Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Legal Writing

Illinois Supreme Court Rule Changes: The Year So Far By Michele M. Jochner October 2011 Article, Page 520 From new IOLTA rules to a new official citation system, a range of important supreme court rule changes took effect from January through September of 2011.
The New, Online-Only Illinois Reports By Tom Gaylord September 2011 Column, Page 477 Now the supreme court publishes the official version of Illinois cases - here's what it means.
Briefer Briefs: Writing and Speaking Tips from the Supreme Court By Tom Gaylord July 2011 Column, Page 368 Interviews with Supreme Court justices about effective advocacy are themselves good models.
Federal Administrative Law, Part 2: Online CFR and LSA By Tom Gaylord March 2011 Column, Page 156 You can use the online CFR to find the very latest regs and the LSA to verify their accuracy.
What’s New at By Tom Gaylord November 2010 Column, Page 592 The recently redesigned Illinois state homepage is an improvement over its predecessor.
Need a Case or Statute on the Run? Fastcase has an App for That By Tom Gaylord September 2010 Column, Page 488 Fastcase's free application offers cases to iPhone and iPad owners.
“Cite,” not “cite to” August 2010 Column, Page 390 See comments from our readers.
Can you cite to unpublished opinions? By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2010 LawPulse, Page 286 In Illinois state court, no. In Illinois-based federal district courts, yes.
A judge’s guide to drafting orders By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2010 LawPulse, Page 230 A bankruptcy judge's 18 guidelines for drafting orders are a surprise hit on the blawgging circuit.
Brief-Writing Tips for the Illinois Appellate Court By Maria Pellegrino August 2008 Article, Page 412 An appellate law clerk offers pointers and an insider's view of common brief-writing errors.
Using CFEs and Motions to Compel Disclosure in White-Collar Criminal Defense By Frank S. Perri August 2007 Article, Page 432 Expert help and skillful motion drafting can help defense counsel respond to prosecution "document dumping" in complex criminal fraud cases..
New rule allows citation of unpublished federal opinions By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2007 LawPulse, Page 66 Federal appellate courts used to restrict or prohibit citation of unpublished opinions in arguments to the courts. That changed January 1.
Mentoring Writers By Maureen B. Collins September 2004 Column, Page 491 It takes time to train fledgling lawyers to write well. But the time you invest now will pay dividends later.
Order in the Court (and in Your Sentences) By Maureen B. Collins August 2004 Column, Page 435 Don't let convoluted word order tangle your sentences.
Of Pandas and Punctuation By Maureen B. Collins July 2004 Column, Page 371 These books and Web sites make mastering grammar…well, if not fun, at least less painful.
What Weblogs Can Do for You By T. Evan Schaeffer May 2004 Column, Page 269 Don't know about the great legal Weblogs out there? Don't know what a Weblog is? It's time you learned. You might decide to be a blogger yourself one day.
Untangle Your Web Site By Maureen B. Collins and Hillary Altekruse Mann April 2004 Column, Page 222 Yes, you really do need a Web site, and these FAQs will help you make the most of it.
Brief-Building: The Finishing Touches By Maureen B. Collins March 2004 Column, Page 153 You've built a well-reasoned, well-argued edifice; don't sabotage your effort by neglecting the final flourishes.
Building a Solid Foundation By Maureen B. Collins February 2004 Column, Page 105 Last month's column looked at the "prep work" necessary for a brief. This month, we focus on the framework.
Constructing an Argument By Maureen B. Collins January 2004 Column, Page 47 Like a house, a brief needs a solid framework, intricate inner workings, and an attractive appearance.
Communicating Your Authority By Maureen B. Collins December 2003 Column, Page 637 Sorry, but proper citation format really does matter. Here's why.
Being Right Versus Saying it Right By Maureen B. Collins November 2003 Column, Page 577 As this cautionary tale illustrates, sometimes what you say to a client is less important than how you say it.
To Speak or Not to Speak? By Maureen B. Collins October 2003 Column, Page 525 Sometimes 'tis nobler in the mind to keep thy mouth shut...
What I Learned from Television By Maureen B. Collins September 2003 Column, Page 471 The observant couch-potato can actually learn a lesson or two from the tube about effective communication.
First Drafts Made Easy By T. Evan Schaeffer June 2003 Column, Page 311 Using these six tips makes writing first drafts fun. Well, almost.
Conquering the Comma: Conjunctions and Essential Elements By Lisa McGrady May 2003 Column, Page 259 Is comma placement a lot like flower arranging for you ("let's see, one would look nice here")? If so, read on.
Adjectives, Adverbs, and More By Lisa McGrady April 2003 Column, Page 205 So when do you use "whom"? Our grammar review continues with adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and pronouns.
Verbs: Putting Action into Your Words By Lisa McGrady March 2003 Column, Page 145 Part two of our journey into the wonderful world of composition and grammar.
Back to the Basics of Grammar and Style By Maureen B. Collins February 2003 Column, Page 91 Sexy they're not, but grammatical rules and conventions are too important to ignore.
A Writer’s Resolutions for the New Year By Maureen B. Collins January 2003 Column, Page 39 Put your nose on a diet? Tone up your grammar skills? Here's a legal writer's list of New Year's resolutions.