Thursday, August 31, 2006

Plain English: write for the nonlawyer

Lawyers need to take a different approach to legal writing. We have an obligation to communicate clearly and efficiently: with our clients, with our colleagues, with our opponents, and with the general public. We cannot continue to pretend that legal writing is meant to be read and used only by lawyers.

Michele M. Asprey, Plain Language for Lawyers 8 (2d ed., Federation Press 1996).

The mark of a well-written opinion [or any legal document] in any event is that it is comprehensible to an intelligent layperson.

—Judicial Writing Manual 6 (Fed. Jud. Ctr. 1991).

Better Legal Writing
Writing for the Legal Audience

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