This Eversheds guide to legal drafting in English is not a dictionary, grammar book or academic tome. Neither is it a comprehensive look at aspects of. English in. The charge that we lawyers cannot write plain English is often supported by the quality of our legal documents.' Legal drafting has aspects of complexity and. What is drafting? Drafting – or perhaps more accurately, legal drafting – divides into two main disciplines, namely, the drafting of legal documents such.
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The technical writing engaged in by members of the legal profession falls into two classes, referred to for convenience as legal writing and legal drafting. Legal. Introduction to Legal Drafting by. David E. Pierce. Director, Business and Transactional Law Center. Washburn University School of Law. I. THE GOAL OF . Using the present tense. Advice from experts. Legislative drafting practice. Other thoughts on stimulating ideas about writing legislation and legal documents.
The book provides both a large scale, macro overview of the drafting process as well as small scale, micro focused discussion of the mechanics of legal documents at the sentence, word, and punctuation level. The third edition has been extensively revised to include focused, concrete discussion of ambiguity, vagueness, definitions, representations, warranties, covenants, conditions, document formatting, and drafting ethics. Legal drafting is as much a thought process as a writing process; clear thinking leads to clear drafting. This book is a guide for clear, structured thinking about drafting in order to provide readers with a structured process to follow when assembling useful legal documents. Its authors bring a unique combination of theory and practice experience to the subject: Professor Haggard has taught, among other things, contracts, employment law, and legal drafting since the mids at The University of South Carolina, Professor Kuney practiced full time in California for over ten years before joining The University of Tennessee College of Law to head a program that is designed to integrate substantive business law courses with skills training for the budding transactional lawyer or commercial litigator. Together they provide a well rounded, multi-perspective, complete guide to the preparation of working legal documents that is useful to the student or practitioner as a primer, a text, or a reference.
Avoid split infinitives. The split infinitive offends many readers, so avoid it if you can.
SAY: Be sure to reply promptly to the invitation. Use the singular noun rather than the plural noun.
To the extent your meaning allows, use a singular noun instead of a plural noun. You will avoid the problem of whether the rule applies separately to each member of a class or jointly to the class as a whole. There are other possible meanings.
Be consistent. Don't use different words to denote the same things. Variation for the sake of variation has no place in regulation writing.
Using a synonym rather than repeating the precise term you intend just confuses the reader. Don't use the same word to denote different things.
SAY: The tank had a gallon fuel container. They are literally fixed to the page. When the markings are made with ink which they generally are , they are hard to fully erase without notice. It is hard to make a change to a page of printed text without leaving evidence of the change.
Namely, amendments can be hard to express on top of paper copies of bills. However, large inserts are problematic.
Deletes are easily expressed with strike-through — often with a colored pen — but become unwieldy when large amounts of text are being marked for deletion.
In the early days of PDF, it was hard to edit the files because of the complexity of the underlying codes used to describe the page layout.
However, technology has moved on and, today, making modifications to PDF documents is within the capabilities of many applications — desktop and online — and this is a cause of concern for legislatures.
Another cause for concern is that the state-of-the-art in tools for annotating — as opposed to amending — PDFs has not kept up with the needs of legislatures.
There are two parts to this. Firstly, a method is required for drafting legislative amendments to PDFs that allows for lengthy inserts as well as quick strike-through of bill language.