Plain english legal writing and research

The legal memorandum predicts the outcome of a legal question by analyzing the authorities governing the question and the relevant facts that gave rise to the legal question.

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This is understandable, but it sometimes unfortunately perpetuates an unnecessarily formal legal writing style. Understanding the differences between the tools and techniques available to assist on this topic can be a complex endeavor. These techniques can draw out information as well as make a document look neater, sharper and more attractive.

plain english legal writing and research

Use lots of headings; 6. Plain Language is capable of precision There is a belief amongst plain language detractors that traditional legal language is required for precision.

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But a proxy statement allowing the members of a neighborhood association to designate their voting preferences for the next board meeting ought to be as plain as can be. Different methods may be used within the United States and in other nations. So where did the legal fraternity learn to write this way? Plain Language versus Traditional Legal Language We learned, in short, to break every rule of style in the book. Or a lawyer who has filed a successful motion to dismiss a lawsuit may use the same or a very similar form of motion again in another case, and so on. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Anita D. Each guide includes free and commercial resources for conducting legal research.

A fresh eye is needed when one is editing and the value of putting a draft down and reviewing when not drowning in it is invaluable and always produces clearer and more effective writing.

In addition a persuasive letter may attempt to persuade the dispute's opposing party.

legal writing in plain english pdf

Bryan A. A commercial lease for a small company using a small office space will likely be much shorter and will require less complexity, but may still be somewhat formal.

Legal writing pdf

Telescoping - the importance of the conclusion and findings up front Many writers, especially lawyers, fail to state the conclusion and major findings of their research up front, choosing instead to set out the information in sequential order. Clients, jurors and even judges would prefer to read clear, simple and relevant language devoid of jargon. Each elaboration introduced to meet one problem of interpretation imports with it new problems of interpretation. The utility of user testing Plain Language versus Traditional Legal Language Connecting paragraphs and ideas — a thematic approach Real terms of art a tiny part of any legal document. Research Paper for Plain English in Legal Writing 19 beginning law students are stripped of even these convenient guides. Also included are a complementary series of video tutorials to citation of several major categories of legal sources, including judicial opinions, constitutional and statutory provisions and agency material. Rather, lawyers should only draft for the known, possible, reasonably expected contingencies. New technology, user preferences, tighter budgets, and new expectations have meant that libraries have altered and adapted the way they provide resources and services. Some of this formality in legal writing is necessary and desirable, given the importance of some legal documents and the seriousness of the circumstances in which some legal documents are used.

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Legal Writing and Research