If you belong to a writing group or class, bring a copy of your quotations for each colleague. These exercises appear in Bryan A. Garner's Legal Writing in Plain English: Learn to detest simplifiable jargon. Exercises Basic Translate the following passages into plain English: A prehearing conference was held on July 15, , and the result of said conference was that Rawson was given an extension of time until August 6 to respond to Vicker's motion. Rawson subsequently failed to file any response thereto.
Minimize is, are, was , and were. Watch out for of. Turn -ion words into verbs when you can. Avoid doublets and triplets. Refer to people and companies by name. Never use corresponding terms ending in -ee and -or. Use them only when you really need them. Make everything you write speakable. Plan all three parts: Introduce each paragraph with a topic sentence.
Vary the length of your paragraphs, but generally keep them short. Provide signposts along the way. Unclutter the text by moving citations into footnotes. Weave quotations deftly into your narrative. Be forthright in dealing with counterarguments. Draft for an ordinary reader, not for a mythical judge who might someday review the document. Organize provisions in order of descending importance. Minimize definitions and cross references. If you have more than just a few definitions, put them in a schedule at the end—not at the beginning.
Break down enumerations into parallel provisions. Put every list of subparts at the end of the sentence—never at the beginning or in the middle. Prefer the singular over the plural. Garner's Legal Writing in Plain English: Legal Writing in Plain English includes Tips on generating thoughts, organizing them, and creating outlines Sound advice on expressing your ideas clearly and powerfully Dozens of real-life writing examples to illustrate writing problems and solutions Exercises to reinforce principles of good writing Helpful guidance on page layout A punctuation guide that shows the correct uses of every punctuation mark Model legal documents that demonstrate the power of plain English The exercises from Legal Writing in Plain English are organized under fifty principles.
For maximal efficiency, plan your writing projects. Order your material in a logical sequence. Use chronology when presenting facts. Keep related material together. Divide the document into sections, and divide sections into smaller parts as needed. Use informative headings for the sections and subsections. Keep the subject, the verb, and the object together--toward the beginning of the sentence.
Use strong, precise verbs. Minimize is, are, was , and were.
Accessible and witty, Legal Writing in Plain English draws on real-life writing samples that Garner has gathered through decades of teaching experience. Trenchant advice covers all types of legal materials, from analytical and persuasive writing to legal drafting, and the book’s principles are reinforced by sets of basic, intermediate, and /5().
Legal Writing in Plain English has ratings and 15 reviews. Inder said: Bryan Garner is a genius. I wish I could use all of his suggestions in my lega /5.
Legal Writing in Plain English (in 10 parts) $1, for all ten parts; $ for each part. (additional-viewer license: $99 per person for each session). The book Legal Writing in Plain English, Second Edition: A Text with Exercises, Bryan A. Garner is published by University of Chicago Press.
Admirably clear, concise, down-to-earth, and powerful—all too often, legal writing embodies none of these qualities. Its reputation for obscurity and needless legalese is widespread. Since Bryan A. Garner’s Legal Writing in Plain English has helped address this problem by providing lawyers. Plain English for Lawyers Richard C. Wydick and Ronald R. McClain for their research on sexism in legal writing and to thank Ralph C. Taylor, John L. Vohs, Max Byrd, and Richard Haas for their critical comments on an early draft In short, good legal writing is plain English. Here is an example of plain English, the statement of facts.