You Think Anybody Likes Legalese? - Legal Writing Editor Legal terms combined in long-winded sentences, or varied or with permutations, with the initial desn of legal or drafting precision but which otherwise add unnecessary complexity or inadvertently resulting in confusion. I was an early convert to plain language — or plain English as it was. is the author of Lifting the Fog of Legalese Essays on Plain Language.
What Is Legalese? English words combined with others in long-winded sentences, or varied or with permutations, ancient words and with the initial desn of legal or drafting precision but which otherwise add unnecessary complexity and inadvertently resulting in confusion (which, in classic legalese, we'd "In resolving the question whether, and how, to count ballots not marked by voters in accordance with instructions, so that the intent of the voter is unclear, we have said that if the intent of the voter can be determined with reasonable certainty from an inspection of the ballot, in the lht of the generally known conditions attendant upon the election, effect must be given to that intent and the vote counted in accordance therewith." "If the wife had a life estate and a reversion in fee following a contingent remainder, there was an estate by the curtesy in the reversion if the remainder did not take effect, because the life estate and reversion were united in her, but there was no curtesy in the reversion if the remainder took effect.""Where an action is brought on a bond for payment of the money secured by a mortgage or performance of its covenants or where an action of ejectment is brought by a mortgagee or his or her heirs, personal representatives or assns for the recovery of the possession of mortgaged land, and no suit is pending concerning the foreclosing or redeeming of the mortgaged land, if the person who has the rht to redeem the mortgaged land appears and becomes a defendant in the action and at any time, pending the action, pays to the mortgagee or, in the case of the mortgagee's refusal, brings into court where the action is pending all the principal money and interest due on the mortgage, and all costs spent in any proceeding on the mortgage, the money for principal, interest and costs to be calculated by the court, the money so paid to the mortgagee or brought into court is in full satisfaction and discharge of the mortgage, and the court must and may discharge the mortgagor or defendant from the mortgage accordingly and must and may, by the rules of the court, compel the mortgagee, at the expense of the mortgagor, to assn, surrender or reconvey the mortgaged land and the estate and interest that the mortgagee has in it, and deliver up all deeds, evidences and writings in the mortgagee's custody relating to the title of the mortgaged land to the mortgagor who has paid or brought the money into the court, the mortgagor's heirs, personal representatives or to the person the mortgagor appoints for that purpose." Another venue for outstanding legalese is the English language version of Quebec's Civil Code, a must-read for all legalese fans. Legalese language. 2. Writers on Writing E. B. White. 3both the U. K. and the U. S. advocates of plain English have campaned to reform legalese so thatPress, 2008. Why Legalese Is "Doubly Demeaning" "Fog in the law and legal writing is often blamed on the complex topics being tackled.
Lifting the Fog of Legalese Generally used as a pejorative term for written forms of legal English, legalese is characterized by verbosity, Latin expressions, nominalizations, embedded clauses, passive verbs, and lengthy sentences. Lifting the fog of legalese essays on plain language / by Joseph Kimble. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-59460-212-3 alk. paper 1. Law—United States— Language.
Using Plain Language in the Legal Profession There’s a sn that, in some confuration, appears on every gas pump in Michan, although most drivers probably don’t even notice it anymore. Let’s put aside the all-capitals, which are notoriously hard to read. And for the b comedic finish, we’re seemingly told that the nozzle must be able to see the person. Warning sns shall be conspicuously posted in the dispensing area and shall incorporate the following or equivalent wording: “WARNING. No filling of portable containers in or on a motor vehicle. I hear about it regularly from colleagues involved in plain language, I read about it, I’ve experienced it myself, and I’ve written about one typical instance — a project “derailed” by the legal team of New York City’s Department of Transportation because “the revision did not use the same legal language as the orinal.” All too often, legal departments either mistake what the law requires or can’t be bothered with matters of “mere style.” And there’s a third impediment to clarity that falls somewhere in between: lawyers’ reluctance to depart from statutory or regulatory language even when they know they can. Lifting The Fog Of Legalese Essays On Plain Language, by Joseph Kimble, Carolina Academic Press. Plain Language for Lawyers, Michèle Asprey, Federation Press Australia, available on-line. Michan Bar Journal Plain English column.
Center For Plain Language Recommended reading And never mind that the first and second items aren’t exactly parallel. Don’t smoke.”) The trouble — linguistiy, stylistiy, semantiy — shows up in the third item. The fix isn’t hard: “You must stay outside your vehicle and be able to see the nozzle.” Or for parallelism with the first two items: “Stay outside your vehicle, and make sure you can see the nozzle.” Now, are people likely to misunderstand the pump version? It is unlawful and dangerous to dispense gasoline into unapproved containers. The person shall remain in attendance outside of the vehicle and in view of the nozzle.” The order of the items here is different from our sn, there’s an additional item about not filling portable containers, and a few words have changed — probably because the regulation has been amended over time. The point is that the sn essentially uses the regulatory language — even though it didn’t have to. Good thing the grammar police aren’t licensed to give tickets. That is, even those lawyers who are generally receptive to plain language may balk when they perceive that statutes or regulations are hovering around. § 2071 says ‘Acts of Congress,’ I will give you this one without protest.” What a concession. Books The Federal Plain Language Guidelines The Plain Language Action and Information Network, or Fed PLAIN Lifting the Fog of Legalese Essays on.
Joseph Kimble—No, the law does not normally require legalese. But by tracing this mundane example to its source, anyone who cares about clarity in legal and official documents can learn a set of critical lessons. Joe Kimble has been advocating for plain legal language for more than. the author of Lifting the Fog of Legalese Essays on Plain Language.
Lifting the Fog of Legalese Essays on Plain Language Kimble has heard many stories about plain language projects that died after they were “sent to legal.” In one of his own projects, he redrafted bicycle regulations for a city. Lifting the Fog of Legalese is a treasure for lawyers who want to write more clearly." - - Bar News Issue, New Hampshire Bar collection of his essays is a superb introduction to the art of plain language - legal or otherwise.
Plain Language Reading List “The redraft went to legal,” said Kimble, “and their indifference was palpable. Lifting the Fog of Legalese Essays on Plain Language Joseph Kimble, 2005. Oxford Guide to Plain English Martin Cutts, 3rd Edition, 2009. Plain Language in Government Writing A Step-by-Step Guide Judith Myers Gillespie, 2008.
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