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Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges
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Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  544 ratings  ·  49 reviews
West is honored to offer a luxuriously packaged, numbered, premium bonded leather, limited edition of Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges. Limited to 2010 numbered copies, this Collector's Edition is bound in high quality bonded leather with accompanying hardbound slipcase. Making Your Case is a guide for novice and experienced litigators alike. It covers the es ...more
Hardcover, 245 pages
Published March 1st 2009 by West Group Publishing (first published 2008)
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Garner and Scalia provide an easily-digestible and very readable compendium of tips and insights on, first and foremost, endearing one's self to a court. This is not a book about legal philosophy, but rather how to be an advocate that is useful to the judge(s) before whom you may appear, and in doing so, how to cultivate a reputation of professionalism and competence that will make you a more effective advocate in the long-term.

Although much of the advice is common sense (i.e. arrive at court on
Sean Rosenthal
Interesting Quotes:

"Your objective in every argument, therefore, is to show yourself worthy of trust and affection. Trust is lost by dissembling or conveying false information—not just intentionally but even carelessly; by mischaracterizing precedent to suit your case; by making arguments that could appeal only to the stupid or uninformed; by ignoring rather than confronting whatever weighs against your case. Trust is won by fairly presenting the facts of the case and honestly characterizing the
penny shima glanz
Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, however, I am employed by a law firm. Among my many tasks, I am their librarian, a role I begged to hold despite not having all the official alphabet soup most legal librarians possess. The following review is mine and my thoughts and opinions alone (as they all are).

Late last year I saw announcements of this title in various publications. While reviewing my 2009 budget and various reviews to see the benefit of this book to our shelves an associate requested it
This book came out right before my first state supreme court argument. As much as I dislike Scalia's politics and Garner's self-importance, it's a great little reference book. It's a quick read and actually fairly entertaining.
Legal writing expert Bryan Garner and Justice Antonin Scalia combined forces to produce this book about the art of legal argumentation, both written and oral. While it will probably be of interest mostly to lawyers, it still has a lot of useful material for anyone who makes a living by either spoken or written persuasion. It is clearly written and offers numerous practical tips on how to best make your case. The non-lawyer readers can just skip over the stuff that is obviously intended specifica ...more
Billie Pritchett
Antonin Scalia and Bryan Garner wrote a great book here, and I don't know how it could be improved upon. Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges gives any lawyer helpful advice on how to be a more persuasive lawyer. The book would be indispensable for any lawyer in training or lawyer who would like to brush up on some court room preparation, procedure, argumentation, etc. The book is quite literally exhaustive.
I enjoyed reading this book because it highlighted some important aspects of writing and arguing as a lawyer. It gave practical advice about how to write a great brief and argue before a judge. I found the details about grammar and vocabulary to be incredibily helpful because some lawyers prefer for young lawyers to write one way yet law school and this book teaches you another way. For example, Justice Scalia states that you should make a complex subject simple by using clear short sentences. H ...more
Michael Lewyn
More for practicing lawyers than for professors such as myself, but still well written and sensible.
Definitely a must-read for anyone in law school or graduated. Helps you learn how to "hone-in" on your audience, usually a judge for your legal briefs and presentations. Helps you to prepare a concise and well-researched legal case. I'm reading it because it looked interesting. (I've been reading a few of Adam's law books here and there -- the one on Tort law was also interesting.)

Scalia is just a brilliant man with a biting wit. I've read a few of his supreme court case decisions and he calls
Sue Thornton
I had the wrong book on my current reading status. So I didn't read this book.
Jun 07, 2015 Chris marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
For me this book is the new "Stephen King on Writing". While it is not a writing guide or a style manual, watching a master wordsmith bring his A game to the court day after day is mad instructional. Again, let me stress that I think his political leanings are nightmarish, but god, I really am in hearts with his writing. I love his clean, cheeky, dynamic style and nuanced consideration that goes into writing at this well. I love reading his decisions; always have, so this book was a real treat f ...more
I will admit that I didn't read the section of the book about writing briefs. I'm not a lawyer and that portion just didn't apply to what my kids are doing in the class where I'm using this.

The overall lessons of the book (how to structure your thinking, how judges make decisions, etc.) were applicable to anyone who engages in any form of persuasion and the book is engagingly written. No one is more surprised that I'm recommending Antonin Scalia than me.
Antonin Scalia isn't one of my favorites as Supreme Court justices go, "originalist" that he is. However, as I'm reading this book, I'm coming to see how much goes into the development of case law, and what is expected when one presents a case before appellate courts. It offers insights into the thinking and processes of adjudication, and how one can present compelling arguments, not only before the bench, but in almost any situation.
Another forced class read but enjoyed nonetheless.

This book about the art of legal argumentation, both written and oral. Is clearly written & offers numerous practical tips on how to make the best argument you can in both writing and spoken.

It's beneficial for future lawyers, lawyers and anyone else that makes a living through spoken or written persuasion (if they skip over the technical law things they don't need).
There are two books in this very short book.

One book is a series of useful advocacy tips. The other book is Justice Scalia's pet peeves about Supreme Court advocates he has seen and not liked. There are a lot of tips here aimed directly at things that most lawyers will never see or dream of. Those are sometimes more interesting. Most of the tips are either useful or vague.
great for me, but non-attys won't find much here. i keep it at the office, i think the oral argument section will be helpful to review in preparation for them.

Read all the way thru now and picked up for parts of it since. If you are an appellate attorney, read it....otherwise, read about Scalia, more entertaining!
Add a star if you're a law student or lawyer, subtract one if you're not. A pretty solid advice manual about law things -- worth it primarily for Justice Scalia's rant against contractions in legal briefs (I disagree with him, in this point as in many others, but he is certainly an expert in making his point forcefully!).
The best concise book I've read on what arguments, techniques, and briefing formats are most persuasive to judges. Anyone more interested in a more complete treatment of good briefing practices should also read Garner's "The Winning Brief." I've already assigned them both to our interns this summer to read.
Josh Tatum
If you're a lawyer who makes arguments of any kind, this book is essential. If you're a lawyer who writes, this book will make you a better lawyer. If you like to argue and the law interests you, this book is a great read from a curmudgeonly justice and the top linguistic and legal writing authority.
I've written a LOT of briefs, but I still found some useful tips in this book. It was written in an entertaining style as well, and I always think it's useful and interesting to hear from judges about what they want to see in a brief.

I've recommended this to other attorneys I work with.
whether or not you agree with all the tips in this book its pretty much manditory that you pay attention. garner may be the best legal writer alive and scalia is well a supreme court justice. next time I argue anything ill give this book another glance. definitely worth the time
Good advice. Some is obvious, some insn't. But all of it is stuff that legal people should be reminded of now and again. And by legal people I mean people who make the law their career, not as in opposed to illegal people because that is a whole separate topic.
I was surprised at the format of this book. It's organized as a reference book rather than a narrative. Extremely helpful for all stages of the process, from writing a brief to the oral argument. I wish I'd had it during my first year of law school.
Jun 09, 2008 Chris rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: law students, lawyers, writers in general
Shelves: legal
I read this book three times in a two week period...research for work. It is really well done, obviously not for everyone. Very simple and concise, but it leaves you with an enormous bibliography if you want to delve deeper.
Not happy. Certainly that is because I have (1) read all of Garner's books and (2) read many of Scalia's opinions. Because of that, this was mostly repetitive and, sadly, watered-down to reach a larger audience.
Bruce Samuelsen
Overall a very good book. Focus is clearly on the details of building court documents, but the overall points and recommendations about how to write are applicable to many professional aspects.
Superb guidance for both experience appellate lawyers, as well as new lawyers who aspire to be appellate lawyers. Short, concise, and, at times, witty. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Justice Scalia is the most conservative Supreme Court Justice in recent history, and if this book teaches me how to persuade someone like him, it's worth the read!
The authors kind of come across as arrogant and the advice doesn't seem super insightful, but there are a few good tidbits in there for lawyers-to-be.
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Antonin Gregory Scalia is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He was appointed in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan having previously served on the D.C. Circuit and in the Nixon and Ford administrations, and teaching law at the Universities of Virginia and Chicago. He is considered to be a core member of the conservative wing of the court, vigorously advancing textualism ...more
More about Antonin Scalia...
A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law Scalia Dissents: Writings of the Supreme Court's Wittiest, Most Outspoken Justice Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts Scalia and Garner's Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts On Constitutional Interpretation

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