“Legal Writing 101”—A Lesson

Ralph D. Walker got creative after the U.S. Supreme Court denied his petition for certiorari.

Walker’s cert. petition challenged a domestic violence restraining order that he says terminated his parental rights, in Walker v. Walker, No. 15-794, U.S., review denied 3/25/16.

His petition for rehearing included something his cert. petition didn’t—a lesson in “Legal Writing 101”:


Know Your Audience

It’s a time-honored rule of writing—legal or otherwise—“Know your audience."

The statue pictured sits in front of the court. It’s called “Contemplation of Justice."

Those tiny pics under the statue are photos of the justices.

Put them together and you have something every Supreme Court petitioner should practice, “Contemplation of Justices.”

Maybe Walker is trying to remind the justices that their audience is Justice itself and that it’s something even bigger than they are? Or is he simply saying he knows who his particular audience is? Or maybe it was just his touchstone as he crafted what he saw as a last ditch effort to obtain justice himself?

Don’t ask me, my legal writing class didn’t cover art, but maybe it should have!

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