When to Use a Block Quote in Legal Writing

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TIP: Use quotation marks only when the author`s original words cannot be paraphrased or summarized. If you want to say it as well, paraphrase or summarize instead. Block quotes are a formatting method to highlight sections of text directly quoted in your writing. Direct citations are usually incorporated directly into your own text, but if the quotes meet certain guidelines, quotation marks are used instead. Although the rules vary depending on the citation style, this example focuses on APA and MLA as these are the most common styles. Here is an example of a strong introduction, followed by a compelling quote from a brief filed in the Exxon Valdez oil spill case, as by Ross Guberman in Point Made, 2. Edition (2014) provided: Professor Garner gives you the keys to make the most of your writing skills – in letters, memos, memos and more. The seminar covers five essential skills for persuasive writing: Like any other source, bulk quotes always require a quote. Note the placement of punctuation in the following example. Usually, punctuation is placed after the quote, but after a block quote, the punctuation is placed first. When writing an introduction for a bulk quote, ask yourself, “Why do I want to use this quote? What is its relevance? How does this support my argument and undermine my opponent`s? » Attend the most popular CLE seminar ever.

More than 215,000 people – including lawyers, judges, trainee lawyers and paralegals – have benefited since the early 1990s. You`ll learn the keys to professional writing and learn no-frills techniques to make your letters, memos, and briefings more powerful. As legal writing expert Bryan Garner explains in The Winning Brief, 3rd ed. (2014), there are four reasons why you should say in the introduction “what the quote does for you”: Quotation marks should be used sparingly. They are not intended for shorter attachments as they take up extra space. Don`t use quotation marks just to fill in space or try to reach a certain page length. For maximum effect, you need to use them wisely. Double space.

Do not add extra space before or after the quotation mark. Just continue with double-spaced in your text. Make it a habit to indicate the result of a quote in the sentence immediately before. Writing good introductory articles is a practical way to strengthen your prose and increase your credibility in court. Unlike quotation marks, which are embedded in your text, block quotation marks do not require quotation marks. The effective lawyer, as Guberman points out, resists the urge to introduce the quote with the soft words “As the court so aptly stated.” Also note that using an ellipse indicates that the author only used the core of the citation. Ask yourself: Do I need this whole section? Does each word help illustrate my point of view? If you`re using a quote block, make sure you really need the entire section you`re using. If not, choose the most important part and incorporate it into your own text instead of using a block quote. But before you drop a quote on the page that is so long that it needs to be indented, be sure to give it a memorable enema that conveys why the next passage of the text is important.

Link the quote to your case; Tell the reader why they should go through it. Indent all lines of the block quote. For APA and MLA, indent half an inch. Do not indent from the right edge of the page. The meaning of “four lines” for MLA may not be clear, so if you`re not sure, check with your professor if an offer is four lines and if you should use a block quote. Sometimes you may need to quote four or more lines (50 words or more) of text from an important source, for example, if the exact wording relates to a particular statute or regulation. And from time to time, a court makes such a perfect – and appropriate – point to your argument that presenting the statement word for word gives a powerful effect to the words you used to make your claim. Place two periods at the end of the last line before the quotation mark.

This suggests that the quote should be read transparently with your own text. Punctuate the text of the quote as the original source. Don`t just insert a quote into your own text without explanation or context. As with any other source you use, always provide context and introduction when using a block quote. As with any other source, you should also follow up after the citation to link the information to your own writing. Quotation marks are only used if the text is longer than 40 words (APA) or four lines (MLA). Shorter quotes should be integrated directly into your text. Remember: the introduction is your claim. The quote is his support. Chevelier, N. (2005).

The Tree of Freedom and the Whipping Willow: Political Justice, Magical Science, researchers have explored the facets of good and evil in the parallel characters of the Harry Potter series, often focusing on the protagonist and antagonist and the “absolute” virtues of each. Exploring the grey areas of morality in other characters, Chevelier (2005) argues that each main character acts as “absolute” using a comparison between Harry and Voldemort, stating: An effective introduction could be formulated and structured as follows: “Dogs v. Cats [case name or other source] shows [action verb] that dogs bark and cats meow [relevant claim]. and Harry Potter. The Lion and the Unicorn, 29(3), 397-415. doi:10.1353/uni.2005.0041 You`ll also learn what`s not working and why – expertise gained through Professor Garner`s unique experience training lawyers at leading law firms across the country, state and federal courts, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies. Are you litigating a delicate question of legal interpretation? Let us take the example of Lexegesis, our allied advisory group. Avoid lazy introductions that do nothing, such as in “The court found the following” or “The witness testified as follows.” Speaking to Justice Story, its leading maritime law scholar, the court upheld the district court`s decision that the owners` liability for the officers` gratuitous shares does not extend to punitive damages: Harry is constructed as the antithesis of Voldemort and related to him in many ways: the lightning scar on his forehead is the most obvious, just like Harry`s ability to Parsel`s tongue, and his wand, which is an exact counterpart to Voldemorts. Like Frodo Baggins, Harry is the reluctant hero who must act as an instrument of absolute good, even risking his own life to defeat the instrument of absolute evil. (p. 339) Attorney Savannah Blackwell is a former journalist who covered government and politics for more than a decade, primarily in San Francisco.

It can be carried out in savannah.blackwell@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter at @SavannahBinSF Although Chevelier (2005) mentions absolutes, he does not address the potential that Harry might not be absolutely good and Voldemort might not be absolutely bad. Can`t attend our live webinar? Try our webinars at your own pace. Did you want Professor Garner to teach your group? Contact us at info@lawprose.org for more information on internal seminars. This must be expressed as a case of gross and gratuitous indignation, without just provocation or apology. [The owners] are bound to make reparation for all actual wrongs and personal errors suffered by the slanderers, but they are not bound by the extent of the vengeful damages. He teaches dozens of techniques that make a big difference.