Friday, February 8, 2013

Review of Joe Kimble's Book on Plain Language in Legal Writing

The Michigan Bar Journal has just published a review of Joe Kimble's Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please.  We have long know Joe as the guru of plain language (and a friend), and this book sums up his work on this subject.

The reviewer, Frederick Baker, Jr., declares, "Joe has become a figure so prominent in the plain-language movement that not many have contributed more to fostering it. He belongs to us, to Michigan, and we should be proud of all he has done. Probably few who daily consult them realize that Joe was the drafting consultant to the committees that revised the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Evidence to conform to plain-language principles."

He then writes, "I will proceed by observing first that this big little book is a closing argument for the cause of clarity and simplicity in legal expression that has consumed Professor Joseph Kimble’s professional life."

He concludes: "This is a book worth reading, worth study. It is a reference, it is a resource, and it is a relief to one who, like me, is obliged daily to extract from bad writing what the writer intended. But more, it is a man, a man who has made it his mission to make of us better writers than we are. That is not easy, but we owe much to Joseph Kimble, who, whether we realize it, has influenced us, and made each of us, if not better writers, then at least aware that we could and should be."

Quite a tribute and well deserved.  Congratulations Joe!

(Scott Fruehwald) (hat tip: Julie Clement)

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