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. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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