Bench & Bar

JUL 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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Page 40 of 71

39 BENCH & BAR | filings. And then my guest speakers — three top appellate advocates — described the stacks of drafts piled on their office floors. When pressed, one speaker estimated that she averaged "about 10" drafts per brief. I saw jaws drop. BIG PICTURE: BE READY – AND WILLING – TO REORDER TEXT ink of your text as a kaleidoscope: the pieces can fit together in many ways, each of which creates a different picture. Your initial idea for your picture may not best convey your message, but you can't know that until you get all your pieces down on paper. Be open to the notion that a different structure may better serve your purpose. Computers make maneuvering text as simple as copy, cut and paste. Reorder your arguments into as many different document versions as you like until you hit on the best combination. SMALL PICTURE: "TOO MANY WORDS!" "WORD CHOICE?" I wrote those phrases on every student's work and for multiple reasons, including: excessive use of passive voice, which always takes up more space and almost always is less effective than active voice for an advocate's purpose; unnecessary use of introducto- ry phrases, like "it is clear that" or "it will be noted that," which add nothing of substance to your point; use of multiple words where a single word suffices, like "in the event that" rather than "if;" use of inaccurate, imprecise, or non-descriptive words or phrases to make a point. Address immediately any small picture issues your editorial eye catches through- out your writing process. But once you've honed your message and are confident that your organizational structure best suits your purpose, make a merciless review of your 3 4 1 2 draft specifically to eliminate or replace any remaining unnecessary or inexact terms with concise, effective language. STOP. Once started, good writers often can't stop editing. Fortunately, external deadlines will force you to put down the red pen. Ideally, you've finished all sub- stantive editing on your draft in time to step away from it for at least a day before you give it a final spit and polish review. How do you know when to stop substan- tive editing? When you can't poke holes in your own arguments anymore. When a colleague not involved in your case has no questions about what you've written. When the prose flows to both your eye and your ear, without a jarring note. en you can trust that your brief will be a stellar product. BUT BE PREPARED: when you read that brief a year later, you may well think to yourself, "I could have said that better." ENDNOTES 1. Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (1994). 2. Id. at xxvii. 3. Id. 4. Lamott devotes an entertaining chapter to this topic. Id. at 20-27. Over 18,000 attorneys are licensed to practice in the state of Kentucky. It is vitally important that you keep the Kentucky Bar Association (KBA) informed of your correct mailing address. Pursuant to rule SCR 3.175, all KBA members must main- tain a current address at which he or she may be communicated, as well as a physical address if your mailing address is a Post Office address. If you move, you must notify the Executive Director of the KBA within 30 days. All roster changes must be in writing and must include your 5-digit KBA member identification number. Members are also required by rule SCR 3.175 to maintain with the Director a valid email address and shall upon change of that address notify the Director within 30 days of the new address. Members who are classified as a "Senior Retired Inactive" or "Disabled Inactive" member are not required to main- tain a valid email address on file. There are several ways to update your address and/or email for your convenience. VISIT our website at https://www. to make ONLINE changes or to print an Address Change/Up- date Form –OR– EMAIL the Execu- tive Director via the Membership Department at –OR– FAX the Address Change/ Update Form obtained from our website or other written notifica- tion to: Executive Director/Mem- bership Department (502) 564-3225 –OR- MAIL the Address Change/Up- date Form obtained from our website or other written notification to: Kentucky Bar Association, Executive Director 514 W. Main St., Frankfort, KY 40601-1812 *Announcements sent to the Bench & Bar's Who, What, When & Where column or communication with other departments other than the Executive Director do not comply with the rule and do not constitute a formal roster change with the KBA. Address or e-mail changes?! Notify the Kentucky Bar Association M . H O L L I D A Y (HOLLIE) HOPKINS is a visiting assistant professor teaching Lawyering Skills and Legislation at the University of Lou- isville. She received her B.S. cum laude from Vanderbilt University, and her J.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Hopkins has practiced extensively in both the public and private sectors, most recently serving as general counsel to Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear. She was formerly a partner with Wyatt, Tar- rant and Combs and counsel with Frost Brown Todd. She also spent more than a decade providing independent legal services and policy analysis to public, private, and non-profit organizations.

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