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Memo To Fellow Classmates From Nate Gross Date January 28, 2013 Subject Types of Technical Writing Used

By Lawyers After interviewing a lawyer and finding examples technical writing that lawyers use, I can draw the conclusion that technical writing is very essential in law because most of the work is done outside of the courtroom, in the form of writing. Interview On Sunday, January 27th, I interviewed my cousin Steve and asked him questions about the importance of technical writing in his profession and where to find examples of writing of this nature. Steve is a defense lawyer at a firm in San Francisco, California. In the interview he mentioned some types of technical writing that he finds himself constantly doing for his job. Complaints, responses, briefs, motions, and letters are among the most common types of writing he has to do. To go over each one briefly, complaints are used to start a civil suit and the plaintiff gives the lawyer an account of what happened and the lawyer writes it up and files it in court. Responses are written in response to something the prosecutor wrote such as a motion. In a response, the lawyer also writes up how the events occurred according to the plaintiff. Motions are used quite frequently and can cover many categories. Motions can be written to appeal something, keep something out of evidence, postpone or dismiss a trial, or for procedural reasons such as preserving the right to appeal something later on in the trial process. Briefs are used to basically summarize a case so that if the case is one that might pop up again and a different lawyer is used, the new lawyer will have a summary of what happened the first time and know what to expect. A brief can save a lawyer a whole bunch of research and avoid them having to start a case from scratch. Judges can also request that the lawyers on both sides of a case write a brief to explain what law they think applies and what the end result should be for that issue. Letters are another common form of technical writing in law and they can be used for anything. A letter from a lawyer holds way more power than a letter from the Average Joe. For example, if someone is committing copyright infringement, a lawyer representing the copyright owner can send a letter to the person infringing telling him to stop doing what he is doing or else he will have a lawsuit. Another example could be a landlord refusing to provide reasonable accommodations and the lawyer sending him a letter stating that if he does not fix the problems within an allotted amount of time he will face a civil lawsuit. My cousin also mentioned that there is also a market out there for pieces to be published in law reviews because it is prestigious, but he doesn't do this kind of writing because it is mostly used by judges and law professors, not normal lawyers. It was interesting to learn that most of my cousin's job involves reading and writing and not actually spending that much time in court. Three Examples the Interviewee Recommended Steve directed me to three examples that he thought I would find interesting. The first is a motion to suppress evidence and is used as an example for Stanford Law School when teaching students how to write motions. The motion is very in-depth and I cannot comprehend most of the information that is there because it is full of legal jargon but from what I understood, the motion states that evidence should be suppressed because of the unlawful search, seizure, and arrest that took place. The motion is very well organized and uses a numbering system to group items into categories. There is an introduction, a statement of facts, an argument, and a conclusion and prayer for relief. The motion is 18 pages long. It goes to show that nothing in law is cut and dry, everything needs to be explained thoroughly and there are no shortcuts. A second example my cousin told me to look at was a sample

brief on the UCLA law school website. Steve figured it would be good for me to examine writing that is taught in law school which is why he has directed me to writing found on law school websites. The brief is also very well organized. It contains a title page, table of contents, table of authorities, questions presented in the case, opinions, constitutional provisions and rules, statement of the case, argument, and a conclusion. From reading this brief I learned that this is a very important type of writing in law because it helps summarize a case that would otherwise take endless hours of research to learn about a case without having a brief in front of you. The third example I looked at was an example of a letter lawyer would write to someone stating a demand. This letter is on paralegaltoday.com. The letter provided the person with three options: civil litigation, discussion or mediation. The lawyer explained what each of these options would entail and why civil litigation would be a hassle for both parties. It was a very convincing letter that would be a very powerful tool if you were trying to get someone to meet your demands. Two Journals Published by a Lawyer I looked at a few articles from the New York Law Journal and one caught my eye. It was called The Not-So-Confidential Confidential Settlement Agreement and is written by Thomas Dewey of the Dewey and Kramarsky firm. Dewey discusses the ruling that settlement agreements are to be treated like any other document and goes on about how this makes settlement agreements no longer confidential as they once were. I enjoyed reading this column because it was written in more understandable English than the other legal documents I have looked at and it informs the reader of an issue they are probably not aware of. The second journal I looked at was the Yale Law Journal and in it I saw an article about whether or not the President appoint executive officers without a senate confirmation vote. The article argues that if the President appoints someone and the senate does not take any action within a certain amount of time then it is assumed that the Senate is okay with the appointment. The type of writing exhibited in the journals is different from the type of technical writing I saw in the examples my cousin recommended. The journal pieces didn't directly relate to the job of a lawyer and were written to be published in a journal whereas the examples of the brief, motion, and letter were all written to help with a case. The journal columns were more interesting to read because they were more like reading a newspaper article, but written by experts. Conclusion After interviewing my cousin and examining different types of writing that are used in the field of law, I can conclude that most of what lawyers do is write and that there are many types of writing out there and each one has a different person. I learned that good lawyers will utilize all types of technical writing mentioned in order to build the best case possible. I thought I might want to be a lawyer but after talking to Steve and seeing how much paperwork is involved , I'm having second thoughts. It was intriguing to learn about the everyday life of a lawyer and I still think it could be a rewarding career.

http://www.yalelawjournal.org/the-yale-law-journal/essay/can-the-president-appoint-principalexecutive-officers-without-a-senate-confirmation-vote?/ http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/PubArticleNY.jsp? id=1202585976193&The_NotSoConfidential_Confidential_Settlement_Agreement http://orgs.law.ucla.edu/moot/Competitors/Pages/SampleBriefs.aspx

http://www.law.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/childpage/163220/doc/slspublic/Motion_to_Suppress_Final.pdf paralegaltoday.com/forms/2007/so07/10A-2.DOC

References