Sunday, July 10, 2011

what not to do

How bad has legal writing gotten? Well, a former student recently sent a legal writing professor this horrendous example from an actual contract:

"The terms defined therein and not otherwise defined herein being used herein as therein defined."

(A currently practicing law firm produced the contract, so we think it best to protect the identity of both the professor and former student.)


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The language of mainstream contract drafting is afflicted with many problems more worrisome than those on display in this example, so I can't get worked up about it.

Posted by: Ken Adams | Jul 10, 2011 2:10:02 PM

Funny! I wish attorneys would know this basic rule: If a word in a contract ends with "in," the word probably should be deleted. Senior attorneys need to conform their writing to plain english. I do not understand their resistance.

Posted by: Eric Voigt | Jul 12, 2011 11:05:10 AM

I don't understand that resistance, either. In our Advanced Writing classes, we teach the students to draft contracts, statutes, and other documents in plain English. But I've always told the students, "If it comes down to your job or a 'herein,' keep your job. One day you will be the senior partner who can then delete the 'herein.'"

Posted by: Evelyn Calogero | Jul 13, 2011 5:20:50 AM

Does anyone here have a recommendation as to a good legal writing forum? I'm trying to improve my writing skills so that I can get into law review. As I write, I often run into writing issues/questions that are very subjective.

In summation, I want to find a good english or legal writing forum of which I can copy and paste routine emails/sentences that I feel can be improved.


Posted by: Sam | Jan 22, 2013 4:43:29 PM

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