We lawyers cannot write plain English. We use eight words to say what could be said in two. We use old, arcdne phrases to express com-. Recommended Citation. Richard C. Wydick, Plain English for Lawyers, 66 Calif. L . Rev. (). Download. DOWNLOADS. Since July 17, Richard C. Wydick, Plain English for Lawyers (4th ed.). Durham: North . http:// lyatrusavquoper.cf 1.
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Plain English for Lawyers sixth edition. Richard C. Wydick late of uc davis school of law. Amy E. Sloan professor of law at university of baltimore school of law. Plain English for Lawyers fifth edition. Richard C. Wydick emeritus professor of law university of california, davis. Carolina Academic Press. Durham, North. Plain English for lyatrusavquoper.cf - Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online.
Asprey has provided the reader with a wonderful example of plain language at its best. In my view the book should be compulsory reading for anyone involved in the law. Judge Richards, 26 Qld Lawyer Some books get better with age — like old wine.
This is one of them. The initial three chapters convince you of the need to use plain language; after all, legalese is certainly undignified.
Clear and precise language, organization, design and layout are important. The fundamentals follow - consider your reader, eschew pomposity, plan first, put the most important part of your document first, ignore future tense for your benefit, be flexible.
And do not miss the plain language vocabulary — it meets your needs. Have you bought the title yet? Her tone is persuasive and her points are made in a relaxed way supported by extensive references to research, case law and relevant websites. I was particularly intrigued by the discussion linking plain language writing to legal interpretation.
These and similar problems are covered in the chapter Little words: big problems. The book belongs in the library of anyone wishing to communicate more clearly in writing — not just lawyers! All improvements of the patented invention which are made hereafter shall promptly be disclosed. Who must disclose what to whom? Must the licensee disclose improvements it makes to the licensor?
Must the licensor disclose improvements it makes to the licensee? But when you say. With the active voice. The Active Voice v. But the passive voice often leaves that unclear: It is feared that adequate steps will not be taken to mitigate the damages which are being caused.
But in English. To avoid that sort of gaffe. All people were created with a thirst for knowledge. In the defendant's closet was found the bloody coat. The next-strongest place is at the beginning of the sentence. Suppose that in this sentence you want to emphasize the word conspiracy: Plaintiffs complaint makes a conspiracy charge against the defendants.
The defendant was arrested for fornicating under a little-used state statute. But elsewhere. The ledgers were mysteriously destroyed. One way is to put conspiracy at the beginning of the sentence: Conspiracy is charged in plaintiffs complaint against defendants. The defendantfiled a demurrer. The complaint wasfiled. The defendant.
The defendant may have to pay plaintiffs costs and attorney fees. Plaintiffs complaint charges the defendants with conspiracy. Note that in each of the three sentences the subject comes before the verb. The best remedy for a gap this wide is to turn the intervening words into a separate sentence: Any injured party may file a claim with the Office of the Administrator. For example: A claim.
Basic to our liberties is fair procedure. The problem is the same when the gap comes between the verb and the object: The proposed statute gives to any person who suffers financial injury by reason of discrimination based on race.
On rare occasion. Keep the Subject Close to the Verb and the Verb Close to the Object Lawyers like to test the agility of their readers by making them leap wide gaps between the subject and the verb and between the verb and the object. In that sentence the reader must span a twenty-two-word crevasse to get from the subject claim to the verb may befiled.
Smaller gaps between subject and verb can be closed by moving the intervening words to the beginning or end of the sentence: GAP This agreement. You might also put immediatel. Beware of the "squinting" modifier--one which sits mid-sentence and can be read to modify either what precedes it or what follows it: A trustee who steals dividends often cannot be punished. Judge Weldon ordered the petitioner's transfer to a state mental hospital. Either choose a word that does not squint.
That will help avoid sentences like these: My client has discussed your proposal to fill the drainage ditch with his partners. In the last example. Another is to move the intervening words to the end of the sentence: The proposed statute gives a cause of action for treble damages to any person who suffers financial injury by reason of discrimination based on race.
Agent shall be notified immediately to cancel all outstanding workorders. Being beyond any doubt insane. The defendant is accused of assaulting Professor Appleman while he was teaching a class maliciously and with intent to do great bodily harm. Once discovered.
The judge ordered the marshal to eject the photographer. What must be immediate. What does often modify? Does the sentences tell us that crime frequently pays? On that frequent crime pays? Squinting modifiers are especially mischievous in technical legal instruments: If this contract is terminated under paragraph 3 d 1.
One remedy is to make two sentences. Who married Pat-Maxwell or Sarah? Some lawyers try to clear up such ambiguity by piling on more words: The grantor was Maxwell Aaron.
Claims for expenses. If it creates ambiguity in that position. To keep only under control. Claims for expenses must be made within 30 days. Those same readers will be distracted if you end a sentence with a preposition when you do not need to. Only the parent corporation sells shares to the public.
Shares are sold to the public only by the parent corporation. Maxwell Aaron. She said that he shot her. Lessee shall use the vessel for recreation only. Watch out for ambiguity in sentences like this one: You can usually avoid ambiguity by placing the relative pronoun like who. If Pat's spouse were Maxwell. But it's easier than that. Sometimes a relative pronoun will not behave. The grantor was Sarah Aaron's father. Elegant Variation Elegant variation" is practiced by writers whose English teachers told them not to use the same word twice in one sentence.
The reader of a formal instrument is entitled to assume that a shift in terms is intended to signal a shift in meaning. Their attention is. The readers are left to ponder the difference between a case. Do not be afraid to repeat a word if it is the right word and if repeating it will avoid confusion. The arresting officers did not The arresting officers did not inform the defendant of her right inform the defendant of her to remain silent.
If the repetition sounds clumsy.
Plain for English 5th Edition.pdf
A Most of what lawyers write is read by people. Language quirks add to those distractions and are thus to be avoided. Elegant variation is particularly vexing in technical legal writing.
Are franchisepayments something differ than the usefee? If so. By the time they conclude that there is no difference. Franchise payments shall be made on or before the 15th day of each month. The practice produces sentences like this: They have their radiationcontaminationdetection devices. If you write "all judges have their own ideals.
To bring a noun chain under control. Women are tired of being told that "words importing the masculine gender include the feminine as well. Military writers are fond of noun chains. If that is not enough. The plaintiff alleges that he was deprived of his rights under the first and fourteenth amendments. Only slightly less confusing than elegant variation is the use of a word in one sense and its repetition shortly after in a different sense: The majority opinion gives no consideration to appellant's argument that no consideration was given for the promise.
The plaintiff alleges that he was deprived of his rights under the first amendment and under the fourteenth amendment. Lawyers are not immune.
The remedy is obvious-replace one of the pair with a different term: The majority opinion ignores appellant's argument that no consideration was given for the promise.
If you write "each judge has his own ideals. If you write "each judge has his or her own ideals. AvoID man's basic liberties reasonable man the wisdom of man 3 USE basic human liberties reasonable person human wisdom Avoid sex based descriptions and titles when there are reasonable substitutes: Phrases like he or she can be used in moderation. As a juror. The average citizen enjoys jury duty.
Avom USE men and their wives husbands and wives ladies and men men and women.
The average citizen enjoys his time on the jury. Washington Martha 5 Avoid using masculine singular pronouns when the referent is not necessarily male. Where commentary is appropriate. When you need to use an adjective or adverb for commentary. Its simply states the facts. Adjective-Adverb Mania Most legal writing is declaratory.
Is a "dead murder victim" any colder than a "murder vic Do not use a firey one and then douse it with water. If a witness is described as telling the "honest truth. Defendant's sales agents preyed on the poor and ignorant. See Part IVB supra.
But some legal writing does comment. Defendant's sales agents maliciously took advantage of people with little money and limited intelligence. WEAK she was very. Each juror believes that he has All jurors believe that they have done something worthdone something worthwhile. Legal briefs and judicial opinions are obvious examples.
In this regard it is of significance that. The truth is not difficult.. The writer who seeks to be intelligible needs to be right. Being told that something is interesting is the surest way of tempting the reader to find it dull 31 Words like clearly are favorite throat clearers..
National Black Law Journal
Complexity and obscurity have professional value-they are the academic equivalents of apprenticeship rules in the building Clear beyond dispute is the fact that. If it should be pointed out. You can learn only by putting your own pencil to paper.. Economist John Kenneth Galbraith addressed this point when speaking of the need for plain English in his field. If it is interesting to note. It is interesting to point out that Throat Clearing Just as some public speakers clear their throats at every pause.
[Download PDF] Plain English for Lawyers (5th Edition) by Richard C. Wydick 5th (fifth) edition
William Zinsser writes: If you might add. California's former Chief Justice Roger Traynor used to tell his law clerks to strike clearly whenever they used it: That is why the practice exercises are included in Appendix A. But he can safely dismiss the charge that he has made the subject too easy. Is a "completely revoked" contract offer any more lifeless than one that has only been "revoked"?
What are we to say when asked our "actual age"? To avoid all this.. What he says applies equally to the law: It may be recalled that.. The result is a collection of phrases like this: It is important to add that.
They exclude the outsiders. The man who makes things clear is a scab. He is criticized less for his clarity than for his 32 treachery. March Then rewrite the sentence. Plaintiffs brief contains several misstatements with respect to the disputed time sequence.
The trial judge must consider the questiGn as to whether h. Circle the working words in the sentence below. Trim out the verbose word clusters in these examples. Use one or two words to replace the compound constructions in these sentences. At such time as the judgment is entered. Pursuant to the terms of our contract..
The plaintiff filed suit despite the fact that she knew that.. He was sentenced for a period of five months.. At this point in time.. The claim was clarified by means of a bill of particulars g. This is an instance in which estoppel can be invoked. This offer will stand until such time as you. When the funds are received. In the event of the tenant's default.. Compare their number with the number of glue words. In the event that there is a waiver of the attorney-client privilege by the client..
From the point of view of simplicity. In most instances good faith is not disputed.. Prior to the enactment of the statute.
There can be no doubt but that the statute applies where f. This is a point that has troubled many courts.. It is not necessary for the witness to sign the deposition transcript until the errors that were made by the reporter are corrected. There are three misstatements of fact in appellant's opening brief. The prisoner's aptitude for acclimatization to lack of confinement is one factor which must be taken into account in the deliberations of the Parole Board..
Cut the surplus words from these sentences by shortening clauses and phrases. We fred ourselves in agreement with this argument. This being the case. We turn now to the request which has been made by the plaintiff for the issuance of injunctive relief. In approving a class action settlement.
The firmamental hemisphere is undergoing precipitant altitudinal decline.. Rewrite the passage. In the following passage you will find all the kinds of surplus words described in Part I. With respect to this request.
The decree which was entered by the lower court does not affect the claim that has been made by the stockholders. The question as to whether there was negligence.. Because of the fact that he was injured The agreement with respect to partition that was reached between Smith and Hagen was superceded by the decree that was entered by the court at a later time.
Rewrite these sentences using familiar.. There is nothing to tell us whether this misconduct on the part of counsel influenced the verdict rendered by the jury. Arbitration is useful in some instances where the parties m. Section has pertinence to any contract which makes provision for attorney fees. The patent laws which give a seventeen-year monopoly on "making. By establishing a technique whereby the claims of many individuals can be resolved at the same time.
Rewrite this sentence in tabulated form. The purpose of paragraph 9 f is in ambiguo. Rewrite these passages. The effectuation of reformation of penal institutions is dependent to some degree upon the extent of awareness of current events in that sector among members of the general populace. While there are instances in which consumer abuse and exploitation result from advertising which is false. You can qualify for benefits under section 43 if you are sixtyfour or older and unable to work.
That was the ratio decidendi of the GeneralElectric case. Rewrite these sentences without the lawyerisms. Rewrite these sentences. If I am not survived by my husband by thirty days. We are in agreement with your argument. The effectuation of improvement in downstream water quality has as a requirement our termination of the pollution of the headwaters.
The attorney-client privilege.
Close the gaps in these sentences by moving the intervening words or by splitting one sentence into two. Clients' funds which have been received by an attorney must be put into the Client Trust Account. Rewrite these sentences using the active voice and omitting surplus words.
Rewrite this sentence. The sole eyewitness. When you rewrite. Rewrite these sentences to emphasize the words right to counsel. The stench of perjury lingers in every word the witness spoke. Each month price lists were exchanged between the defendant manufacturers. The defendant's right to counsel is guaranteed by the sixth amendment. The defendant is denied the right to counsel if the defendant's lawyer is barred from speaking.
A response must. This agreement may be terminated by either party by thirty days' notice being given to the other. Being ignorant of the law.
When a worker is injured often no compensation is paid. Apparently the capital gains provision was intended to encourage the production of cotton in the eyes of Congress.
Defendant's argument overlooks an amendment to the statute which was enacted in Under section If a sentence has more than one possible meaning. But of equal importance. Rewrite these sentences to solve the modifier problems. Jose Cruz. It goes without saying that every attorney has a mandatory ethical duty to protect what he learns in confidence about his clients.
Rewrite this paragraph to rid it of language quirks. The plaintiff's pain can be alleviated only by expensive therapy.
If the tenant defaults. Here estoppel can be invoked. Arbitration is sometimes useful where the parties.. When the judgment is entered.. With the working words circled.. That should be cause for cheer. This offer will stand until you. By the terms of our contract. They are some of the many possible answers. The claim was clarified by a bill of particulars. The trial judge must consider whether. Under section b. If the client waives the attorney-client privilege Now the witness cannot recall what the letter was about.
Usually good faith is not disputed. For simplicity. The plaintiff filed suit even though she knew that. He was sentenced for five months. Before the enactment of the statute. You may often find that your answer is better than the one given here.
Plaintiffs brief contains several misstatements about the disputed time sequence.. No doubt the statute applies where With the working words circled. Class actions serve an important function in our judicial system.
We turn now to plaintiffs request for an injunction. The patent laws modify the antitrust laws to some extent. Whether there was negligence. Because he was injured. Appellant's opening brief contains three misstatements of fact. We cannot tell whether counsel's misconduct influenced the jury's verdict. The sky is falling. Since the exclusionary clause can have no further effect. They permit claims of many individuals to be resolved at the same time.
We agree. The defendant argues that an injunction is unnecessary. IBM b. This avoids repetitious litigation and gives.
The lower court decree does not affect the stockholders' claim. This point has troubled many courts. One thing the Parole Board must consider is the prisoner's ability to get used to freedom Prison reform depends partly on how much the public knows about what is happening in prisons.
The purpose of paragraph 9 f is unclear. The defendant International Business Machines Corp. The partition agreement between Smith and Hagen was superceded by the later court decree. The patent laws. The witness need not sign the deposition transcript until the reporter's errors are corrected..
That is why General Electric was decided as it was. But that does not necessarily require the government to intrude into the marketplace. To improve downstream water quality. If my husband does not survive me by thirty days. You can qualify for benefits under section 43 if you are: I give my children such items of my personal property as my executor may select for them. The attorney-client privilege applies to the client's revelation of a past crime. In every word the witness spoke lingers the stench of perjury.
A response must be filed with the hearing officer within twenty days after the petition is served. The sole eyewitness saw the accident from a seventh floor apartment window. But it does not apply where the client seeks the attorney's aid to plan a future crime. Either party may terminate this agreement by giving thirty day's notice to the other. Consumers themselves can go to court.
An attorney who receives clients' funds must put them in the Client Trust Account. If the defendant's lawyer is barred from speaking. The sixth amendment guarantees the defendant's right to counsel. Consumers are sometimes abused and exploited by false.
Section pertains to any contract which provides for attorney fees. We agree with your argument. Discovery can commence before the judge considers the motion. Each month the defendant manufacturers exchanged price lists.
The capital gains provision was apparently intended. The attorney argued that his client.
Plaintiffs grandfather. Often when a worker is injured. Attorneys have an ethical duty to protect what they learn in confidence from their clients. This ethical duty covers what the client tells the attorney in confidence. Only when the claim is brought without good faith can attorney fees be awarded under section Defendant's argument overlooks a amendment to the statute. It also covers what third parties tell the attorney about the client if the client has asked that the information be kept secret.
Only expensive therapy can alleviate plaintiffs pain. Plain English for Lawyers. Flag for inappropriate content. Related titles. Mason R. Atkins Global Legal English. Deborah Rearick v. Penn State University, 3rd Cir. United States of America Ex Rel. Tyrone B. Larkins v. Russell G. Bna , 34 fed. Fennell v. Union Pacific Rail v. Dolese Bros Co, 10th Cir. Jump to Page. Search inside document. Wydick Follow this and additional works at: A by ] was d by the ddant.
First, move defendant to the front and make it the subject of the sen- Kathleen Joy. Carla Peria. Daniel U. Kevin G. Adrian Kalupa. Ricardo Jesus Gutierrez. Lance Cedric Egay Dador. Scribd Government Docs. Drupatty Jaipersuad v. Timothy R. Ashley, 11th Cir.
Sylvester Lockhart, Jr. Charles A. Figgie Intl Inc v. Destileria Serralles, 4th Cir.
Delmar Ray Cook v. Baker Equipment Engineering Company, Inc. Jeng Pion. Isbell, et al v. Allstate Ins Co - Document No. More From Lianne Carmeli B. Lianne Carmeli B. List of Mandatory Requirements for Property Acquisition.
Muyot - Social Justice and the Constitution. Popular in Laws. Sagun Poudyal. Rowela Descallar. Cel Delabahan. Proposed Rule: Airworthiness Directives: The Salt Lake Tribune.
Journal Star police documents. Bharat Sinha. Davide Marano. Cara Henares. Franco David Barateta. Tennessee Attorney General opinion related to Knoxville same-sex divorce case. The Tennessean.The complaint wasfiled.
Often jury instructions are too poorly written for the jurors to understand. Every time you see one of these pests on your page. Particularly attractive are words like basis. A claim. Any injured party may file a claim with the Office of the Administrator.
Under section b. The lawyer might then tell you that suffer orpermit is better because it is a traditional legal term of art. When the funds are received.
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