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It’s Okay to Turn off the News

Before all the CoVid-19 stuff, I read the news exactly once per week. I experienced the entire Trump impeachment episode in weekly installments at brunch. I allowed myself the Sunday New York Times and the Sunday Atlanta Journal. Also, I did not allow myself to click on any “news” shared over social media. My only…
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5 Lessons on Being a Better Advocate from The Rainmaker

The Rainmaker is available on Netflix. In my earlier snobbier days I scoffed at lawyer movies and written legal thrillers. I’m either not as picky as I once was, or I’ve learned to find actual value in this kind of entertainment in spite of the inaccuracies. I’ll start with a no-spoilers overview of the plot…
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Bravo to the Fulton County, Georgia, Appellate Division!

Recently, the Supreme Court issued a new opinion. It was not a particularly earth-shattering opinion. There is a statute that allows the trial judge to as as the thirteenth juror if he believes that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. The appellate courts will affirm such decisions unless the judge abused his…
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Thoughts on Working On The Go and the Fluidity of The Office

I listened to a recent podcast where a ultrarunner Dean Karnazes talked (among other things) about how he writes books while he is running using the voice memos app that I am working on right now. He records notes and comes back and transcribes them when he is done with his run. This lets him…
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Change Form for Better Proofing

The best way to find the typos in a document is to file it or turn it in. When you take a look at it a few minutes later, they will stand out in a way that they had not previously — no matter how much time you spent reviewing your work before. I have…
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Use the Tomato to Write More Words

The Pomodoro Technique has helped me to write briefs, prepare for trials, and stop procrastinating. It has also assisted me in getting more done over less time than it would ordinarily take. There’s a whole set of books and culture around it, but the method is easy to explain. Set a timer for twenty-five minutes.…
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Good Stories are Better than Great Arguments

This post is part of a series on legal writing. I suspect that what follows in the next few days will be contrarian and controversial. People aren’t logical. The ones of us who think we are logical are most susceptible to an emotional appeal. If we were swayed by logic, then political and theological opinions…
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People Aren’t Logical. Write Accordingly.

This post is part of a series on legal writing. I suspect that what follows in the next few days will be contrarian and controversial. People are not logical. And there is an inverse relationship between how emotion-driven you are and how logical you perceive yourself to be. Trust me on this one. Or close…
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Don’t Write Above a Sixth-Grade Level (But Don’t Tell the Reader About This Decision)

This post is the first in a series on legal writing. I suspect that what follows in the next few days will be contrarian and controversial. When I started law school, I thought I was hot stuff. I majored in English in college. I knew a bunch of fancy literary terms as well as the…
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It’s a Gray Day in Georgia for Motions to Modify Sentence

There is an important new case that changes the law concerning motions to modify sentence in Georgia. In Gray v. State, a case published on August 26, 2019, the Court of Appeals held that trial courts lose jurisdiction, under O.C.G.A. Section 17-10-1(f), to modify criminal sentences following either 120 days after the remittitur where there…