The Law

Subject: The Law
From: Chuck Banks <chuck -at- ASL -dot- DL -dot- NEC -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 13 Aug 1993 09:28:06 CDT

For your enjoyment, an article from the August 16th edition of
US News & World Report:

quent instances today of the lawyers
and director bespeak brazenness? To-
ward clarification and exactitude, a
precise review is in order." So began
an article that snared a bad-writing
award. As a lawyer might write, here-
with is an article about an attack on
such ambiguity and verbosity being
mounted by critics who object to what
mystifies clients and attorneys alike.
Things are so bad that the Ameri-
can Bar Association, convened in
New York City, held a panel last week
to discuss a problem that experts sug-
gest plagues the entire legal system.
U.S. Appeals Court Judge Abner
Mikva of Washington, D.C., that rare
jurist who shuns footnotes, cited his
colleagues on the bench who once
took 100 pages to explain they would
not hear a case. Utah Attorney Gen-
eral Jan Graham complained about
an "incomprehensible" state law on
campaign contributions. New York
lawyer Rober Sack chided peers for
redundancies like "and/or" and "null
and void." Almost no one has ever
met a lawyer who used the word "be-
fore" where "prior to" was an option.
Ending a hoary tradition won't be
easy. Reformers want law schools to
bear down on student writing and law-
makers to write plain English. Attor-
ney General Janet Reno, a Harvard
Law graduate who admits being baf-
fled by Social Security forms, plans a
drive to simplify laws. She might con-
sider an idea sure to get the attention
of many offenders: that clients not pay
fees for hours spent editing briefs that
end up impenetrable anyway.
By Ted Gest

Chuck Banks
__ ________ ______
|\\ | || // Chuck Banks
| \\ | ||_______ || Senior Technical Writer
| \\ | || || NEC America, Inc.
| \\| \\______ \\______ E-Mail: chuck -at- asl -dot- dl -dot- nec -dot- com
America, Incorporated CompuServe: 72520,411

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