- San Francisco, California, USA
- A skilled and experienced editor. I do for your appearance in print what a stylist and tailor do for your appearance in person.
MY RECENT POSTS
- Hot Coffee & BP — Law Firms
Ignoring Copyrights —
Accidents Waiting to Happen
June 21, 2010 04:36PM
- A Legal Writing Consultant
Offers Attorneys Advice
June 15, 2010 02:44PM
- Why Attorneys Need Editors
June 10, 2010 01:17PM
- Whatley Watch II
June 08, 2010 12:34PM
- Obama’s Failure to Act
June 07, 2010 02:06PM
MY RECENT COMMENTS
Responsibility? How about
When I read
January 25, 2009 09:25AM
(which is what he claims as
being the culprit
January 22, 2009 04:44PM
- “Rod —
racism?” Where does
January 21, 2009 02:09PM
- “Suzanne: load the
following page, and bring this
attention of the folks
December 05, 2008 12:16PM
- “I'm so surprised that
some of the most poorly
articles at OS are
December 05, 2008 09:53AM
Mister Thorne's Links
Like cats to mice in motion, tragedies, catastrophes, oddities grab our attention. And they make us think, at least for as long as it takes a cat to realize, “that wasn’t a mouse; that was a just a maple leaf dancing to the breeze.”
Someone sent me a link to… Read full post »
You might say that Marilyn Bush LeLeiko has lots of experience as a legal writing consultant: sheâ€™s been at it since 1987, and sheâ€™s helped attorneys at more than half of the top 100 AmLaw firms improve their legal writing skills.
And you might say she knows how to satisfy clients,… Read full post »
Consider this statement from a draft of an article authored by an attorney:
â€œBusiness associatesâ€ are individuals or entities that provide services for covered entities needing access to protected health information.
What we have here is an example of the misplaced modifier.
The modifier —… Read full post »
I began this discussion (here) by noting that Nathan Whatley either 1) doesn’t bother to read what his firm writes about him, or 2) doesn’t care what his firm writes about him.
Whatever his motive, Whatley demonstrates a failure to apply due diligence. He lets his image and his good… Read full post »
I was a sailor on an aircraft carrier, and I was standing watch in a place known as Central Control.
I was sitting at a small desk. Its top was a Plexiglas plate. Beneath the plate was an array of notices and warnings. There was an intercom box mounted… Read full post »
Consider this statement about copyright:
A copyright provides the author of an original work the rights to prohibit others from reproducing (copying), adapting (making a derivative work), distributing, performing, and displaying the work.
Thatâ€™s quite a stretch (suggesting people need to get permis… Read full post »
It’s been a bit of time since we last spoke of Whatley and his lack of attention to detail, which is beginning to seem to be persistent.
Today’s quote comes from an article titled “Why Is Business Writing So Awful?”
From the article:
When you write like… Read full post »
One of the things I do is respond to emergencies. A newsletter has to go to the printer, or a proposal has to be submitted by the end of the day, and I’m called in to drop everything else to make sure the author or the publisher or both look their… Read full post »
You’re in-house counsel, and you’re looking for information about hiring summer interns. That’s what your company is planning on doing, and management wants your advice before it moves forward.
You could take a crash course on employment law (your client is a high-tech firm, and you… Read full post »
Why do people attend seminars hosted by law firms?
What is the purpose of these seminars?
I thought about that recently.
I was attending a seminar on employment law, and I was wondering why the attorneys were doing what they were doing — for the first… Read full post »
Many attorneys think formal (old fashioned, fluffy, and bloated) copy is more impressive than less formal copy.
Well they’re wrong, and they’ve been wrong for some time.
Consider this introduction to a firm’s recruiting materials:
For more than 55 years, Acme Legal, LLP has successf… Read full post »
No, this isn’t a series of lessons I’m running â€” it’s a webinar Bryan Garner is running tomorrow.
The editor in chief of Blackâ€™s Law Dictionary, and a highly regarded legal writing expert, Garner regularly hosts these seminars to help attorneys develop their writing skills:
When President Obama announced Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court, he made it clear that the reason she was nominated was, in large part, because of her sex.
He said she was the first woman to be dean of Harvard Law School, and the… Read full post »
Seems as if some law firms are going against the flow.
While companies around the world are following Apple’s lead in making everything simple and easy to use, law firms touting their deep and abiding commitment to excellence are, to some extent, treating their clients like machines rather than… Read full post »
Let’s look at four web sites that use Flash to cycle through comps.
And let’s do this: let’s look at how each site does that for one minute. (Set your computer’s clock to display seconds so you can easily meaure one minute.)
Mouse over a comp, then click and view (for… Read full post »
This post is one in a series on cutting verbiage
things like proposals for legal services.
In the last three episodes, we cut substantial amounts of copy from all sorts of things written by attorneys â€” from proposals to pleadings.
Why bother to do that?
Because the audience for these… Read full post »
This post is one in a series on cutting verbiage
everything from briefs to proposals.
In our last episode, we cut one sentence of a legal memo in half.
In the episode before that, we cut one sentence of a proposal for legal services in half.
Because (1) weâ€™re… Read full post »
This post is the third in a series on cutting verbiage in legal writing.
Today, our goal is to cut the fat out of the following sentence:*
SecondaryÂ meaning occurs when a descriptive mark acquires distinctiveness,Â that is, proof that it has become distinctive asÂ applied to the mark ownerâ€™s goods… Read full post »
This post is the second in a series about proposals to provide legal services.
Consider a proposal to handle IP matters for some new company planning to do business around the world.
The proposal describes the firm’s trademark practice. Here’s a snippet of it:
By virtue of the breadth and… Read full post »
When it comes to proposals, attorneys need to do just the opposite of what many believe they should: they need to be brief. And this is generally so*, whether lots of firms are submitting proposals, or just a few.
Very often, the shortest proposal has a distinct advantage over all others… Read full post »
Some of you who keep up with Set in Style use RSS and such.
You should know that — very often — my first cut at something isn’t my last cut.
Sometimes I’ll post something. Then, after it’s posted I’ll spot an error.
And I’ll wonder â€” Did some RSS contraptio… Read full post »
Not to fear. I haven’t abandoned this blog. But I’ve been so danged busy with too many projects all at once.
Read the following three paragraphs, and then I’ll ask you a question.
Innovation is what drives our people.Â In our world, innovation begins with listening.Â We listen acutely to our clientsâ€™ aspirations.Â We value the opportunity to work with amazing clients in an atmosphere that
April Fool’s Day was great fun for some. Even the Pope participated, washing 12 pairs of feet with water and (who knew?) a solution that made those feet itch like mad 10 minutes later.