Daily Briefs

Cooley Law School professor coauthors legal-writing casebook

Professor Mark Cooney, chair of Cooley Law School’s Research and Writing Department, and University of Arizona College of Law Professor Diana Simon, a prolific author and veteran writing professor, have coauthored a legal-writing casebook titled “The Case for Effective Legal Writing: Court Opinions, Commentary, and Exercises.” Published by Carolina Academic Press, the book collects and comments on court cases in which writing technique determined the outcome, or was otherwise significant.

“This appears to be the first of its kind,” said Cooney. “The casebook format brings the courthouse to the legal-writing classroom, connecting writing technique to real-world consequences.”

The book project allowed the authors to explore their shared fascination with the practical implications of writing style and technique. The text touches on ethics, civility, plain language, legalese, verbosity, and even grammar and punctuation.

Cooney said that he was confident in the idea’s promise from the outset. “When Professor Simon approached me with the idea, I took to it immediately. We’d worked together before, and I’d authored an article ten years earlier that was fashioned as a miniature casebook. It all fell together seamlessly.”

Cooney and Simon will give more insight on the book in an upcoming Law School Lounge podcast, presented by Carolina Academic Press.

Legislative oversight in digital world explored in webinar May 10

The Levin Center for Oversight and Democracy will present the webinar “User-Friendly Oversight: Using Oversight to Encourage, Not Hinder, User-Friendly Government Efforts in the Digital Age” Friday, May 10, from 1 to 2:15 p.m. via Zoom.  

The Levin Center and Jennifer Pahlka, the award-winning author of Recoding America, will explore the fundamental challenges of governance and legislative oversight in an increasingly digital world. Special guests are Representative Jeff Johnson from the South Carolina legislature and Michael Brennan from Detroit’s own Civilla discussing their efforts to bring a user-centric approach to government programs.

To register for the free webinar, visit https://levin-center.org. Anyone with questions may email the Levin Center at Wayne Law at levincenter@wayne.edu.

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