The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style, 5th edition, 2023

The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style, 5th edition, 2023

(West Academic, 5th ed., 2023)

Purchase from Amazon

Since first appearing in 2002, Bryan Garner’s The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style has established itself as the go-to source for all questions of legal style (apart from citation form). The book isn’t just one talented man’s effort: Professor Bryan A. Garner has two experienced coauthors plus a hands-on team of 54 editorial advisers, most of whom have long and valuable experience teaching LRW. The book is a one-of-a-kind resource—the legal writer’s equivalent of The AP Stylebook or The Chicago Manual of Style.

The brand-new fifth edition has lots of new material, including an especially helpful new chapter on handling quotations. The two exhaustive indexes (word and subject), plus the detailed table of contents, make it easy to find authoritative guidance within seconds, whatever the question might be.

Definitive guidance on:

  • Punctuating for more power It's harder than you think.
  • Capitalization.
  • Employing italics, boldface, and underlining and not wasting these tools through exhaustion
  • Effective document design that keeps readers from tiring or resenting the writing.
  • How to address numbers There are more questions about this topic than you initially thought.
  • Typographic symbols.
  • Spelling. You thought spellcheck eliminated the need for this topic, but there's a reason why it's still here.
  • How to handle quotations so people will actually read them and value them as you do
  • The power of using citations strategically and where to put them
  • Using footnotes to enhance your work
  • Getting your grammar right
  • Plain language and eliminating legalese
  • Handling troublesome words and sidestepping embarrassing misusage
  • Editing and proofreading methodically for efficiency and productivity

The author, Bryan A. Garner, is now the most frequently cited author in opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s true: last term, four of his books were cited a total of 14 times (in the somewhat fewer than 90 cases decided). This term the count is on a similar pace. In American appellate decisions generally, Professor Garner is at the top end of sources relied on.

You can rely on him, too, in the most comprehensive, nitty-gritty resource available for legal writers: The Redbook. Don’t leave home without it.

If you buy using links on this page, we may receive affiliate commission, which supports our work.

Scroll to Top