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Legal Writing


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What are the 5/6 principals of good legal writing?
1. 20 - 25 words per sentence
2. remove excess words

3. the passive voice
4. nominalizations
5. abstractions
6. long paragraphs
The Legal Issue Statement should include what?
1. jurisdiction -
international, federal,
2. statute or case law
3. legal theory
4. facts
In doing research what sources do we look at first?
Secondary sources come first!
Legal Dictionaries are:

binding / not binding
Legal Dictionaries are NOT binding authority.
In doing a national search, we look at?
National Legal Encyclopedias
Corpis Juris Secundum
(both are secondary non-binding authority)
For California?
State Legal Encyclopedias
Witkins Summary of California Law (Bible in California)
Short persuasive opinions
Law Review Articles
Legal Periodicals
How many Circuit Courts are there?
13 Circuit Courts
How many District Courts are there?
approximately 94 district courts
What is the name of the Federal Digest?
Federal Practice Guide
What is the National Guide / Digest?
Decennial Digest
What is the name of the state digest for California?
California State Digest

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