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Richard C. Wydick

Professor of Law Emeritus


B.A. Economics and Political Science, Williams College 1969

LL.B. Stanford University 1962


Richard C. Wydick joined the Law School faculty in 1971, and was a fixture at King Hall until his retirement in 2003, teaching Evidence, Antitrust Law, Professional Responsibility, Advanced Legal Writing, and “what’s now called Intellectual Property, though it used to be called Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, and Unfair Competition,” he said.

Wydick served as Acting Dean of the Law School in 1978-80 and received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1983. He has authored books on ethics, evidence, and good writing, including the esteemed legal writing guide, “Plain English for Lawyers.”

Wydick has received honors including the Golden Pen Award from the Legal Writing Institute and a lifetime achievement award from Scribes, the American Society of Legal Writers, in recognition of his contributions to legal writing.

He is a member of the American Law Institute.

Subject Areas

Legal Writing, Antitrust

Selected Publications

Plain English for Lawyers, 5th ed. (Carolina Academic Press, 2005)

Plain English for Lawyers, 4th ed. (Carolina Academic Press, 1998)

Problems in Legal Ethics, 8th ed. (West Publishing Co., 2007) (with M. Schwartz, R. Perschbacher, & Debra Lyn Bassett)

California Legal Ethics, 6th ed. (West Publishing Co., 2007) (with R. Perschbacher & Debra Lynn Bassett)

California Evidentiary Foundations, 3d ed. (Lexis/Nexis 2000) (With Annual Supplements 2000-2007) (with E. Imwinkelried & J. Hogan)

Barbri-Outline-Of-Professional-Responsibility, (Thomson-West) (Annual Editions 1976-2006)

Clear and Effective Legal Writing, (Little, Brown & Co., 1986) (with V. Charrow & M. Erhardt) (Contributor)

Plain English for Lawyers, (Carolina Academic Press, 1979); Revised and expanded version of article in 67 Cal. L. Rev. 401 (1978)

True Confessions of a Diddle-Diddle Dumbhead, (11 Scribes Journal of Legal Writing 57) (2007)

The Attorney-Client Privilege: Does It Really Have Life Everlasting?, 7 Kentucky Law Journal 1165 (1998-99)

The Ethics of Witness Coaching, Bull. of the Inst. of Advanced Legal Stud. 8 (Univ. of London, May 1996); Condensed version of article published in 17 Cardozo L. Rev. 1 (1995)

Should Lawyers Punctuate?, 1 Scribes J. Legal Writing 7 (1990)

Character Evidence -- a Guided Tour of the Grotesque Structure, 21 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 123 (1987); Reprinted in 2 Crim. Prac. L. Rev. 171 (1989)

Trial Counsel as Witness -- the Code and the Model Rules, 15 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 651 (1982)

Plain English for Lawyers, 67 Cal. L. Rev. 401 (1978)

Litigation Ethics: Do's and Dont's of Talking to Represented Adversaries, 4 Litigation 43, 56 (1977)

Trade Secrets: Federal Preemption in Light of Goldstein and Kewanee (Part II), 56 J. Pat. Off. Soc'y 4 (1974)

Trade Secrets: Federal Preemption in Light of Goldstein and Kewanee (Part I), 55 J. Pat. Off. Soc'y 736 (1973)

Venue in Actions for Patent Infringement, 25 Stan. L. Rev. 551 (1973); Reprinted in 57 J. Pat. Off. Soc'y 73 (No. 2) (1975)

Compensable Values in Federal "Taking" of Damsites, 14 Stan. L. Rev. 800 (1962)

Mandatory Injunction Jurisdiction, 14 Stan. L. Rev. 167 (1961)

Federal Preemption in Television Antitrust, 13 Stan. L. Rev. 629 (1961)

Lawyers' Writing, How to Write Plain English: A Book for Lawyers and Consumers, 8 Mich. L. Rev. 711 (1980)