Archive for September 6th, 2010

Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of the Jewish New Year, begins this Wednesday night.  And what could be a more appropriate occasion for Blawg Review—for us to pass judgment on a world of law blogging about law, justice and perhaps even mercy—than the Day of Judgment?  Lest anyone think that Rosh Hashanah is of mere sectarian interest, let such error cease.  For Rosh Hashanah is the Day of Judgment for all of humanity—even lawyers. Even judges.  Even blawgers!


Blawg Review #280

I read a lot of Blawg Reviews (well all of them for three years)  – this is a very good one.

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I had an amusing weekend – and on Sunday a very enjoyable long lunch with @BabyBarista and @Oedipus_lex (Twitter monikers)  – with an old friend, Johnny Biltong,  arriving later.  This made it impossible for me to do my usual weekend Postcard from The Staterooms. Be that as it may…  my attention a few moments ago was taken up with two pieces of  writing raising law issues.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: The stench from the blogosphere

Independent: Think of them as the worst end of the press, disreputable and increasingly intrusive, and all in the name of what, exactly

and then…this…..from US law website Law.com

Tips on becoming a More Effective legal Writer

Tips on Becoming a More Effective Legal Writer  ?

Lawyers are famous for redundant writing and using long words where shorter words would suffice. In today’s practice, the written word is a lawyer’s prime currency. For the firm, its written work is its face to the world, and its reputation could hang on a phrase in any brief, memo or even e-mail. Thus, there can only be one answer to the question, “does good lawyering require good writing?” — a definitive and emphatic, “yes!”

The problem with lawyers writing, in a professional context, in a clear and concise fashion is that it could give some people the idea that lawyering is fairly easy – and that would not be a good thing in these dark and difficult times.  Mystery is all… The Royal Family knew this – unfortunately several members of the Royal Family appear to have run amok over the last forty years and the rest is history.

I particularly enjoyed this…from the same article.  I’m just glad that I was told the meaning of ‘elucidate’ some years ago …and I did like ’emblematic of the legal profession’. I shall lose no time at all in shoehorning that phrase into a conversation in a bar near me, soon.


Good writing is a reflection of clear thinking, and it elucidates its conclusion with clear statements in logical progression. Good legal writing uses the simplest possible language and does not hide behind acronyms. That does not mean that all sentences have to be short, simple declaratory affairs — often, that is not possible. However, sharp, crisp writing can often convey complex ideas in an orderly and straightforward way, avoiding the rambling sentences that resemble paragraphs so emblematic of the legal profession.

Too many professionals use convoluted language to make their thoughts seem more impressive. As a result, lawyers believe they need unnecessary redundancies in order to make their writing “sound” legalistic. Don’t believe it. While flowery language might impress a client here and there, it will alienate, not impress, your most important and educated readers.

The first person to tell me in the comments section what *unnecessary redundancies* are… will get a round of applause from me!

While I admire *skeptics* I am NOT one…. I have found that *skepticism* can be a tool for kicking other people’s ideas without coming up with ideas… I would rather encourage debate… enjoy a wide range of perceptions and accept that some people are not persuaded by debate and discussion… and then go on twitter to see what the next bandwagon is 🙂

Hence my tweet earlier….

Nor…  @Humphreycushion….am I a *septic* – I accept that I can be *peptic*. 🙂

But the good news is that Liberals / Lib-Dems are measured… nice people and not buffoons… I never thought they were!

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