An important comment on writing from Hon. Thomas Reavley, RIP.

Note today from Bryan Garner

Remembering Thomas M. Reavley.

On Tuesday, a legal giant died: Thomas M. Reavley of Houston, who was a Fifth Circuit judge for 41 years and a Texas Supreme Court justice for 7. You can read his obituaries [here] and [here].

Two years after I finished my clerkship with Judge Reavley, he wrote the foreword to my first book—which has been carried through to the third edition titled Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage (2011). Here’s part of what this quintessential judge wrote there:

“Excess language misdirects. Ambiguous language confuses. Errors in grammar, in diction, in spelling, as well as in fact or logic, distract and destroy confidence. No writer can afford to underestimate the importance of precise, well-placed words.”

Judge Reavley, RIP.

Bryan A. Garner

Leave a Reply


7 + = thirteen