Monday, June 13, 2005

Comments on plain language

Much legal writing is produced with only lawyers or the courts in mind. One result is that the parties to the document become almost irrelevant, ignored as outsiders or tourists.

It is consistent with plain language principles to argue that legal language which is unintelligible to its readers may be a species of fraud. Some poorly written legal documents are evasive or clandestine or purposely garbled. The bulk of poor legal writing, however, is merely inept, hackneyed, and poorly organized.

Christine Mowat, A Plain Language Handbook for Legal Writers 14, 28 (Carswell 1998).

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