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Author Topic: Legal Writing Horror Stories  (Read 3696 times)

Jhuen_the_bird

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Re: Legal Writing Horror Stories
« Reply #30 on: March 27, 2008, 12:43:28 PM »
All I can say is, thank Fing god that d**mn appellate brief is done. I literally did not sleep the night before it was due.

Haha ... amen.


Except now I have to re-read mine (eek!) and read my partner's so we can do our oral arguments on it  :-\

jeffislouie

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Re: Legal Writing Horror Stories
« Reply #31 on: March 27, 2008, 02:22:26 PM »
Shortly thereafter, she told us that it should between 7 and 8 pages long.
Come to find out, the only A's she gave out were to well written 12 page papers, two of them to be precise.

Wow.  bull.

Well put. Short, concise and free from nasty hyperbole.  I appreciate that.
but wrong.
Our class is pretty open about stuff with each other.
I found the people who got A's and asked if I could check out their papers so I could see what an 'A' paper looked like.
Both papers were 12 pages long.  The rest of the folks that found out were all pissed, as their papers were all kept within the guideline.
There were a few people who didn't want to admit to an A (humility maybe?), so they may have gotten A's and just told me they got B's, but the two people I know that received A's both had papers that exceeded the page restriction.
My prof might be an unreasonable representative of the legal writing prof's out there.  If that's the case, good on you who don't have a crap legal writing teacher.
Perhaps folks are focusing too much on the page limitations.  Having us hand in our first memo THEN teaching us how to write a memo is plain stupid.
Forbidding students from working together on research is also nonsense.  This was our first memo.  She had barely discussed how to research.  It's just silly.
Here's an add-on to show you how brilliant this lady is:
Two thirds of the pages in our syllabus discuss plagiarism and how bad it is, unethical, etc. and how we should always attribute to the author/properly cite any text we quote, reproduce, or otherwise use.
We got our third memo assignment the other day.  There's all sorts of references to the movie 'office space'.  Milton, Lundberg, Inatech, Chotchkies, etc.  So I ask her after class if she wrote it after seeing 'Office Space' and she didn't know what that was.  We all thought she was kidding.  It so obviously used characters from that movie.  She then admitted that she sometimes takes memo assignments from fact patterns that she's seen in moot court.
She began the memo assignment with a personalized passage, then used someone else's fact pattern, then ended it with her own personalized section.  Then listed her name.
She admitted to plagiarizing someone else's work.  Someone else wrote the fact pattern, then she used it as if it was her own creation without attributing it to anyone but herself.
This is not a clever woman.

Maybe if you didn't hit the Enter key after every f**cking sentence, your brief would have been shorter.  I've read one thread, and I am already strongly in favor of limiting the length of everything you write.  Quit your crying.  Pick a courthouse--any one will do--and ask a judge's clerk if there is a page limit for briefs. 

Noted.
You can take solace in the fact that my writing style on message boards is nothing like my writing style in legal briefs.
If we were all to use your explanation and take all you say to be true, we could call into question your writing ability as well.
You shouldn't begin sentences with the word 'maybe', nor should you use profanity!
:-)
Message received, sometimes page limitations are necessary.  However, I still contend that my teacher page limitations were arbitrary and most definitely not adhered to, either in practice or as part of the grading rubric.
Justice is tangy....

uh huh.

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Re: Legal Writing Horror Stories
« Reply #32 on: March 28, 2008, 04:27:25 PM »
I simply adore being condescended to by someone with far less life experience....
Thanks for the opinion.  Do the world a favor and save "Honey" for the person who you are having sex with.  The rest of us automatically assume you are an idiot.
And I wasn't "pedal"-ing anything (it would be 'peddle' btw - you are a lawyer already?).  I was giving my opinion.  And if, in your experience, you find my opinion to be incorrect, so be it.  Feel free to express your opinion.  Removing the horsesheet would make your post a little more credible.  For example, instead of making assumptions and speaking to me as if I am less intelligent than you, why not just make your point, which appears to be that page limits have a place and in your experience, 9 page brief's aren't what partners want.
In the meantime, allow me to retort:
If it takes 9 pages for me to accurately and expertly analyze an issue and each page is necessary, the extra page or so that the lazy-ass partner wants to waste time complaining about may actually save the client's ass.  Or, we can do it your way, have arbitrary page limits and if the client ends up in jail or on the hook for millions, f**ck 'em, right?
since you decided that you are an expert, allow me to share a little more of the page limitation issue with you.  You might find that you actually LEARN something.
My professor, who has earned herself zero respect from any of my classmates, limited our brief to under 8 pages.  This was a case about IIED and she required us to use 4 full cases to prepare the brief.  Two were lengthy, somewhat complex supreme court decisions.  Sticking to her arbitrary nonsense, I limited my paper to her requisite pages.
When I got my paper back, she commented that I left out one aspect that she felt was important.  So I showed her my 9 page brief, which contained a section on what she felt was missing, and asked her to help me see how I could have been more concise so as to fit the section in.  Her response?  "I don't know.  I guess you might have needed 9 pages.  I should have told you that 9 would have been okay.  Oops."
But hey, you might be right.  Maybe she's a genius.

Quick question:
How do you know what I wrote was drivel?
How does my expressing my opinion in a thread entitled "Legal Writing Horror Stories" work out to me 'petal'-ing misinformation?  How is it irresponsible?  Is it because throngs of one L's come here to read my opinion, take it as absolute fact, and proceed to live their lives incorrectly in perpetuity until they finally end up killing themselves?
Ease up.  I gave my opinion.  I wasn't "peddling" anything.
I find it wholly unbelieveable that you managed to graduate law school, pass the bar, and blow enough partners to get hired.  Why?  Because you don't know how to spell and use words incorrectly.
peddle - sell or offer for sale from place to place
(What was for sale?  and where?)
pedal - A foot-actuated lever
Maybe I was irresponsibly using a foot-actuated lever?
Meh, whatever.  Best of luck.
Let us all know what it's like when the partners discover your low intellect and let you go.

Ok. I'll bite. It'll be fun.

1) Does "Sweetheart" work better for you? Good!
2) Interesting that you think I have less experience than you. I'm working. Have been for many years. In multiple industries. And you?
3) I'll admit to my misspelling (The sign of a person with integrity is his or her ability to admit when he or she is wrong. You might want to make a note of that for future reference.)
4) My assumption in that you are less intelligent than not only myself, but a great majority of the people on this board, was based on the evidence. YOU are the one who asserted there were no page limits in the law - you represented that as fact, NOT opinion.
5) I would have believed your BS story about your interaction with your professor if you had actually brought it up earlier, but you didn't. I believe you're full of crap.
6) I know what you wrote was drivel because of your inability to articulately and concisely argue your own point here. (Or do you choose not to write concisely? You might want to work on that.)
7) "I find it wholly unbelieveable that you managed to graduate law school, pass the bar, and blow enough partners to get hired.  Why?  Because you don't know how to spell and use words incorrectly." Nice sentence structure. Good luck in your first job, Buddy (oh, do you like that better?)

jeffislouie

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Re: Legal Writing Horror Stories
« Reply #33 on: March 29, 2008, 02:34:16 AM »
Sadly, you still think your tone is gentile even though it is condescending and rude.  Do you talk down to everyone, or just people you don't know?
Yes, to answer one of your questions, I've been working for years in multiple industries.  The Law is my 3rd career.  In my time working, I've come across some interesting people and learned some interesting lessons.  One such interesting lesson is that people who are successful attorney's don't have the time or inclination to jump on law school discussion boards to correct such horrific and unconscionable offenses such as giving their opinions in threads with tiles like "Legal Writing Horror Stories".
So allow me to apologize to an esteemed professional like yourself.  My post was pure opinion and I simply forgot to provide the boilerplate notification wherein I stipulate that my posts are all opinions and that if you disagree, you might be right but I also reserve the right not to care.  Of course, that is almost always followed by some statement of the concept that if you are an ass, I reserve the right to mock you and call you names.  Since you seem to want me to self-correct (lazy?), here's what I will correct:
Instead of writing:
"do you really think that as a lawyer, your briefs will have page limitations, rules like 'you are prohibited from discussing this with other lawyers', and instructions to utilize case law you are familiar with because you are familiar with it?  Of course not", I should have written something more like:
"I have trouble believing that as a lawyer, your briefs will have narrow, arbitrary page limitation, rules like 'you are prohibited from discussing this brief with other lawyers', and instruction not to utilize case law you are familiar with because you are familiar with it."  Feel better?
So allow me to retort:
You are a feminine hygiene product.  There.  I said it.  Maybe you aren't a feminine hygiene product all the time, but coming to a law school discussion board to trash a silly opinion is a douch-y thing to do.  Maybe in real life, you aren't an ass all the time.  Maybe in real life, when you say start discussions with "Honey", people think it's sweet.  Slutty girls get away with that.  So do really old ladies.  Or charming old men.
If you are an attorney, then I wonder how you find the time to lurk about at lawschooldiscussion.org, searching for opinions to disagree with.  I also wonder why you give so much of a *&^% that you have now twice responded. 
To make it easy for you 'uh huh.', I'll spell it out for you in a way that you can fully comprehend:
- What I wrote was an opinion. 
- All opinions are like assholes.  Everyone has one and some of them stink.
- I never attempted to 'sell' anything as truth or fact.  If you took it that way, oh freakin' well.  May I ask how that affects you or anyone else?  Let's take it to the conclusion, shall we?  Let's say that 10 people accept what I wrote as fact, not opinion.  What result then?  Do they drop out of law school?  Does it forever sour their law school experience?  Perhaps they will be lucky and be of the minority that actually has decent legal writing professors, then what?  Will they find themselves scared and alone, wondering if there is any real truth out there?  Will their confidence be forever shaken?  Will they cease to exist?  Will they find themselves shattered due to my incorrect assessment of the situation?
Oh my.  The results could be disastrous.  You are right. I should go back and delete my posts, then flog myself wildly until I draw blood and am forever scarred.
I really don't care if you think I'm making it all up.  How wonderful it would be for me if what I shared was, in fact, fictional!  As to whether I should care if you believe me, I don't.  So your point is moot.
But this was my favorite part:
" know what you wrote was drivel because of your inability to articulately and concisely argue your own point here. (Or do you choose not to write concisely? You might want to work on that.)"
So let me get this straight, how and what I write on an internet message board (an informal writing) is indicitive of how I write a legal memo (which is a formal writing)?  Um, okay.  That makes sense.
Here's my point:  My memo was limited to a certain number of pages.  The official limit was 7-8 pages in total.  This includes all the sections : The To, From, Date, Re:, the Issue section, the Brief Answer section, the Facts section, The Discussion section, and the Conclusion section.  In actuality, several students turned in papers that were 12 pages long with no point deduction.  My paper was cut down to 7 1/2 pages.  It wasn't too long.  It was within the guidelines.  Had I not had an arbitrary page limitation, my paper would have been 9-11 pages long, well within most actual page limitations that most attorneys I know have been asked to complete as a function of their jobs.  I did not attempt to prepare a meandering, 30 page legal memo - I was told to cut it down to size, by the instructor, so that my paper was within the page limit assigned.  Your argument is ridiculous and assumptive.  I understand the need to keep memo's brief, but simply cannot believe that you have a job where you employer asks you to prepare a memo analyzing a clients position where he or she tells you to keep in between 7 and 8 pages long.  Sorry, but that strikes me as irresponsible and arbitrary.  And if the prick was adamant about it, I would prepare an executive summary so they wouldn't have to read the whole thing if they didn't want to.
Since you are already a very successful attorney, might I suggest that you move along and leave us morons to the conversation at hand?  Your contribution seems to consist of wild speculation, condescention, and an obsession with an opinion that you believe to be fact.
I thank you for your investment in time and wish you well.

Justice is tangy....

uart

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Re: Legal Writing Horror Stories
« Reply #34 on: March 29, 2008, 09:15:26 PM »
I LOVED my legal writing professor.  In fact, he was the best professor I've had in law school.

You go to Emory right?

Your LWRAP prof was the Judge for my oral argument today, and I thought he was pretty rough.

blackpowerman

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Re: Legal Writing Horror Stories
« Reply #35 on: March 29, 2008, 11:40:45 PM »
why is it that i can't start writing until a week before the assignment is due- even tho i've had 5 weeks to do it?  what i mean is that knowing what to do and how to do it doesn't hit me until 6 or 7 days before its due.  wtf?
"The fox knows many tricks; the hedgehog one good one" - Archilochus

jacy85

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Re: Legal Writing Horror Stories
« Reply #36 on: March 30, 2008, 08:48:51 AM »
I LOVED my legal writing professor.  In fact, he was the best professor I've had in law school.

You go to Emory right?

Your LWRAP prof was the Judge for my oral argument today, and I thought he was pretty rough.

No he wasn't; he left the school last year (unless they asked him to come back to be a judge, which I doubt...and if he did come back for a day, that makes me sad, as I would have liked to have stopped by to visit!  He was awesome!)

jeffislouie

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Re: Legal Writing Horror Stories
« Reply #37 on: March 30, 2008, 04:52:56 PM »
why is it that i can't start writing until a week before the assignment is due- even tho i've had 5 weeks to do it?  what i mean is that knowing what to do and how to do it doesn't hit me until 6 or 7 days before its due.  wtf?

For my first memo, I started as soon as I got the assignment.  For my second memo, I wrote the whole thing the weekend before it was due. 
For me, the difference was easy:  When I got to law school, I was enthusiastic and everything was fresh and new.  By the time the second memo came around, I was more used to school and had figured out that my teacher was full of crap.
I just got my third and final memo assignment and I haven't even touched it yet.  While I don't plan on having it done weeks early, I also don't anticipate putting much work in until a week before it's due.
Justice is tangy....

uart

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Re: Legal Writing Horror Stories
« Reply #38 on: March 30, 2008, 06:20:11 PM »
I LOVED my legal writing professor.  In fact, he was the best professor I've had in law school.

You go to Emory right?

Your LWRAP prof was the Judge for my oral argument today, and I thought he was pretty rough.

No he wasn't; he left the school last year (unless they asked him to come back to be a judge, which I doubt...and if he did come back for a day, that makes me sad, as I would have liked to have stopped by to visit!  He was awesome!)

Ah. I assumed based on your "he."

broken

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Re: Legal Writing Horror Stories
« Reply #39 on: March 30, 2008, 10:07:14 PM »
Last week I was the ER with severe abdominal pain, and they told me I have an ulcer. I blame LRW.