News and information useful to Cleveland-Marshall College of Law students, faculty and staff.

Archive for June 7th, 2018

More Tools to Improve Your Writing

Did you miss last week’s post about Grammarly? Here are two more editing tools that can improve your writing. Lawyers are often known for their verbose writing. That’s not necessarily a good thing. WordRake is a software add-on for Microsoft Word and Outlook that edits your documents for clarity. As the name implies, the program rakes through your document, eliminating unnecessary words and suggesting tighter, more cogent language. This program is subscription-based, but a free trial is available. You may also check out the WordRake blog and free writing tips.

Another option is PerfectIt by Intelligent Editing, a proofreading tool that checks your documents for abbreviations, style consistency, spelling, typos, lists, and tables. Specifically for legal writing, PerfectIt checks Bluebook citations, legal-specific typos, and terms of art. PerfectIt is also subscription-based and offers a free trial. You may find some helpful tips in the Legal Editing section of the Intelligent Editing blog.

Am Jur and Friends – Practical Help for Working a Case

You’re probably familiar with American Jurisprudence 2d (and its counterpart CJS), the national legal encyclopedia that can quickly get you up to speed on a legal issue and direct you towards primary law and practice materials. What’s less well known, is that AmJur is part of a suite of resources called the Total Client-Service Library (TCSL). Before being bought by Westlaw, AmJur was published by Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company, which came up with the idea of the TCSL, which Westlaw has since continued. An addition to AmJur, the TCSL includes four additional titles, all of which are available on Westlaw –

Am Jur Proof of Facts Say you have a case involving medical malpractice related to organ or tissue transplant. AmJur Proof of Facts gives you an overview of the topic, what claims and defenses are available, the elements of proof, motions and forms, interrogatories, and more. Basically everything you need for the preparation and proving of facts at trial.

Am Jur Trials  — In a litigation about malpractice involving burns in a surgical procedure, for example, Am Jur Trials gives you trial tactics and strategies, including tips on discovery, admissibility of evidence, summary judgment, damages, and direct and cross examination. Things like checklists, forms, opening statements, and litigation aids and charts are also included in Am Jur Trials.

Am Jur Pleading and Practice Forms – Here you’ll find over 43,000 forms on all aspects of state and federal litigation, arranged by topic. For example, in the context of insolvency, you’ll see forms for the appointment of receivers, petitions, orders, notice to creditors, complaints in federal court, and more.

Am Jur Legal Forms – Unlike Am Jur Pleading and Practice Forms, this set is not litigation oriented. So you’ll find forms covering all sort of topics like patents, product liability, real estate sales, trusts, and the UCC. Besides the forms themselves, you’ll see checklists, tips, and advice for completing the forms. Sometimes you’ll find alternative clauses to aid in drafting.