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November 21, 2017

The Scrivener: Is Your Writing Good Enough for the Supreme Court? (U.S. Supreme Court Style Guide)

By Elizabeth Scott Moïse

S.C. Lawyer

Reprinted with permission from the S.C. Bar’s S.C. Lawyer

Jack Metzler is a whole lot braver than I am. Mr. Metzler, a lawyer from the Federal Trade Commission, obtained and copied the 2013 United States Supreme Court’s private style manual (“Manual”) from the Court’s library. See Debra Cassens Weiss, Lawyer sells secret SCOTUS style manual for $29.95, ABA Journal, (Apr. 1, 2016, 5:45 AM CDT),

He did nothing illegal, but—as much as I am grateful personally to him for sharing the Court’s rules of writing—if I practiced as much before the Supreme Court as Mr. Metzler does, I would not have published anything that the Court called “private.” I was happy, however, to buy that book (The Supreme Court’s Style Guide) as soon as I learned it was available because I was curious to learn if the Court follows The Bluebook, if the Justices are fussy about things like hy-phens, and if they think we should always capitalize the word “federal” like our governmental lawyers do. To answer these (and other) burning questions, I gladly paid the $29.95.