5 Ultimate Guide in Legal Writing

5 Ultimate Guide in Legal Writing

Legal jargon often misinterpreted or completely ignored by society. The jargon only found themselves valuable when people wish to avoid liability by proposing many interpretations of it. As a good lawyer, you should:

1. USE EVERYDAY WORDS – Watch out for “encumber”, “damages”. Consider ordinary words.

If you use the technical words such as “indemnity”, “mortgage” & “guarantee”, consider explaining in a particular context.

2. USE TERMS CONSISTENTLY & CLEARLY – When you refer to “the court” in your writings, do you mean the physical courthouse? or the judge? or the magistrate making the decision?

3. AVOID THESAURUS – The tenant must maintain, replace, repair and keep the property in good & substantial repair, working order and condition“.

Consider: The tenant must keep the property in good condition. This includes repairing any damage caused to the walls or floors.

4. NO DOUBLETS AND TRIPLETS – Familiar with magic incantations like “signed, sealed and delivered“, “null & void“?

Use: Signed or Void. Court will interpret the singular.

5. CROSS – REFERENCING – In any legal documents, clauses are connected to each other to form a set of liabilities and method of performing the contract. Cross-referencing often wrongly used when it’s not necessary and makes the whole clause redundant. Group the clauses according to their functions and set them under correct headings to avoid mismatch.

Chapter E. Effective Writing for lawyers, Colin James, 2014

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