy reference in researching Supreme Court decisions that impact our current political landscape.

Much care and effort went into this work and the result shows.It is readable and poignant.Some entries may take careful reading to understand fully, and others are quite lengthy (who'd have thought that "Federalism" would take so many pages to explain), but overall this is a very handy book.

The only problem is what to do with the first edition once this one arrives at your door.One possibility is to do what I did, bring the first edition to the cabin. ... Read more

10. The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Court
by Bryan A. Garner
list price: $50.00
our price: $41.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195128087
Catlog: Book (1999-03-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 64076
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Good writing wins court cases. Now, one of America's most sought-after experts on legal writing offers a tested guide to preparing successful briefs - the written arguments lawyers present to judges and juries.

In 100 concise, practical, easy-to-use sections, Bryan A. Garner goes step by step through the art of effective legal writing. He covers it all - from the rules for planning and organizing a brief to openers that can capture a judge's attention from the first few words. "Never write a sentence that you couldn't easily speak," Garner warns - and he shows how to do that. He gives masterly advice on building sound paragraphs, drafting crisp sentences, choosing the best words ("Strike pursuant to from your vocabulary."), quoting authority, citing sources, and designing a document that looks as impressive as it reads. Throughout, he shows how to edit for maximal impact, using vivid before-and-after examples that apply the basics of rhetoric to persuasive writing. Filled with examples of good and bad writing from actual briefs filed in courts of all types, the book also covers the new appellate rules for preparing federal briefs.

An invaluable resource for attorneys, law clerks, judges, paralegals, and law students and their teachers, The Winning Brief has the qualities that make Garner's book so successful: authority, accessibility, and page after page of tips and techniques that work. ... Read more

Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, but also see Common Sense Rules of Advocacy
ALL of Garner's books are excellent, but lawyers who want to be more persuasive should also get a practical book on trial advocacy, "Common Sense Rules of Advocacy for Lawyers" (also a wonderful book for 3Ls and new lawyers who want to learn how to be effective advocates). The author, Keith Evans, practiced as a British barrister for a decade and as a California trial lawyer for many years. He also lectured regularly to many American Inns of Court.

However, be warned: Common Sense Rules of Advocacy is NOT a book for litigators, but for advocates.

What others have said about Evans book:

"Valuable review for the old timers and an excellent primer for those who are starting the climb."
-- Jacob A. Stein, Stein, Mitchell & Mezines, Washington, DC

"Superb how-to book ...that is refreshingly readable."
-- Karl Tegland, author, "Courtroom Handbook on Washington Evidence"

"A wonderful 'Bible' for the trial lawyer who wants to win. If only we had had this in law school!"
-- Browne Greene, Greene, Broillet, Panish & Wheeler, Santa Monica, CA

"Even the most experienced trial lawyer can pick up some new techniques here."
-- Frederick C. Moss, Professor, Dedman School of Law, Southern Methodist University

"Valuable insights and practical lessons for anyone who advocates for a living."
-- Steve Clymer, J.D., mediator, arbitrator, and facilitator with ACCORD Dispute Resolution Services, Inc.

"Remarkable compendium of useful advice."
-- Roxanne Barton Conlin, Roxanne Conlin & Associates, Des Moines, IA (first woman President of Association of Trial Lawyers of America)

"Great introduction for the new lawyer and a wonderful learning tool for the advocate with experience."
-- Sherman L. Cohn, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center (first national President of American Inns of Court)

"Terrific guidebook."
-- Philip H. Corboy, Corboy & Demetrio, Chicago, IL

You can see more testimonials and more information about Evans' book on Amazon - search for ISBN 1587330059.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Bible (one of them) for legal writing
I'm a former paralegal currently in law school, and one of the more difficult things about dealing with the law is making your writing sparkle... in the most succinct way possible. This book can help. With countless examples and snippets of wisdom culled from top legal minds, Bryan Garner has put together a fantastic resource. He takes the reader through the entire process of writing to the court, from brainstorming to the million (or 100, at least) ways to polish a document.

This isn't a book that rehashes writing tips you'll find in more general guides--it is specifically geared toward the delicate craft of legal writing. Admittedly, this is a somewhat pricey tome, but it's worth every penny.

5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent handbook on legal writing.
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.

5-0 out of 5 stars Better brief writing and more
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.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is especially apt for "seasoned" brief writers
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. ... Read more

11. An Introduction to Legal Reasoning
by Edward H. Levi
list price: $9.00
our price: $9.00
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Asin: 0226474089
Catlog: Book (1962-02-15)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 19113
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars ambiguity made clear
Legal reasoning is famously ambiguous: there's no objective way to determine the outcome of a given case as there is with a physics problem. If you know the weight of an item and the height from which it drops, you are able to determine fairly objectively (i) the rate at which it will fall to the earth and (ii) the time it will take to fall to the earth from the point at which it is dropped. Law, unfortunately, is not so straight-forward. Understanding its assumptions is absolutely critical to developing any sort of sophisticated understanding about the ways in which law affects civilization. This book provides a broad outline of those assumptions. I suggest having at least a rudimentary background in intellectual history and political philosophy to get the most out of this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fine introduction to the subject
For those going into the legal profession, and for those curious about the logic of legal procedures, this book offers and excellent introduction. Its length will suit those readers who want a quick but accurate overview of this topic. It might also satisfy the needs of a reader in a field of endeavor somewhat removed from the legal profession, namely, that of artificial intelligence. Artificial and computational intelligence has been applied to the legal profession with the goal of creating automated legal reasoning machines. My interest in the book was somewhat different when I first read it years ago, but now has been reactivated from the standpoint of artificial intelligence.

The author describes his book as an attempt to give a general description of the process of legal reasoning in case law and in statutorial and constitutional interpretation. He emphasizes right at the beginning that the law should not be viewed as a known system of rules that are applied by a judge, that legal rules are never clear, and that a requirement for such clarity would make society impossible. Ambiguity in the rules he says, allows collective participation to resolve the ambiguity. Such a characterization of legal rules by Levi prohibits an axiomatic or formal approach to legal reasoning, and this will make the problem of creating automated legal reasoners much more difficult.

Interestingly, Levi quotes Aristotle in asserting that the pattern of legal reasoning consists of reasoning by example, and that it follows a three-step process: With the doctrine of precedent assumed throughout, a proposition describing a particular case is made into law and then this rule is applied to a situation that is similar to these. Thus: 1. The cases are shown to be similar. 2. The rule of law in the first case is announced 3. This rule is then applied to the second case. It is the finding of similarity in both cases that would entail, in the context of a legal reasoning machine, the use of data mining techniques coupled with a formalization of the Aristotelian "reasoning by example" that is discussed by Levi.

An interesting part of Levi's discussion on the determination of similarity (or difference) is that this determination is dependent on the judge. When a statute does not exist, and case law is being considered, the judge is free to dismiss teh facts that the prior judge may have considered important. The doctrine of "ratio decidendi" in legal philosophy, and has been the subject of intense investigation. A formal or computational model of ratio decidendi must come to terms with this tension between precedent and judicial discretion.

In addition, Levi argues, the rules are discovered in the process of determining the similarities (or differences). This dynamism in legal reasoning is not too different from what happens in scientific research, for in the latter new laws (rules) are discovered in the process of interpreting new data that has been acquired by new experiments. The data may then have to be re-interpreted in the light of the new laws (rules) that are formulated. Future data that is similar to this data will then be interepreted under these new rules. Future data that is very different from this may entail a new set of rules be invented (discovered) to deal with this difference.

The issue then, Levi explains, is to when one must view different cases as the same. An intersection of the set of facts of two cases entails a general rule be applied. This "reasoning" is imperfect, Levi argues, since the conclusions were arrived at by a process that was not transparent. Levi summarizes this as a process in which the classification changes as the classification is made, i.e., the rules change as they are applied. This might seem troubling to some, but Levi explains that such a situation is desirable since without it, new ideas could not enter into the legal process. Thus a static view of the legal process where consequences are derived from a closed system of rules is not useful in legal reasoning. In addition, Levi argues, fairness to the parties involved in litigation is served best by this ambiguity in legal categories. The commonality of the ideas of society coupled with the contributions made by legal experts both serve to shape the law.

Levi also discusses the role that reasoning by example has in the interpretation of case law, statutes, and the Constitution. The intent of the legislature enters into the consideration of the statute by subsequent judges, and so these judges have less flexibility in applying a statute than they would in the consideration of case law. Interestingly, Levi argues that the case for constitutional law is different, in that the judge has more freedom than was the case for statutorial or case law. The court can be inconsistent in this case, says Levi, but this freedom is masked under the guise of a search for the intent of the framers of the Constitution or as a characterization of the Constitution as a "living document".

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Informative, But a Little Dry
I'm entering law school this fall, so I thought I'd read through this book to give me a head start. Levi takes a look at the evolution of court decisions based on the common law, statutory law, and constitutional law. I found the first few pages of the book very helpful in understanding that legal reasoning is not strictly an exercise in either inductive or deductive logic, but is sort of a hybrid of both which at the same time reflects the general views of society and adapts to new societal values as society's mores change. I think this is the real value of this book, showing how the reasoning evolves as new cases arise. A new case might lead to the creation of a new legal rule to deal with it, and then this rule is used for years to deal with similar cases that arise. Then, as the number of cases increases, slight distinctions are made between them, resulting simultaneously in both an expansion and a fractioning of the legal rule, sort of like a tree branch. Then, when social values change or when the cases become so numerous and differentiated that they overwhelm the original legal rule, the legal rule is discarded altogether as a new interpretation takes its place. This book takes a look at several examples of this in U.S. legal history to illustrate this process of legal evolution. It's an excellent introduction to legal reasoning. However, I gave it only four stars because the reading tends to be rather dry at times, and I often found my mind wandering as I read it. Other than that, though, this is a good book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great, quick read of the process of legal analysis.
In this book Levi gives an overview of the process of legal analysis and demonstrates how legal "rules" are made. The book consists of primarily 3 parts. In the first part Levi demonstrates the process of legal reasoning in case law situations by tracing the history and development of the "inherently dangerous" rule. The second part is an examination of statutory interpretation, specifically the Mann Act. Finally, is a section on constitutional interpretation. This book is not for pre-law students it will offer the most once the reader has already been introduced to the basics of the law and legal reasoning.

5-0 out of 5 stars sorry, i'm trying to find more info about the book
where can I find more information or reviews of this book? I need more info to decide if I indeed need it. ... Read more

12. American Public School Law
by Kern Alexander
list price: $111.95
our price: $111.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 053457744X
Catlog: Book (2000-12-11)
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
Sales Rank: 136459
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This popular and well-known textbook provides a comprehensive view of the law that governs the state schools systems of the United States. It presents and discusses legal cases concerned with the multitude of issues facing the public school system, including such issues as teaching diverse student populations, teacher rights, and the role of the Federal government. Over 1300 citations and school law case excerpts are included. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Gets the Job Done
The information is presented in a sequential format and is easily understood until the last couple of paragraphs of each case where the authors give their opinion of the court's ruling. It is difficult to understand what the courts actually decided. I often found myself wishing there would be a simple statement giving the final verdict. It is a good read until the ambiguous verdict, than frustration sets in. ... Read more

13. The Trial Lawyer: What It Takes to Win
by David Berg
list price: $110.00
our price: $69.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1590312325
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: American Bar Association
Sales Rank: 132301
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ!
Each arena has it's Michael Jordan. In the courtroom, it is David Berg. And Berg has taken this natural talent and time-honed skill to a new level as he unlocks certain secrets that have catapulted him to the top of his profession. What most have considered his "magic," he explains as common sense practice. This book should be a required text at every law school. Those in the legal profession should not just read this, they should study it. The difference it will make in case results more than pays for the book, over and over again.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very highly recommended advice guide
David Berg is a member of the Texas and New York State Bar Associations and the founding partner of Berg & Androphy, who has published dozens of articles about legal issues in such venues as "Litigation Magazine", "The New York Times", and "Newsweek". In The Trial Lawyer: What It Takes To Win, Berg draws upon his years of experience and expertise to create a straightforward instructional and reference guide which ranges from perfecting techniques for arguing a case in court; to getting the research right; to the art of persuasion; to recognizing how to best address a particular jury, Voir Dire; specific tips, tricks, and techniques for all aspects of presenting the actual trial; and more. The Trial Lawyer is a very highly recommended advice guide and strongly recommended reading for aspiring and newly practicing trial lawyers alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's Never Too Late to Learn
This is a marvelous book for the seasoned and the neophyte trial lawyer alike. Full of astute tips and at once instructive and hilarious anecdotes, this book, by a master of the art, is a must-have for anyone serious about improving his/her skills or just interested in how the really good trial lawyer strategizes every step of every case.

As a trial lawyer of nearly 25 years' experience, I thought I knew all there was to know about all aspects of a complex trial. I was dangerously wrong: reading this book has given me tips I never thought of. Of equal importance, this was a delightful experience, from cover to cover. ... Read more

14. Your Limited Liability Company: An Operating Manual (Your Limited Liability Company)
by Anthony Mancuso, Nolo
list price: $49.99
our price: $32.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0873379993
Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
Sales Rank: 97157
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Your Limited Liability Company gives you everything you need to maintain the legal validity of your LLC before the courts and the IRS. It helps you approve and document important legal, tax and business decisions to create a paper trail that avoids legal trouble.

The book stresses how to:

*prepare minutes of meetings

*record important legal, tax and business decisions

*handle formal recordkeeping

*fill out an LLC Records Book

Your Limited Liability Company provides all the documentation you'll need, including:


*written consents


*over 50 ready-to-use resolutions

The 3rd edition is completely updated and revised to include the latest laws and forms for all 50 states, and provides new insight as to how the 2003 federal tax act affects small businesses and their owners. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Resource Guide
This book provided me with the essential information an LLC owner needs to avoid trouble with the IRS and the courts. This book contains a lot of practicle information, useful forms and many real life examples. It covers meeting minutes preparation, record keeping and the updated Federal 2003 Tax Act. This is a must book for any LLC owner!

2-0 out of 5 stars Can't imagine many people need this book.
Generally I have to say I was a little disappointed with this book. To be fair it lives up to its claims that it will basically help you run LLC meetings and provides forms for most basic LLC functions EXCEPT creating one. It provides no business advice and no tax advice to help with serious beginning operation issues. I was hoping for a book that would offer advice and successful strategies for managing money in the LLC and discuss tax strategies and so on. Advice, that would help me operate an LLC with the legal documents to back up the advice. That is not what this book contains.

This book will not teach you how to begin running your own LLC business. But if you are an LLC member with two other members in your LLC it will tell you to use form 7 to formally announce the meetings and form 8 to guarantee that the announcement has been received and 9 to proactively declare that the meeting contents will be....

This book will not help you make tough decisions but it will tell you what to do if you have already made a decision. If that's really all that you want you have found your book.

What strikes me as odd is that the two most important documents as stated at the start of the book, the operating agreement and articles of organization, are not included in this book. For that topic they have written a whole SEPARATE BOOK for you to buy and they kindly point you in that direction.

My general feeling is that this 50-dollar book is too pricey for what it offers. They should drop the tear-out pages, that no one will ever use since the forms are on the CD, and the one or two pages for each states specific LLC rules, which could easily also be on the CD since you most likely only need the paragraph that pertains to your state, that make up HALF the content of the book and lower the price to 20. ... Read more

15. Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About the American Legal System
by Jay M. Feinman
list price: $27.50
our price: $17.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195132653
Catlog: Book (2000-05-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 10505
Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars
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Thanks to TV cop shows, most Americans can probably recite the Miranda warnings, but do they know when the warnings do--and do not--apply? Tort reformers cite the $2.7 million in punitive damages a jury awarded a little old lady in Albuquerque when the cup of coffee she had set between her legs spilled and scalded her. These crusaders against "excessive" damage awards do not usually note that the trial judge reduced the award to $480,000, or that the coffee was 20 degrees hotter than competitors' coffee.

The law is all around. People continually invoke their rights, and every year millions of Americans are involved in formal legal proceedings. Yet most people are ignorant of even the basic concepts and organizing principles of U.S. law. Into the breach comes Jay Feinman's engrossing book Law 101: Everything You Need to Know About the American Legal System. Akin to a crash course in the first year of law school, Law 101 is a clearly written, eminently readable guide to the tenets of our legal system. It is structured around basic questions such as "If a contract is unfair, can a court refuse to enforce it?" and replete with clarifying examples--real and hypothetical. In explaining battery, Feinman writes: "If someone consents to a certain bodily invasion, he does not necessarily consent to any bodily invasion, however. When Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield are in a boxing match, Holyfield has consented to Tyson punching him in the nose ... but he has not consented to Tyson biting off a piece of his ear." Much clearer.

Law 101 won't instruct you on how to write your will or get divorced, but it will educate you at a more systematic level. It is also a great read. --J.R. ... Read more

Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Every American should read this book
I heard about this book on a web page about good books to read prior to law school. I just finished reading it yesterday, and I am very impressed. The author writes in such a way that any reader can acquire a basic understanding of our legal system. He explores the foundational areas of our body of laws, and he describes both sides of hotly debated issues such as abortion and the death penalty. Most of all, the author emphasizes that the law is not something that ordinary people cannot understand. It is not just for lawyers, judges, and politicians. Rather, the law is determined by the way we shape our society, and it starts from the ground up.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Intro to the Basics - and a fun read!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about the basics of law but does not want to read through tedious, mind-numbing text. This book covers a lot of ground (basically all of the main doctrines of US law) and is entertaining at the same time due to the author's clear / concise narrative and numerous examples.

From the beginning, Feinman explains that "law is not in the law books" but that law "lives in conduct; it exists in the interactions of judges, lawyers and ordinary citizens". Law is how we interpret it to be at a given time - it is in and of the people. From this and other insights, Feinman has helped me gain a greater appreciation for the US legal system as well as making me a more legal savvy citizen. In this day and age this is important - at one time or another we will all have to consult a lawyer for something.

4-0 out of 5 stars Understand the law, but not how to write a will
Although I do not regret my decision, after deferring entry to law school for three years, to finally choose another vocation, I maintain a strong interest in legal philosophy and history, and comparative and international law. For me, Jay Feinman's book was an especially delightful find on the law section of a general bookstore. Few jurists, other than those like Alan Dershowitz and Richard Posner, seem to communicate clearly and effectively in non-specialist books which can satisfy curiosity outside of immediate needs such as writing wills or understanding consumer rights.

The claim of this book to provide "everything" you need to know about American law is undoubtedly exagerrated. This being said, Feinman provides a clear, thoughtful, and insightful coverage of the essentials of all that is covered in the first-year curriculum of a first-year U.S. law school program without the pain of wading through extensive case material - contracts, criminal law, torts, property, constitutional law, and legal procedure.

The strength of this book lies in its emphasis on the open nature of many legal issues -- where there are no straightforward answers. I especially enjoyed, in the section on constitutional law, the superb discussion of the scope of the justiciability doctrine which eshews intrusion of courts into the authority of other branches of government. But what exactly constitues a nonjusticiable political question which the courts should not decide?

An extract from the author's section on civil procedure underscores his invitation to the reader to avoid thinking about the law as cut and dried subject matter and process: "The lesson from all of this is that clear, rigid legal rules are often not what they appear to be. They either produce injustice as they are applied in varying fact situations, or they demand interpretations and exceptions - yet interpretations and exceptions cause complexity and uncertainty. Broad, flexible legal rules, on the other hand, give the courts great discretion, and discretion produces conflicting decisions and uncertain rules, which is another form of complexity and injustice."

The last one and a half pages are a tour de force in clarity and simplicity for those seeking to appreciate legal reasoning. It identifies a limited set of questions which can be applied to any layman's encounter with legal issues in newspapers or eleswhere, and give him some sense of what lawyers and judges have to do.

Readers show be aware that this book, while a good introduction to the frame of mind of a U.S. jurist, is not intended to be a comprehensive introduction to the U.S. legal system.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Pre-law student must
I was advised to read this book before I enter law school in the fall, and I'm glad I did. I knew little about torts, contracts, and all other aspects of introductory law before this book (I still know little, but know more than before). Feinman writes well and easy to understand. He explains the concepts and theories behind the law and fills almost every page with real life examples from previous cases. This is an excellent read even for those not going to law school. The laws and theories governing our everyday lives are contained in simple format here in this book. You can't afford not to read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent intro to the law
I'm not an attorney, nor do I plan to attend law school. Nevertheless, this book is a sophisticated, but highly readable introduction to the law. Executives from all industries who need a legal primer should start here. ... Read more

16. Dictionary of Legal Terms: A Simplified Guide to the Language of Law
by Steven H. Gifis, Barrons Educational Series Inc
list price: $8.95
our price: $8.06
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764102869
Catlog: Book (1998-01-01)
Publisher: Barron's Educational Series
Sales Rank: 27700
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

2-0 out of 5 stars Way too general
This dictionary may be good for the layman, but it is far too general for a law student or lawyer. Only the most common legal words are included, so most of the words are familiar to lawyers. Those words that are obscure enough to require a dictionary are not included. I would recommend this dictionary to a layman who wants to understand simple legal terms, but not to a lawyer or law student.

5-0 out of 5 stars Legal Terms Defined in Everyday Language
This book defines legal terms in easily understood English. In some cases, it gives an example of a situation to which the legal term might apply in order to help illustrate the meaning. It would be a very useful addition to anyone's reference library.

5-0 out of 5 stars Legal Terms
This book is a must for those with no legal background, but don't want to be intimidated by legal "jargon." I found it an easy reference guide to common and not so common legal words used every day. I work in a courtroom, and found the book helpful in understanding the judicial process. ... Read more

17. Legal Writing in Plain English: A Text With Exercises
by Bryan A. Garner
list price: $16.00
our price: $10.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226284182
Catlog: Book (2001-06-05)
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Sales Rank: 18810
Average Customer Review: 4.64 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Admirably clear, concise, down-to-earth, and powerful-unfortunately, these adjectives rarely describe legal writing, whether in the form of briefs, opinions, contracts, or statutes. In Legal Writing in Plain English, Bryan A. Garner provides lawyers, judges, paralegals, law students, and legal scholars sound advice and practical tools for improving their written work. The book encourages legal writers to challenge conventions and offers valuable insights into the writing process: how to organize ideas, create and refine prose, and improve editing skills. In essence, it teaches straight thinking--a skill inseparable from good writing.

Replete with common sense and wit, the book draws on real-life writing samples that Garner has gathered through more than a decade of teaching in the field. Trenchant advice covers all types of legal materials, from analytical and persuasive writing to legal drafting. Meanwhile, Garner explores important aspects of document design. Basic, intermediate, and advanced exercises in each section reinforce the book's principles. (An answer key to basic exercises is included in the book; answers to intermediate and advanced exercises are provided in a separate Instructor's Manual, free of charge to instructors.) Appendixes include a comprehensive punctuation guide with advice and examples, and four model documents.

Today more than ever before, legal professionals cannot afford to ignore the trend toward clear language shorn of jargon. Clients demand it, and courts reward it. Despite the age-old tradition of poor writing in law, Legal Writing in Plain English shows how legal writers can unshackle themselves.

Legal Writing in Plain English includes:

*Tips on generating thoughts, organizing them, and creating outlines.
*Sound advice on expressing your ideas clearly and powerfully.
*Dozens of real-life writing examples to illustrate writing problems and solutions.
*Exercises to reinforce principles of good writing (also available on the Internet).
*Helpful guidance on page layout.
*A punctuation guide that shows the correct uses of every punctuation mark.
*Model legal documents that demonstrate the power of plain English.

... Read more

Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Attorneys can't write well without this book!
Quit searching -- this is the best book on legal writing that you will find. It is outstanding.

I am an attorney in Texas, and I have attended two of Mr. Garner's legal-writing seminars. He is currently the leading authority on legal writing; he is also an engaging speaker. His approach is to eliminate legalese and to present a powerful and succinct message. This approach has a very practical foundation -- over the years, Mr. Garner has polled judges across the country to see which writing elements they prefer.

This volume distills Mr. Garner's findings into a compact, 227-page format. The book also contains model documents -- a research memorandum, a legal motion, an appellate brief, and a business contract -- which serve as excellent reference tools for the legal practitioner.

Put simply, if you don't subscribe to Mr. Garner's advice, you don't know how to write well. And this book is the best way yet to access to Mr. Garner's valuable insight. This book is an ESSENTIAL reference tool.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Enlighten Reformer Improving Writing For All!
Bryan Garner is a beacon of light in a profession over wrought in using formal vain communications. I was able to review this book at a Writing Seminar led by the author. He is reforming the way all people should communicate and his lectures are sincerely admirable.

The author teaches a, "Can Do Style," of encouragement. I came away concluding the old method of learning by rote is failing. English Teachers are excellent in explaining the rules of good grammar. But terrible on coaching children in applying the rules for skillful writing. I am not concluding all English Teachers deserve blame here. Teachers simply restate how they learn grammar

Likewise, ideal teaching avoids faultfinding personal attacks as much as possible. Human nature prompts one to avoid parents or teachers or practicing embarrassment is the road to success. Instead, the author urges that all writing should make the reader feel smart.

The legal profession is a victim of what they read. The most insecure judges, lawyers and law clerks often wrote to display their education. Today, the best lawyer will use plain English to convince others of the merits to his argument. Success and confidence draw near by making anyone feel they are smart because they accept you. Using large words makes one think about the words they do not know above your alluring reasoning.

Bryan Garner's primers along with practicing his techniques will change you into a stronger writer, lawyer and person. You will not regret spending the money on Bryan Garner's books and seminars. The goal is to make everyone feel smarter by reading what you write! What better way to change the world by touching people with your thoughts to words to deeds!

5-0 out of 5 stars Plain English is Shorter, More Precise.
The problem with the 1-star review is that it has the problem completely reversed. The reviewer suggests that traditional legal drafting is *shorter* than the plain english drafting that Garner proposes. He need only read Garner's books to learn that traditional drafting is *significantly* longer and more difficult to read than plain English.

Furthermore, the reviewer needs to realize that Garner is not advocating that all legal writing be poetry. First and foremost, he advocates for clarity and precision. If the writer can also make it interesting to read (or even a joy to read), then more power to the writer.

If you're a lawyer and hate seeing "WHEREAS" before each recital and prefer a simple sentence, Garner is the man for you.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Great Garner Strikes Another Blow for Good Prose
Bryan A. Garner is leading what might be a Quixotic charge to make lawyers write clear, clean, unambiguous and even interesting prose. This book is a recent addition to the Garner arsenal, which includes the excellent The Winning Brief and A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage. The anonymous writer from New York who slams Garner is wrong. He claims that traditional legal drafting has stood the test of time and is readily understood by judges, who ultimately have to interpret it. If the writing were clear to begin with, the parties wouldn't get to a judge. They'd likely settle. And that writer ignores the fact that there are thousands, perhaps millions, of legal decisions over contract disputes, almost all arising from documents that were "traditionally drafted." And different judges can decide differently about the meaning of a clause. That writer askes rhetorically whether Garner would insist that mathematicians use prose to make their work clear to laypeople. The rhetoric ignores the fact that mathematics is its own language. Legal writing is written in English, the same English used to buy groceries, talk lovingly to your spouse, and complain to the doctor about what ails you. There is no valid reason a contract should be beyond the comprehension of a layperson, other than lawyers' need to feel like they're elevated professionals with a grip on arcana. And the writer's praise of "Notwithstanding anything to the contrary" as an incantatory phrase in contracts overlooks an obvious improvement: "DESPITE anything in this agreement to the contrary . . . ." Garner is a brilliant, insightful teacher who cares deeply about the language and its highest and best use. We know what happens with legalese: litigation and contention and noncomprehension. Give plain English a try, with Garner as your guide to Aquinas's trinity of wholeness, harmony, radiance, and of course clarity clarity clarity.

5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT

18. Introduction to the Study and Practice of Law in a Nutshell (Nutshell)
by Kenney F. Hegland
list price: $25.00
our price: $25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 031414644X
Catlog: Book (2003-07-01)
Publisher: West Publishing Company
Sales Rank: 389437
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

If you are about to start law school or are in your first year, this book would be a good companion.Now in the fourth edition, this text has helped thousand of folks become better law students and down the road, better lawyers.

Like other introductory books, it covers the basics: reading and briefing cases; preparing for class; outlining and study groups;taking exams.There are exercises so you can apply what you have learned. In addition to these essentials, the book focuses of what is often quite elusive: legal analysis; Why do courts follow precedent?; How are cases applied and distinguished?; How is ambiguous language interpreted?Legal analysis is the hidden ball of the first year, and with this book you will be well on your way.

There are chapters on legal writing (not necessarily boring or highfalutin') and on oral argument (not necessarily terrifying).These chapters will help in first year writing and Moot Court Programs. And, for those of you who aren't sure, there are chapters revealing the wide array of careers that will be open to you.

The book reads fast, well, and is often funny.That said, drawing on the work of philosophers, psychologists, and novelists, it takes you and your calling quite seriously, but never (not even once) pompously. ... Read more

Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Real insight into the "operative facts" of law school
I've bought several books purporting to be insiders' guides to law school (and beyond), but this book is the most perceptive and
elegantly expressed of the lot. It's actually written by an experienced lawyer and law school professor, as opposed to someone out of law school for just a couple years, so each sentence sparkles with insight and knowledge, wittily expressed. The real advantage of this book is its focus on the "operative facts" of law school -- other books tend to range over all the possible minutiae of the law school experience, and do much more bemusing than amusing in the process. This book, on the other hand, dispenses kernels of wisdom right and left -- as well as fascinating allusions to historical figures scientific, literary, and jurisprudential -- while offering a rigorous examination of the bases of most law school curricula. Highly readable and highly informative: a rare combination indeed in this often turgid genre.

5-0 out of 5 stars My first year security blanket
I spent a good bit of time with this little book before and during my first year in law school. I read it very carefully, and even wrote out answers to the questions. The effort was well worth it. If you're scared to death, don't know what to expect, and want to do well, this book won't let you down. Hegland begins the process of teaching a law student how to think, and helps one keep the big picture in mind. This book also started my profitable relationship with the nutshell series.

5-0 out of 5 stars outstanding
A must read for any current or future law student

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is an excellent source for 1L's.
This book gave me something that I wanted to hear for a long time, it gave me encouragement. It made me realized that the first year of law school will be a difficult one, but you can get through it. It was insightful, informative and filled with great humor. I think all 1L's feel intimitated during their first year of law school. This book provided everything that the first year student should know during that first year. The humor was the refreshing part, I never knew lawyers had a sense of humor, but this author will surely make you laugh. He gave excellent advice on what to expect the first couple of weeks. This is book is great for students who are scared to death of the first year. This book wil help you realize that you are not the dumbest person in the class if you don't understand the material. I feel I can make it through the first year of law school without having a nervous breakdown.

5-0 out of 5 stars a good book, good beggining law student book
wonderfu ... Read more

19. The Executor's Guide: Settling a Loved One's Estate or Trust
by Mary Randolph
list price: $34.99
our price: $23.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1413300332
Catlog: Book (2004-05-01)
Sales Rank: 35815
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Book Description

If you're faced with wrapping up the affairs of a loved one who has died, you may feel overwhelmed by all the work ahead -- especially when you're grieving. But with the right legal and practical information, you can do it.

The Executor's Guide will show you how to get organized, get the help you need and make progress one step at a time. Let it help you navigate an unfamiliar land of legal procedures and terminology. It explains:

*preparing for the job of executor or trustee
*the first steps to take
*claiming life insurance, Social Security and other benefits
*making sense of a will
*what to do if there is no will
*how to determine whether or not probate is necessary
*caring for children and their property
*an overview of probate court proceedings
*dealing with family members
*handling trusts
*looking up your state's laws
*working with lawyers, appraisers, accountants and other experts ... Read more

20. Survivor's Guide to the Legal Environment
by John E. Adamson
list price: $73.95
our price: $73.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0538725230
Catlog: Book (2001-11-20)
Publisher: South-Western Educational Pub
Sales Rank: 457030
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Success in the workplace often depends upon the ability to understand the basics of contracts, business organizations, and other day-to-day legal issues.Designed for professionals and managers who need to know the basics, this text provides information on the most current topics and issues in the law in an easy to understand manner.The first Unit focuses on giving a basic working knowledge of the law and to train you to observe both potential and actual events from a legal perspective.The focus in the remaining units narrows to the study of traditional business law topics.These topics appear in general order of importance to a business person.Materials are presented in a straightforward way with plenty of examples to ensure understanding and confidence in application. ... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Easy, clear and fun
Not only is the book easy to read and understand, but the author has a sense of humor and history.There are facts salted into the usually amusing examples that, at least to me, seem to relate to past events.For example, when he explains partnerships, the sample of an agreement is for a partnership called Leaks Anonymous.It is a plumbing business and the partners are Glenda Liddy, Eduardo Hunt and, ____ McCord... I think from the Watergate burglary.
Anyway, the book gave common sense advice and was really useful.I recommend it highly.
CJ== ... Read more

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