A contract shouldn’t require a Latin-English dictionary to understand it! In fact, there’s generally no reason to use Latin terms or formal legal language (legalese) at all. Use plain English to be sure the contracts and other documents you’re writing are in a language that the parties can read and understand. Here’s a chart to keep handy next time you’re drafting a legal document (or to discreetly slip to a legalese-laden colleague). Continue reading
Do you want to know the secret to making any legal writing stronger? Check out this video with specific tips for improving your next legal brief.
CEB has great On Demand programs to help you improve your legal writing, including Smith on Legal Writing and Myron Moskovitz on Winning Appeals and Writs. Check out these and all other CEB programs at ceb.com.
Related CEB blog posts:
- 7 Ways to Get Sexism Out of Your Writing
- A Brief Browse on Briefs: Writing Tips from a Judge (part 1)
- Writing for the Online Reader
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Whether you are drafting a contract or a brief, be conscious of and avoid sexist language. Sexist language can be distracting and/or offending, and may even turn off your reader to your content altogether. Continue reading
Here are the remaining 5 tips from Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division 6. In A Brief Browse on Briefs: Writing Tips from a Judge (part 1) and part 2, we gave the first 10 of 15 writing tips from the judge . Continue reading
Last week, in A Brief Browse on Briefs: Writing Tips from a Judge (part 1), we gave the first of 5 of 15 writing tips from Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division 6. Here comes — you guessed it — 5 more writing tips gleaned from the judge’s years of experience and reading so many briefs. Continue reading
Writing briefs — indeed, writing generally — is an area in which most attorneys can use help or at least a refresher. In a recent case (.pdf), some attorneys learned this the hard way when the judge called their grammatical errors “so egregious and obvious that an average fourth grader would have avoided most of them.” Those attorneys could have used the following brief-writing principles excerpted from an article written for CEB by Presiding Justice Arthur Gilbert of the Second District Court of Appeal, Division 6. Continue reading
One of the essential qualities of all legal writing, clarity, is created by a clear train of thought. No matter how clear your sentences are, readers will not feel that they add up to a clear message unless they can see how the sentences hang together. It is your job as a writer to bring the reader along with you on your train of thought. Continue reading