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The Redbook (3d ed.), by Raymond Ward, the (new) legal writer blog


If Raymond Ward says it, you can take it to the bank. I have followed his legal writing blog for years. Look for sound advice on superb legal writing. -CCE

Today I attended a triple-feature CLE by Bryan Garner: Advanced Legal Writing & Editing, The Redbook, and Making Your Case. To see whether Bryan’s spring tour will visit your city, click here to see the schedule. What I want to talk about this evening is what I learned in the Redbook portion of the seminar.

For years, I have had the first edition of the Redbook on my office bookshelf. For those unfamiliar with this book, it’s a style manual for legal writers. If you have a question about the right word, right punctuation, or right way to do something in legal writing, this book endeavors to answer your question. I’ve found it a useful reference for answering questions that arisen when writing a brief or editing another’s brief.

First, this preface: I am not one who immediately buys the next edition of whatever if the current edition remains serviceable. I use so-called outdated versions of the Bluebook and ALWD Citation Manual, because they still answer any question I have ever had about how to cite something. So since the first edition of the Redbook has served me well, I did not rush out to buy the second or third editions.

Having said that, here is my point: if you don’t have the third edition, get it. . . .