Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Legal-Writing Carol

'Tis the season for a A Legal-Writing Carol.  Mark Cooney at Cooley recently republished his sure-to-be-classic legal-writing take on Dickens' holiday favorite in the Michigan Bar Journal.  It turns out Ebenezer is haunted by ghosts that legal writing professors are sure to be familiar with:


“Who . . . what are you? Why do you dis- turb my supper this way?”

“Do you not recognize me, Ebenezer? Look. Whom do you see?”

Scribe peered more carefully into the ghostly glow and made out a familiar face, the face of his long-dead law partner, Jacob Morley. The ghost’s eyes were vacant, its ex- pression blank. Yet its torment was evident. The ghost was clenched in chains—an elab- orate network of links that bound it in eter- nal struggle. As Scribe looked closer still, he saw that the chains were made of words: save as hereinbefore otherwise stipulated... as duly executed and attested by the party of the first part...and by these presents does unconditionally grant, bargain, and sell unto the party of the second part, to have and to hold, the said chattels, goods, and ob­ jects hereof . . . 

This is a great read to send to students, or your friends in the practicing bar, over the holiday.

Earlier posts:

Ebenezer Scribe Learns a Lesson



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