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February 18, 2008

Just Say It: The War Against Legal-Speak.

Lawyer-Speak and Legalese. Of all lawyer-centric institutions, only "Professionalism" and "Work-Life Balance" are more embarrassing or more likely to undermine clients--and at least those two originally had a point. Catching up on Sunday morning, I noticed a clause from the unused draft of a 3-page IP agreement used during talks for an acquisition a few years ago and forwarded by one party's lawyer: "Effective on even date herewith, the parties hereto hereby agree to...". Whoa. How about just one date at the top or bottom of the Agreement and then say "The parties agree..."? And if the whole thing is an Agreement, hey, maybe you don't even need that? Either would save trees, ink and space, be more to the point--and would help diminish the image of the self-important "I'm-special" lawyer rocking back and forth in his chair and talking to himself like a mental patient.

Update: Thanks, as always, to our good twin and ally Ray Ward at his the (new) legal writer. WAC? feels less alone.

Posted by JD Hull at February 18, 2008 11:45 AM


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