Tuesday, May 14, 2013
At the annual Scribes Dinner at the National Conference of Law Reviews, plain English guru Professor Joe Kimble offered the law review students some tongue-in-cheek advice on how to perpetuate bad law review writing. (Now published in the Michigan Bar Journal) His words reminded me of the well-known quote from Fred Rodell:
There are two things wrong with almost all legal writing. One is its style. The other is its content. That, I think, about covers the ground. And though it is in the law reviews that the most highly regarded legal literature--and I by no means except those fancy rationalizations of legal action called judicial opinions--is regularly embalmed, it is in the law reviews that a pennyworth of content is most frequently concealed beneath a pound of so-called style.
I hope Joe made some impression on his audience. I can attest to the difficulty of trying to modernize the dowdy world of law reviews.