Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Mark Herrmann: Why It’s Always Your Fault. Nice article. Excerpt:
"In a sense, whenever you write anything, you become responsible for the reader. If the reader doesn’t understand it, it’s your fault — because your task was to convey information to the reader. If the reader doesn’t understand, then you should try again."
Herrmann applies the same principle to other areas of law practice--speaking, client satisfaction, etc.
I chose the above paragraph because it is central to my approach to teaching writing. Communication is the writer's responsibility. If the reader doesn't understand what the writer is trying to communicate, it's the writer's fault. This is especially important in legal writing because an attorney's job is to convince the judge. If the lawyer fails to communicate to the judge, it's the lawyer's fault.