Document Type

Article

Publication Year

2018

Journal Title

Marquette Law Review

Abstract

The link between courts and the public is the written word. With rare exceptions, it is through judicial opinions that courts communicate with litigants, lawyers, other courts, and the community. Whatever the court’s statutory and constitutional status, the written word, in the end, is the source and the measure of the court’s authority.

It is therefore not enough that a decision be correct—it must also be fair and reasonable and readily understood. The burden of the judicial opinion is to explain and to persuade and to satisfy the world that the decision is principled and sound. What the court says, and how it says it, is as important as what the court decides. It is important to the reader. But it is also important to the author because in the writing lies the test of the thinking that underlies it. “Good writing,” Ambrose Bierce said, “essentially is clear thinking made visible.”

First Page

167

Last Page

196

Num Pages

30

Volume Number

102

Issue Number

1

FIle Type

PDF

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.