Whether you are writing a brief, a research memorandum or a client report, what you write, and how you write it, communicates your ideas to your audience. Are your sentences wordy and rambling, or crisp and to the point? Judges have full dockets to manage and countless briefs to read. Your clients and your colleagues are managing a multitude of cases. Why make them read more than they must? This article offers a few quick tips to identify, and then correct, verbosity in legal writing: (1) avoid using phrases when you can write effectively with a single word; (2) use the active voice; (3) tell your reader the most important point at the beginning; (4) use clear and simple sentence structure to convey even complex ideas; and (5) leave time for editing.
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