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Plain English for Lawyers, 5/E

by
Edition:
5th
ISBN13:

9781594601514

ISBN10:
1594601518
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
7/30/2005
Publisher(s):
Carolina Academic Pr
List Price: $21.33

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Summary

Carolina Academic Press will publish the fifth edition of Richard Wydick's Plain English for Lawyers in time for use in the fall of 2005. Wydick's little book has been a favorite of law students, legal writing teachers, lawyers, and judges for over 25 years.Last January, the Legal Writing Institute gave Wydick its Golden Pen Award for having written Plain English for Lawyers. The Legal Writing Institute is a non-profit organization that provides a forum for discussion and scholarship about legal writing, analysis, and research. The Institute has over 1,300 members representing all of the ABA-accredited law schools in the United States. Its membership also includes law teachers from other nations, English teachers, and practicing lawyers.The LWI award states: "Plain English for Lawyers . . . has become a classic. Perhaps no single work has done more to improve the writing of lawyers and law students and to promote the modern trend toward a clear, plain style of legal writing." In 2003 Wydick retired after 32 years on the law faculty of the University of California, Davis. But he still teaches his favorite course - a seminar in advanced legal writing for third-year law students. For the past eight summers he has also lectured at the International Legislative Drafting Institute presented in New Orleans by the Public Law Center, a joint venture of Tulane and Loyola law schools. There the audience consists of lawyers and non-lawyers from abroad who earn their living drafting legislation in many different languages. "Teaching at the Institute," Wydick says, "is a precious opportunity to learn how much we English-users have in common with people who write laws in other languages." How will the fifth edition of Plain English for Lawyers differ from its predecessors? Wydick promises that it will remain a little book, small enough and palatable enough not to intimidate over-loaded law students. "Most of the text will remain the same," Wydick says, "but in the past seven years I've learned some new things about writing in English, and I want to share that with the readers." In addition, the exercises at the end of the chapters will be different (a welcome change for long-time teachers who are tired of the old ones). Finally, the teacher's manual will include additional exercises that teachers can give to students who want or need extra practice.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments xi
Why Plain English?
3(4)
Omit Surplus Words
7(16)
How to Spot Bad Construction
7(4)
Avoid Compound Constructions
11(2)
Avoid Word-Wasting Idioms
13(2)
Focus on the Actor, the Action, and the Object
15(2)
Do Not Use Redundant Legal Phrases
17(6)
Use Base Verbs, Not Nominalizations
23(4)
Prefer the Active Voice
27(6)
The Difference Between Active and Passive Voice
27(3)
The Passive Can Create Ambiguity
30(3)
Use Short Sentences
33(8)
Arrange Your Words with Care
41(14)
Avoid Wide Gaps Between the Subject, the Verb, and the Object
41(3)
Put Conditions and Exceptions Where They Are Clear and Easy to Read
44(1)
When Necessary, Make a List
45(2)
Put Modifying Words Close to What They Modify
47(3)
Avoid Nested Modifiers
50(1)
Clarify the Reach of Modifiers
51(4)
Choose Your Words with Care
55(14)
Use Concrete Words
56(1)
Use Familiar Words
57(1)
Do Not Use Lawyerisms
58(3)
Avoid Shotgunning
61(1)
In Rule Drafting, Prefer the Singular Number and the Present Tense
62(1)
Use Words of Authority with Care
63(6)
Avoid Language Quirks
69(12)
Avoid Elegant Variation
69(2)
Avoid Noun Chains
71(1)
Avoid Multiple Negatives
71(1)
Avoid Cosmic Detachment
72(1)
Use Strong Nouns and Verbs
73(1)
Avoid Sexist Language
74(7)
Punctuate Carefully
81(28)
How Punctuation Developed
81(1)
Lawyers' Distrust of Punctuation
82(1)
Punctuate Carefully
83(1)
Definition of Terms
84(1)
Commas
85(5)
Semicolons
90(2)
Colons
92(1)
Dashes
93(1)
Parentheses
94(1)
Apostrophes
95(2)
Hyphens
97(2)
Periods, Question Marks, and Exclamation Points
99(2)
Quotations
101(8)
Appendix: Reader's Exercise Key 109(12)
Index and Lawyer's Word Guide 121


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