Legal writing pet peeves

July 15, 2011
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In the July 6 Indiana Lawyer, reporter Jenny Montgomery talks to several attorneys about issues they have with legal writing. One attorney is bothered by the phrase “Enclosed please find … .” Another is bothered when she reads “thirty (30) days” in litigation documents.

We want to know:  What are your pet peeves when it comes to legal writing?  
 

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  • Peeve
    My pet peeve is the overuse of the word "Pursant," especially in non-legal documents, letters, memos, and casual emails.
  • Legal writing pet peeves
    The following drives me up the wall:

    "attached hereto, and made a part hereof. . . "
  • Progress
    When I first started in the practice lawyers were using "Now comes the [plaintiff] or [defendant]" in each paper that was filed with the court. I had never heard that phrase in law school so I assumed it was a requirment of some obscure rule of our learned profession. I've not seen that phrase in several years so we have made some progress. "Clearly" ought to be banned from briefs. If anything was "clear" about a case there would be no sense in writing a brief about it. Isn't that clearly the case?

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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