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Your briefs should be, well, brief, Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit reminded lawyers in a recent opinion. In a case involving the right to a public audience in a voir dire proceeding, the judge devoted his final paragraph to criticizing the appellate lawyers for their verbosity, for which there was "no justification."

Just how bad was were the briefs in order to justify the public scolding? The parties' briefs, Judge Posner wrote, totaled 250 pages, in a straightforward case where less than 100 pages would have sufficed.

President Obama returned to the pages of the Harvard Law Review last week, publishing a commentary on criminal justice reform in the journal he once edited. The 56-page article surveys the work the Obama administration has taken to address inequities in the criminal justice system while also detailing what remains to be done.

It's a strong defense of the president's criminal justice legacy, as well as a roadmap for future reform. Here are some of the highlights.

Much of a lawyer's job is communicating, with clients, with courts, and with colleagues. But we're not always as great at convey our message, establishing a rapport, or convincing others as we'd like to be.

That's where Larry King comes in. When it comes to communication, few can outshine King. He's in the sixth decade of his journalism career, he hosted nightly interviews on CNN for 35 years, and he still keeps it up, with three regular talk shows. The man knows how to talk to people. And he's got some tips for you, which he laid out in a recent interview with Entrepreneur magazine.

Embryos in court? Apparently. Two enterprising balls of potential human life filed suit in Louisiana last week. Their target: Sofia Vergara, the star of ABC's Modern Family and contributor of half their genetic material.

The embryos were created by Vergara and her now-ex boyfriend Nick Loeb as part of an in vitro fertilization process. They were never implanted and the couple split in 2014. The two have been battling it out in court over the fate of the embryos ever since. Now, the embryos are suing on their own behalf, demanding (we're not kidding here) that they be born and allowed to enjoy a trust fund established in their name.

The big winner this election cycle wasn't just Donald Trump. It was recreational, legalized marijuana. (Okay, sort of legalized. The federal government, of course, continues to classify marijuana as an illegal drug. More on that in a minute.) Voters in California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and possibly Maine all voted to legalize recreational marijuana use. That means that now one out of every five Americans lives in a state where recreational weed is legal or is about to become legal.

So, what's that mean to you as a lawyer?

Where do you go when you have a question about the law or practice? To FindLaw's legal professional blogs, of course! But aside from blogs, some of the best advice you can get will often come from your colleagues -- the expert down the hall, if you will.

It's those conversations that are the inspiration for a new podcast, "Thomson Reuters: Down the Hall With Practical Law." (Disclosure: Thomson Reuters is FindLaw's parent company.) "Down the Hall" tries to recreate that informal expertise sharing -- except you don't need a hall or your own experts. Just a few minutes and a pair of headphones will do.

Lars Aanning has a warning: When it comes to medical malpractice claims, don't expect doctors to testify honestly against each other. "In essence, no supporting testimony from a defendant physician's colleagues can ever be deemed trustworthy, truthful or true -- because those colleagues have essentially sworn an oath of loyalty to each other," he writes.

Aanning should know, as he's done it himself. A surgeon in South Dakota, he says that he lied on the stand in a medical malpractice trial almost two decades ago and that doctors feel intense pressure to protect their colleagues from lawsuits, even if it means breaking their professional oaths.

Impatient Millennials can't wait for anything -- and they're certainly not going to wait to get through a six pack of Zima before heading out to a college party. Hence "butt chugging," the concerning practice of consuming alcohol or other drugs rectally, where they can be quickly absorbed into the blood stream.

The days of drinking with your mouth are over, Gramps. Today, sadly, butt chugging is a thing that lawyers need to know about.

If you've got a mountain of work to get through, don't put your head down and start powering through it. Instead, take a break.

Stopping to check Facebook, read a blog, or go on a walk can actually improve your ability to get things done, helping you address tasks with greater focus when you come back to them.

Even the smartest, most well-prepared lawyers can be betrayed by their body language. A shaky hand can undermine the most confident speech and a slouching posture can make the hardest working attorney look lazy. That's because your body language can often say as much about you as your words, whether you realize it or not.

So don't let body language sabotage you. Here are five body language mistakes to avoid.