West Publishing Co. commissioned Judge Aldisert (Chief Judge Emeritus, Senior U.S. Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3d Circuit) to write the book. It was never sold but utilized by West as a public relations gesture. Despite never being made commercially available, there are 144 libraries in WorldCat that hold copies. West sent the book to all federal judges and to state appellate judges, and as new judges came on later each new judge received a copy. This practice continued for over 15 years, but after West was bought by Thomson, the new owners decided a few years back to stop the practice. Rights were transferred back to the judge and the second edition is being published by AuthorHouse.
Full disclosure: My daughter clerked for Judge Aldisert and assisted with the production of the book. So I know it’s really good!
From the publishers description:
This book is a guide to opinion writing. It is written for every judge at every level and for all law clerks. Every trial and appellate judge, including the author of this book, can profit by learning how to improve his or her work product. This book provides a tool to do just that. Separated into four parts – Theoretical Concepts Underlying an Opinion, The Anatomy of an Opinion, Writing Style and Opinion Writing Checklists – the second edition of Opinion Writing distills the author’s nearly 50 years of experience on the bench into a handbook on the judge’s craft.
And the price is right too:
Hard Cover: $29.95