Opinion Writing

Third Edition

by Ruggero J. Aldisert

Tags: Legal Writing

Table of Contents (PDF)

362 pp  $45.00

ISBN 978-1-61163-123-4
eISBN 978-1-5310-2005-7

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This Third Edition of Opinion Writing breaks new ground for all writers of trial and appellate opinions—trial and appellate judges, administrative law judges, arbitrators, as well as current and aspiring law clerks.

The differences between this edition of Opinion Writing and its predecessors are fundamental. To be sure, four core topics remain the same: (1) theoretical concepts underlying a judicial opinion; (2) the anatomy of an opinion; (3) writing style; and (4) opinion writing checklists. But this edition is more than a teaching text. Instead, it takes opinion writers by the hand and reveals to them step-by-step how to write a judicial opinion. It is more than "what"; it is "how."

Serving for over 50 years on the bench, Judge Aldisert has participated in thousands of opinions written by his colleagues and him. His experience serving in the different U.S. Courts of Appeals across the country—from Atlanta, Georgia, to Seattle, Washington—has provided him a rare opportunity to acquire first-hand knowledge of the operation of the judicial process. This text aims to share that knowledge through personal anecdotes, illuminating opinion excerpts, and even some cartoon illustrations. This book also provides a series of checklists—how to write, test, and shorten the product for all who are charged with publicly justifying a judicial decision.

This edition, equal parts teaching manual and compendium of information, is a must-have.

The best way to become a good writer is to read a lot of good writing. And to me there's no better legal writing than that of Judge Ruggero Aldisert. ...Yes, we have three copies. Every law library should have at least that many, and every law librarian should encourage their students, especially their students in law school clinics, to read and heed the judge's insightful tips."

— Legal Research Plus blog (September 13, 2012), Paul Lomio, Library Director and Lecturer at Law at Stanford Law School

Comp Copy If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.