Jenner & Block

Legal Writing Book Names Partner Paul M. Smith As One of the Country's Top 50 Attorneys

Jenner & Block Partner Paul M. Smith was named one of America’s top 50 attorneys in a book titled Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates.  The book, recently published by Oxford University Press, is a writing guide for lawyers, utilizing examples of the writings of “fifty of the most prominent living advocates,” including Mr. Smith, to make its points. 

Mr.  Smith’s response to the government in a discovery dispute in Keepseagle v. Veneman, is cited by the book’s author as an example of going “beyond the case law and the record – giving the judge a pragmatic reason to want to rule for them;” a line (“This sundering of the class of married people violates the Equal Protection guarantee of the Fifth Amendment”) from his Memorandum of Law in Opposition to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss and In Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgment in Gill v Office of Personnel Management, is used to demonstrate a “choice verb” that can “zing your adversary;” and his use of a quote from Justice Harlan’s dissent in Plessy v Ferguson, in the conclusion of the Lawrence v. Texas Petitioner’s Reply Brief, is described by the book’s author as a “dream scenario.” 

Partner Ronald L. Marmer was asked to review the book, and one of his comments appears on the back cover:  “I love this book and recommend it for everyone.  [The author’s] bag of tricks will spiff up your writing.  He shares 50 techniques, and then – the fun part – he offers choice nuggets to show you how the hot shots pull it off.”

Mr. Smith is the Chair of the Firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court Practice and Co-Chair of the Media and First Amendment Practice and Election Law and Re-Districting Practice.  He has had an active Supreme Court practice for two decades, including oral arguments in 14 Supreme Court cases.  In 2010, he was named one of the "Decade's Most Influential Lawyers" by The National Law Journal and, also received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities.

Mr. Marmer is Co-Chair of Jenner & Block’s Securities Litigation Practice and Chair-Elect of the Section of Litigation of the American Bar Association.  He recently represented the court-appointed Examiner in the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the largest bankruptcy in the history of the United States.