Friday, February 6, 2009

"Plain english" forms now available online from www.uscourts.gov

As quoted from the NovaCityLaw blog:

The U.S. Courts website now has links to a number of both civil and criminal forms written in "simple, modern English". Revised by a group of judges, clerks and staffers at the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the PDF files can be filled out online, printed and/or saved to the user's computer. 

Hat tip to Mary Paige Smith.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2009/02/plain-english-f.html

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Comments

I visited the "civil and criminal forms" page of the U.S. Courts website linked in this post. I opened and read a half dozen forms at random.

They are not in plain English. Granted that some of them are pretty straighforward, none would meet accepted criteria for modern, plain English.

They contain common legalisms, unexplained terms of art, long sentences, formal diction, and poor document design. They also quote federal statutes verbatim--never a good practice for plain writing.

Oh well. At least they're trying.

Posted by: Wayne Schiess | Feb 7, 2009 7:04:05 AM

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