Aspen Publishing

Legal Drafting by Design: A Unified Approach

Richard K. Neumann, Jr., J. Lyn Entrikin


  • ISBN: 9781454841395

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  • Description

    Designed for upper-level survey legal drafting courses, this groundbreaking text explains drafting using a common vocabulary that applies to any legal document based on a fundamental rule structure, including statutes and other forms of public drafting as well as contracts and other forms of private drafting. This unified drafting approach gives students a common denominator approach to drafting all kinds of legal documents. In addition, students can use the techniques they’ve learned to deconstruct, interpret, and revise any kind of legal document composed of rules. This common-sense approach of teaching/learning a single vocabulary and set of skills to use in drafting any rules-based legal document is an innovative model for U.S. legal drafting courses, though it has been used in other countries for decades.

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  • Details
    Page Count 608
    Published 02/16/2018
  • Additional Product Details

    Detailed Table of Contents (PDF Download) 

    Summary of Contents

    Table of Contents
    List of Illustrations
    An Overview of the Book

    Part I: Introduction
    1 Drafting Is Rule Creation
    2 Where Rules Originate
    3 Good Drafting Skills Benefit Everyone
    4 Drafting as Lawyering

    Part II: General Principles
    5 Basic Drafting Principles
    6 The Rule-Creating Sentence
    7 Words to Avoid and Words to Prefer
    8 Formatting—Numbering Systems, Subdivisions, and Cross-References

    Part III: Creating and Using Legal Rules
    9 Creating Duties (and Rights)
    10 Choosing Operative Terms for Duties
    11 Creating Discretionary Authority
    12 Creating Declarations, Including Definitions
    13 Adding Conditions, Tests, and Exceptions
    14 How to Identify Wrong Uses of Shall
    15 Measuring Things—Open-Texture Standards, Bright-Line Standards, Time, and Numbers
    16 Using Rules Collectively to Accomplish a Goal
    17 How Courts Interpret Drafted Rules
    18 Ambiguity and Vagueness: Why They Matter and How to Avoid Them

    Part IV: Drafting as a Process
    19 Professionalism and Ethics
    20 Organizing for Sequence, Coherence, Unity, and Completeness
    21 Punctuation and Meaning
    22 Sentence Structure and Punctuation
    23 First Draft, Testing the Draft, and Redrafting
    24 Fine-Tuning: Editing, Polishing, and Document Design

    Part V: Drafting Contracts
    25 Some Contracting Basics
    26 The Lawyer's Role in Contracting
    27 Organizing a Contract
    28 The Contract Drafting Process
    29 Drafting the Front Matter and Back Matter
    30 Drafting Contract Duties, Discretionary Authority, Declarations, and Conditions
    31 Managing Risk—Due Diligence, Representations, Warranties, Strategic Conditions, Force Majeure Clauses, Default Clauses, Terminations 365
    32 Drafting Contract Definitions
    33 Drafting General Provisions

    Part VI: Drafting Statutes
    34 Translating Public Policy into Black-Letter Law
    35 Interpreting Public Law
    36 Statutory and Constitutional Requirements
    37 Parts of a Statute
    38 Drafting Substantive Public Law Provisions
    39 Drafting Statutory Amendments
    Part VII: Drafting Other Legal Documents
    40 A Unified Approach for Drafting Legal Documents

    A The Original Citibank Promissory Note
    B The Citibank Plain Language Promissory Note
    C Document Design for Contracts
    D Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act of 2016
    E 2017 Vermont Act 5 Freedom from Compulsory Collection of Personal Information
    F Concept Overload


  • Author Information

    J. Lyn Entrikin

    Professor Entrikin is a Charles Baum Distinguished Professor of Law at William H. Bowen School of Law. Before beginning her academic career, Professor Entrikin practiced law in Kansas for seventeen years, including a term on the Kansas Board of Tax Appeals, the state’s highest administrative tax tribunal. Her varied legal experience has included legislative research, policy and budget analysis, legislative and regulatory drafting, judicial administration, opinion writing, administrative law, state and local tax, appellate practice, litigation, and legal writing of all kinds. After graduating from law school, she worked for five years as a research attorney and administrative assistant to the Chief Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court. Later she served a two-year clerkship with a federal district court judge.

    Beginning in 2003, Professor Entrikin taught legal research and writing, legal drafting, and legislation at her alma mater, Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas. She was the Director of Washburn’s Legal Writing Program from 2004-08 and was granted tenure in 2010. She recently completed two three-year terms on the Board of Directors of the Association of Legal Writing Directors (ALWD), serving as President in 2011-12. She remains an active member of ALWD, currently serving as co-chair of the Association’s Task Force on the ABA accreditation standards and as a member of various other committees. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Section on Balance in Legal Education of the American Association of Law Schools, currently serving on its Program and Nominating Committees.

    Richard K. Neumann

    At Hofstra, Alexander Bickel Distinguished Professor of Law Richard K. Neumann has taught Contracts; Transactional Lawyering; International Business Transactions; Legal Writing; Civil Procedure; Legal Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation; Pretrial Litigation; Federal Courts; Trial Techniques; and clinical courses.

    Professor Neumann is the author or coauthor of four textbooks: Transaction Lawyering Skills; Essential Lawyering Skills (with Prof. Krieger); Legal Writing (with Prof, J. Lyn Entrikin of the Univ. of Arkansas and Sheila Simon, Lt. Governor of Illinois); and Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing (with Prof. Kristen Tiscione of Georgetown Univ.) His articles have appeared in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, the Journal of Legal Education, the Clinical Law Review, the Fordham Law Review, and the Yale Journal of Law and Humanities, among others.

    He is an editorial advisor to Aspen Publishers, one of the largest publishers of law school textbooks. He has served on several committees of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar as well as a number of ABA site inspection teams. He has been chair of American Law Schools’ Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning and Research; a member of the board of directors of the Legal Writing Institute, and a member of the board of directors and the executive committee of the Association of Legal Writing Directors. He is a frequent speaker at legal education conferences.

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