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Legal Writing: Striving for Clarity

SKU: SKL6100
Total Credits
1 - 1.5
Price$75
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Description

This CLE program (“Striving for Clarity”) will discuss steps to achieve clarity in legal writing. The presenter, Judge Bob Bacharach, will draw on examples from psycholinguistics, oratory, and advocacy to illustrate techniques to enhance clarity in legal writing.

The main topics will involve:

  • creating context before detail,
  • using simple language,
  • linking the information in your sentences, and
  • conveying the information in manageable chunks.

In discussing the creation of context, Judge Bacharach will illustrate how to draft a meaningful introduction, use topic sentences, and maximize the effectiveness of headings. The discussion on diction will draw from empirical studies on how the use of simple languages promotes comprehension. In discussing how to link sentences, Judge Bacharach shows how references to familiar information can enhance understanding on the part of the reader. Lastly, Judge Bacharach will address how legal writers can enhance clarity by breaking information into manageable chunks. Through these steps, Judge Bacharach’s program is designed to help practitioners, judges, and students enhance the clarity of their legal writing.

Lecturer Bio

Honorable Robert E. Bacharach

Judge Bacharach was appointed in February 2013 as a United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

He graduated with High Honors from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in History and the Tom Lottinville Award for the Best Essay submitted in the History Department. He obtained his Juris Doctorate from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis in 1985, where he graduated order of the coif and was awarded the Breckenridge Scholarship for the second highest grade average in his senior year of law school. In law school at Washington University, he also served as the Developments Editor of the Washington University Law Quarterly (now named the Washington University Law Review) and was awarded the Mary Collier Hitchcock Prize for writing for the best Note (student article) in the law review.

Upon graduation from law school, Judge Bacharach clerked from 1985 to 1987 for Judge William J. Holloway, Jr., who was then the Chief Judge of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. After completing this clerkship, Judge Bacharach practiced civil litigation at Crowe & Dunlevy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from 1987 to 1999. He then served as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Western District of Oklahoma until 2013, when he was appointed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge Bacharach authored the recently published book on legal writing, Legal Writing: A Judge’s Perspective on the Science and Rhetoric of the Written Word, published by ABA Press. He has also authored “Section 1983 and the Availability of a Federal Forum: A Reappraisal of the Police Brutality Cases,” 16 Memphis State University Law Review 353 (1986); “Section 1983 and an Administrative Exhaustion Requirement,” 40 Oklahoma Law Review 407 (1987); “Motions in Limine in Oklahoma State and Federal Courts,” 24 Oklahoma City University Law Review 113 (1999); “Dirks v. SEC=s Footnote Fourteen: Horizontal and Vertical Reach,” 62 Washington University Law Quarterly 477 (1984); and “Post-Trial Juror Interviews by the Press: The Fifth Circuit=s Approach,” 62 Washington University Law Quarterly 783 (1985). In addition, he and Professor Lyn Entzeroth (now Dean of Tulsa University School of Law) coauthored “Judicial Advocacy in Pro Se Litigation: A Return to Neutrality,” 42 Indiana Law Review 19 (2009).

Judge Bacharach is the recipient of the national Federal Bar Association’s Earl W. Kintner Award and the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Award of Judicial Excellence.



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