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Infographic: Super Careful Crackle Writing Lessons from SCOTUS

Super Careful Crackle Writing Lessons from SCOTUS

“Words are the building blocks of the law. If we aren’t fastidious with language it dilutes the effectiveness and clarity of the law.”

That’s according to the current Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. as cited by LexTalk, a community of lawyers and legal professionals facilitated by LexisNexis.

The entry introduced an infographic titled, “9 Writing Styles Epitomized by Current Sitting SCOTUS Justices.”  It’s drawn from a variety of publicly available citations about how the Justices use the language – some of which are listed below.

According to the infographic, Chief Justice Roberts aims for “clarity” while Justice Scalia might have an extended acute affinity for “judicially brainstormed” adverbs.  It also indicates an element of caution, where Justice Sotomayor, for example, is a “careful speaker” and Justice Kagan a very thorough reader.

The infographic, embedded nearby, is this week’s Friday Share and is also freely available on SlideShare.  Here are a few links to the references cited in the infographic:

(click here or infographic for higher resolution)

Infographic SCOTUS

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Photo credit:  Flickr, Tim Sackton, Supreme Court in Bloom (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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About Frank Strong

Frank Strong
Frank Strong is the communications director for the LexisNexis software division located on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. In this capacity, he leads communications efforts in support of software products for law practice and law department management and also litigation tools – across large law, small law and corporate counsel segments. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Strong previously served as director of public relations for Vocus, which developed marketing, PR and media monitoring software. He has held multiple roles both in-house with corporations, ranging from startups to global organizations, and has also endured the rigors of billable hours, having completed gigs at PR firms including the top 10 global firm Hill & Knowlton. A veteran of two year-long deployments, Strong has concurrently served in uniform in reserve components of the military for more than 20 years, initially as an enlisted Marine and later as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. Strong holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State University, an M.A. in Public Communication from American University, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University. He is a PADI-certified Master Scuba Diver and holds a USPA "B" skydiving license.
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