Monday, September 18, 2006

Legal drafting: the drafter must understand it

A commenter writes--
  • I have seen many instances of lawyers using boilerplate language that they could not explain--that they did not understand. I consider this malpractice in drafting.
The commenter is right. The legal-writing expert Bryan Garner says this:
    If you don't understand a form provision--or don't understand why it should be included in your document--try diligently to gain that understanding. If you still can't understand it, cut it.
Bryan A. Garner, Legal Writing in Plain English: A Text with Exercises 117 (U. Chicago Press 2000).

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