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Here in the FindLaw Strategist blog, we do a lot of writing about writing.

From cases hinging on the Oxford comma to silly cease and desist letters to pleadings requesting extensions so lawyers can attend football games, we do what we can to keep our lawyer readers in the know.

Below are seven of our best blogs from this year geared toward helping lawyers learn to be better writers.

Trial Lesson: Don't 'Pop the Corks' Too Early

Plaintiff's attorney Brent Wisner had a winning closing argument, but then the judge had something to say.

Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos didn't like the part about popping champagne corks. Wisner told jurors that the defendants were waiting for the verdict, and "if the damages number isn't significant enough, champagne corks will pop."

It could cost him his $289 million verdict. "Counting chickens before they hatch" may apply to farmers, but lawyers will talk about "popping the corks too early."

For some attorneys, opting for a bench trial is a peculiar bit of strategy that can help to ensure that complex cases are properly considered; however, sometimes you just don't have a choice in the matter.

Recently, the Mississippi AG's case against the utility company Entergy has been making headlines as the billion dollar case will be decided solely by one federal judge with the trial starting early next month. The case involves claims that the company's energy customers in the state, from 1998 to 2009, were overcharged to the tune of $1.1 billion.

The Washington State Supreme Court has put an end to the state imposing the death penalty. Effectively, anyone sentenced to die in the state just had their sentences converted to life without parole.

Interestingly, the court based its decision upon a finding that the way the state imposed the death penalty was racially biased. Even more interestingly, that finding was significantly based upon a study that was commissioned by the appellant, who was seeking to stop his execution from going forward. This decision makes Washington the 20th state to prohibit the death penalty.

Most lawyers out there have non-lawyer friends that will ask for off-the-cuff legal advice.

And while we've all been trained to tell that friend that "friends don't let friends get and/or give legal advice from/to friends," most of us will eventually hand out some free legal advice to friends. And when that friend then completely ignores your advice, to their detriment, what do you do? Below, you can read a couple tips (besides finding new friends).

The light bulb industry has come a long long way since Thomas Edison was credited with inventing the lightbulb.

Thanks to the development of LED and other high-efficiency lighting solutions, the number of ways for you to light up your life is limited only by your imagination and available power sources (or willingness to charge high-capacity batteries). And in addition to saving money (in the long run), utilizing the newest innovations in smart lights can actually improve creativity and productivity.

Going From Data Dump to Trial

When litigating, one of the tried and true tactics of both plaintiffs and defendants is the infamous data dump.

When initial disclosures and discovery responses come due, some parties relish the opportunity to drop bankers box after bankers box off at their adversary's lawyer's doorstep. Data dumps drive up costs, and are frequently filled with red herring which can lead an attorney off on a tangent, wasting time and resources. However, when preparing for trial, it's important to pare down all that data into something that a jury will be able to grasp, you know the proverbial "smoking gun."

Below, you can read a few tips on pulling out the right smoking guns out of the haystack.

If you've never had to handle over 20 or 50 or 100 cases at the same time, you might be blissfully unaware of some of the best resources available for solo practitioners trying to maintain heavy caseloads.

But those busy and overworked practitioners know, it's impossible to do it all alone, and you shouldn't ever play the "solo card" if you expect to have a good reputation (or win, because it doesn't work). Truth be told, even if you only have a couple cases on your plate, the resources below can be critical to have lined up to handle the varied pace of your practice, or in case of emergency.

Clients, and especially potential clients, like feeling special. One easy way to make them feel special is to really listen to them.

For years, those who know, have been preaching about the benefits of active listening. It's not that difficult, and you'd be surprised by the response you get from people when they feel that you are intently focused upon what they are saying. Even in your interactions with opposing counsel, active listening can go a long way in preventing misunderstandings.

Below are three tips on being a better active listener.

For lawyers, email is quickly becoming the preferred method of communication with nearly everyone. It creates a wonderful paper trail that shows how diligent we are, while also sending messages nearly instantaneously (and dependably, unlike email's older brother facsimile).

Over the last several years, there's no doubt that, email etiquette has evolved as it has become more ubiquitous. And for lawyers, that means being just as diligent when sending an email as when sending a letter, as the two have nearly the same force and effect these days.

Below, you can find seven tips for becoming a better email writer.