LawProse Lessons #69 & #70

LawProse Lessons #69 & #70

LawProse Lesson #69
How should point headings be formatted?ANSWER: Please attend to this. Ideally, they’re complete sentences that are single-spaced, boldfaced, and capitalized only according to normal rules of capitalization — that is, neither all-caps nor initial caps. Even if court rules require headings to be double-spaced, all the other rules nevertheless apply. All-caps headings betoken amateurishness. For instruction on precisely how to do it, see: Scalia & Garner, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges 108-09, 122 (2009). The Winning Brief 299-307 (2d ed. 2004). Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage 292 (3d ed. 2011).
LawProse Lesson #70
How many forward spaces should appear after a period or colon?ANSWER: Brace yourself: one, not two. Although your typewriting teacher may have taught you to hit the spacebar twice before starting a new sentence, no reputable authority supports this idea. Bryan Garner says he was shocked to learn this from his secretary in 1991; he tried to prove her wrong but instead discovered that the two-space “rule” is wrong. If you doubt the correctness of the one-space rule, look at the spacing in any professionally typeset publication. For authority on the one-space rule, see: The Chicago Manual of Style 60 (16th ed. 2010). Matthew Butterick, Typography for Lawyers 41-42 (2010). The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style 83 (2d ed. 2006). Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage 292 (3d ed. 2011).

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