Avoid "throat-clearing" in your writing, but have a care for when "softening" may be needed.
Judge Robert Bacharach of the 10th Circuit tells appellate attorneys Jeff Lewis and me that meaningless expressions, like, "It should be noted that," are largely overused. But they can serve a useful purpose.
I recalled this anecdote about novelist James Thurber, who was once asked: “Why did you have a comma in the sentence, ‘After dinner, the men went into the living-room’?” His answer: “This particular comma was Ross’s way of giving the men time to push back their chairs and stand up.”
Watch the clip here.
This clip is from a June 2021 interview in episode 12 of the California Appellate Law Podcast here.
Tim Kowal helps trial attorneys and clients win their cases and avoid error on appeal. He co-hosts the Cal. Appellate Law Podcast at www.CALPodcast.com, and publishes a newsletter of appellate tips for trial attorneys at www.tvalaw.com/articles. His appellate practice covers all of California's appellate districts and throughout the Ninth Circuit, with appellate attorneys in offices in Orange County and Monterey County. Contact Tim at email@example.com or (714) 641-1232.