Friday, February 28, 2014
Scribes--The American Society of Legal Writers--is holding its annual Board Meeting this week at Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law. In keeping with its tradition when meeting at various law schools around the country (such as this meeting in 2012 at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago), members of the Scribes board are presenting a legal writing seminar to students at Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law, the host school.
Pictured here (from left to right) are:
* Professor Joseph Kimble of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, longtime editor of the "Plain Language" column of the Michigan Bar Journal, drafting confultant to the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the U.S. Judicial Conference, past president of Clarity, and an officially named "Plain English Champion" by the Plain English Campaign of the United Kingdom. His books include Lifting the Fog of Legalease: Essays on Plain Language, published by Carolina Academic Press.
* Judge Mark P. Painter served as a judge on the Ohio Appellate Court and the United Nations Appeals Tribunal. In addition to authoring more than 400 published court decisions, he is the author of six books including The Legal Writer: 40 Rules for the Art of Leal Writing published by
* Scribes President Dean Darby Dickerson of Texas Tech University School of Law (author of the first four editions of the ALWD Citation Manual).
Also pictured above in in the group is Professor Lawrence Rosenthal, Professor of Legal Writing and Associate Dean for Academics at NKU Chase College of Law, who gave welcoming remarks and introduced the speakers.
Also attending Scribes Board Meeting this week are:
- Bryan A. Garner, editor of Black's Law Dictionary and more than a dozen groundbreaking books on legal writing, including Garner's Modern American Usage published by Oxford University Press, the Elements of Legal Style published by Oxford University Press, The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style published by West, and two books co-authored with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia;
- Judge Michael B. Hyman of the Cook County Circuit Court, Past President of the Chicago Bar Association, President-Elect of Scribes, and President-Elect of the Illinois Judges Association;
- John R. Wierzbicki of Thomson Reuters, Secretary of Scribes;
- Professor Mark Wojcik of the John Marshall Law School (who serves as Treasurer of Scribes), author of Illinois Legal Research (published by Carolina Academic Press) and Introduction to Legal English published by the Internaitonal Law Institute, the first coursebook on Legal English published in the United States;
- Professor Norman E. Plate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School (who serves as the Executive Director of Scribes);
- Professor Mark Cooney (who serves as Editor of the Scribes Journal of Legal Writing);
- Professor Steven R. Smith, former Dean of California Western School of Law (and past president of Scribes);
- Professor Beth D. Cohen of Western New England University School of Law;
- Judge Kevin G. Ross of the Minnesota Court of Appeals;
- Carles D. Cole, Jr. of the New York law firm Newman Myers, Kreines, Gross, Harris P.C.;
- Ann Taylor Schwing of Best, Best & Krieger LLP in Sacramento, California, whose publications include a treatise on Open Meeting Laws;
- Raymond P. Ward of Adams and Reese LLP in New Orleans, whose blog the (new) legal writer is one of our own favorites; and
- Assistant Attorney General Christopher G. Wren of the Wisconsin Department of Justice and author of several works including The Legal Research Manual.
The writing seminar is exceptional packed with attentive students and attorneys. Professor Kimble has just urged the students to "Go Forth and Simplify." Darby Dickerson, the Scribes President, is reminding the students that their school won the Scribes Best Brief Award last year. Her presentation is on to master unbiased language in legal writing. And by far the biggest laugh line so far is one from Judge Painter, who said that there could be some reader confusion when you use a sentence such as: "The enclosed document requires your execution."
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