Authority[ edit ] Legal writing places heavy reliance on authority. In most legal writing, the writer must back up assertions and statements with citations to authority.
Why is it that lawyers, who may excel in communicating with a jury, seem incapable of writing an ordinary, comprehensible English sentence in a contract, deed, or will?
And what can we do about it? Consider, first, the eloquence of the legal profession.
Daniel Webster was famed for his oratory skills. Called upon to assist the prosecution in a murder case, Webster addressed any hesitations the jurors might have harbored about their power to punish the guilty.
In doing so, he provided a memorable defense of the theory of deterrence: The criminal law is not founded in a principle of vengeance. It does not punish that it may inflict suffering. The humanity of the law feels and regrets every pain that it causes, every hour of restraint it imposes, and more deeply still, every life it forfeits.
But it uses evil, as the means of preventing greater evil. It seeks to deter from crime, by the example of punishment. This is its true, and only true main object. It restrains the liberty of the few offenders, that the many who do not offend, may enjoy their own liberty. It forfeits the life of the murderer, that other murders may not be committed.
A very different picture of the deterrent effect of punishment was painted by Clarence Darrow, another great legal orator.
Darrow sought to persuade a judge to spare the lives of his two young clients, who had pled guilty to a sensational murder: What about this matter of crime and punishment, anyhow? Savage tells this court that if these boys are hanged, there will be no more murder.
Savage is an optimist. He says that if the defendants are hanged there will be no more boys like these. I could give him a sketch of punishment, punishment beginning with the brute which killed something because something hurt it; the punishment of the savage; if a person is injured in the tribe, they must injure someone in the other tribe; it makes no difference who it is, but somebody.
If one is killed his friends or family must kill in return.Language Toolbox. Look up words to find out what they mean, how to spell or pronounce them.
Translate words, phrases and whole texts into other languages. March/April - By Christy Hall Benson, CLA. Avoiding reprimands, case dismissals and more.
Courts throughout the country are losing patience with attorneys and their poor writing skills. As a result, judges are issuing public reprimands, requiring attorneys to take legal writing courses and dismissing complaints for committing crimes against the English language such as excessive spelling.
One of the great paradoxes about the legal profession is that lawyers are, on the one hand, among the most eloquent users of the English language while, on the other, they are perhaps its .
legal writing: an overviewIn many legal settings specialized forms of written communication are required.
In many others, writing is the medium in which a lawyer must express their analysis of an issue and seek to persuade others on their clients' behalf. Any legal document must be concise, clear, and conform to the objective standards that .
Plain Language Legal Dictionary Rocket Lawyer is committed to making the law simpler, more affordable, and available to everyone.
Plain Language Legal Dictionary Rocket Lawyer is committed to making the law simpler, more affordable, and available to everyone. In the spirit of this goal, we've created the Plain Language Legal Dictionary. Related WordsSynonymsLegend: Switch to new thesaurus Noun 1. legal document - (law) a document that states some contractual relationship or grants some right legal instrument, official document, instrument document, papers, written document - writing that provides information (especially information of an official nature) articles of incorporation - a legal document that creates a corporation. noun. the faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action; the power of control the mind has over its own actions: the freedom of the will. power of choosing one's own actions: to have a strong or a weak will. the act or process of using or asserting one's choice; volition: My hands are obedient to my will. wish or desire: to submit against one's will.
In the spirit of this goal, we've created the Plain Language Legal Dictionary. “The importance of improving writing skills is also the central theme of one of my favourite books of the year: Garner’s Legal Writing in Plain urbanagricultureinitiative.com more exciting than the title suggests, it leads the reader through a series of observations and exercises to develop a simple, clear and elegant writing .