Thursday, November 25, 2004

On writing

I noticed a bit of contrast between this Lawpundit post on plagiarism in academic writing with this Uncivil Litigator post on the pain of delegation in legal writing.

In the writing that I do, plagiarism is good, winning is the goal, and "style" doesn't count for much. (If it did, I might increase my hourly rate.) Nothing that goes out with my signature has not been touched by something that somebody else wrote - I try to steal good ideas every day, all the time. I reused a motion yesterday that I wrote several years ago that was mostly taken verbatim from a court order.

Having said that, I am persnickety about many things, somewhat in the manner of UCL perhaps. Earlier in the week, I was commenting on the part of an opponent's brief which said, among other things, that my position on the matter was "disingenuous." (Ah, disingenuity as grounds for summary judgment.) Adjectives, I declared to my legal assistant, should be banned from legal writing. Then I saw this Rainman2 post, and sent it around immediately, to which my assistant replied: "Damn good advice."

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