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Plain Language Legal Writing-Cheryl-Stephens

Plain Language Legal Writing-Cheryl-Stephens

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Published by Mitchell Davis
Legal Language
Legal Language

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Published by: Mitchell Davis on Jul 14, 2008
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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05/09/2014

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Plain Language Wizardry:Plain Language Legal Writing
by
Cheryl StephensPlain Language Wizard Vancouver, Canada
 
This is a preview of Plain LangugageLegal Writing, by Cheryl Stephens.Order the book, or learn more atPlainLanguageLegalWriting.com
 
 
Introduction: What is plain language?.........................................5The Benefits of Plain Language....................................................5What to Expect Here.....................................................................7Part 1 Writing as a Communication Process...............................8Legalese and Gobbledygook..........................................................8The Writing Process....................................................................10Revision and Reorganization.......................................................10Chapter One Plan, Research, and Prepare................................12Ponder and Research...................................................................12Prepare and Plan.........................................................................13 A Writing Strategy for Tight Deadlines.....................................18Chapter Two Tailor the Writing to the Reader.........................20Identify the Audiences.................................................................20Legal Writing and Client Literacy..............................................23Chapter Three Organize Both Content and Structure..............25Document Logic...........................................................................25Perspective...................................................................................26Outlining as an Organizer...........................................................27Logical Sequence..........................................................................28Conscious Structure.....................................................................29Chapter Four Edit, Peer-edit, and Test.....................................32Editing Other Writers.................................................................32The Last Check............................................................................34 A Caution on Precedents.............................................................35
 
Test a Document on Your Client.................................................35Part 2 Writing to Be Understood...............................................37Chapter Five Choose Your Words Wisely..................................38Which Words Speak Directly to Your Readers?.........................38Don't Use Problematic Vocabulary.............................................41Legal terms of art........................................................................43 Visual Aids...................................................................................44Chapter Six Features of Poor Legal Style..................................47Lack of Clarity.............................................................................47Negativism...................................................................................52Nominalization and Loss of Agency............................................56Chapter Seven Write Effective Sentences..................................63Make the Sentences Easy............................................................63Use Personal Perspectives...........................................................70Use Tabulation and Lists............................................................71Maintain Parallel Structures......................................................73Chapter Eight Design Paragraphs That Work...........................76Paragraphs Have Logic...............................................................76Cover One Topic...........................................................................76Keep Paragraphs Short...............................................................77Link the Sentences......................................................................77Part 3 Practical applications.......................................................80Legal Writing Formats................................................................80Guidelines and Resources...........................................................80

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