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Professor's article featured in 'Maricopa Lawyer'

September 23, 2008

Today's legal writers should take a cue from retired NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, who introduced the day's reports with interesting summaries, Professor Tamara Herrera wrote in the September edition of Maricopa Lawyer.

Herrera, who writes the column, `Legal Writing,' for the Maricopa County Bar Association's monthly publication, said Brokaw's technique helped readers "tune in" to important questions. That technique, as explained by Mary Beth Beazley in the book, A Practical Guide to Appellate Advocacy, works for attorneys, too, Herrera wrote.

"Many legal writers are guilty of being the boring, uninformative newscasters," she wrote. "They introduce important quotations with the typical phrase, `The court held the following,' or some variant of that phrase."

"By taking the time to introduce a long quotation with a Tom Brokaw introduction, the legal writer ensures that the reader understands the point of the quotation, even if the reader skims or skips the quotation entirely," she wrote.

To read the article, click here.

Janie Magruder,
(480) 727-9052
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law