November 3, 2006
Study Identifies Benefits of Plain Language Court Forms
Maria Mindlin, Is Plain Language Better? A Comparative Readability Study of Court Forms, 10 Scribes J. Legal Writing 55 (2005-2006) [Westlaw]
From the abstract:
A growing number of courts are converting their pro se forms and instructions to plain language. But are the plain-language forms easier to read and use? ... This article presents the results from our study -- the first quantitative readability study of plain-language court forms in the United States.
The results show a marked and statistically significant improvement in reader comprehension when court forms are converted to plain language. The results also suggest that because users understand more clearly what they have to do, when they have to do it, and where to seek support if they need it, there may be significant economies for the court.
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