LawProse Lesson 352: Remembering Judge Thomas M. Reavley

LawProse Lesson 352: Remembering Judge Thomas M. Reavley

On Tuesday, a legal giant died: Thomas M. Reavley of Houston, who was a Fifth Circuit judge for 41 years and a Texas Supreme Court justice for 7. You can read his obituaries [here] and [here].

Two years after I finished my clerkship with Judge Reavley, he wrote the foreword to my first book—which has been carried through to the third edition titled Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage (2011). Here’s part of what this quintessential judge wrote there: “Excess language misdirects. Ambiguous language confuses. Errors in grammar, in diction, in spelling, as well as in fact or logic, distract and destroy confidence. No writer can afford to underestimate the importance of precise, well-placed words.”

Judge Reavley, RIP.

Bryan A. Garner

Live seminars this year with Professor Bryan A. Garner: Advanced Legal Writing & Editing

Attend the most popular CLE seminar of all time. More than 215,000 people—including lawyers, judges, law clerks, and paralegals—have benefited since the early 1990s. You'll learn the keys to professional writing and acquire no-nonsense techniques to make your letters, memos, and briefs more powerful.

You'll also learn what doesn't work and why—know-how gathered through Professor Garner's unique experience in training lawyers at the country's top law firms, state and federal courts, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies.

Professor Garner gives you the keys to make the most of your writing aptitude—in letters, memos, briefs, and more. The seminar covers five essential skills for persuasive writing:

  • framing issues that arrest the readers' attention;
  • cutting wordiness that wastes readers' time;
  • using transitions deftly to make your argument flow;
  • quoting authority more effectively; and
  • tackling your writing projects more efficiently.

He teaches dozens of techniques that make a big difference. Most important, he shows you what doesn't work—and why—and how to cultivate skillfulness.

Register to reserve your spot today.

Have you wanted to bring Professor Garner to teach your group? Contact us at for more information about in-house seminars.

Scroll to Top