legal drafting

the active voice eliminates confusion by forcing you to name the actor in a sentence. the passive voice makes sentences longer and roundabout. passive verbs have a form of the verb to be plus the past participle of a main verb. use the passive voice when the actor is unknown, unimportant, or obvious. they are hard to read and make sentences longer. use the imperative mood. a regulation of continuing effect speaks as of the time you apply it, not as of the time you draft it or when it becomes effective. by drafting in the present tense, you avoid complicated and awkward verb forms.

you will avoid the problem of whether the rule applies separately to each member of a class or jointly to the class as a whole. say: the guard will issue a security badge to each employee who works in building d and each employee who works in building e. the guard will issue a security badge to each employee who works in both building d and building e. (there are other possible meanings.) say: each automobile owner must register his or her automobile with the automobile division of the metropolitan police department. writing can be dignified when the language is simple, direct, and strong. but abstract words can be vague and open to different interpretations. it is possible to choose words in our writing that do not make the wrong impression or antagonize our readers. the more complex the sentence, the greater the possibility for difficulty in determining the intended meaning of the sentence. when you list, use the following rules: a writer may improve the clarity of a regulation by using short, compact paragraphs.

using an integrated drafting tool will help minimize the tedium of cutting and pasting from an existing document and checking and updating the status of your citations. it can drag on for hours, and even when you take every precaution to prevent errors – using spell-check, printing the document to review it by hand or having a colleague give it the once-over – there’s still no guarantee that something hasn’t slipped through the cracks. the less time a lawyer spends proofreading documents means more time that can be invested on more substantive, higher-value client work.

they’d rather you spend your time giving them valuable legal advice – not spell-checking – and arguably so would you. but writing off that time means less money in your pocket at the end of the day. thomson reuters conducted a nationwide study to determine whether legal drafting technology reduces the risk of errors and cuts down on review time, as compared to manual drafting. all study participants were active users of legal drafting software for at least two months.

legal drafting is a very structured method of writing that can prove intimidating to the uninitiated. in this beginner’s guide, the lawyer’s role in “drafting” a legal document is to ensure they identify all the relevant facts and law and then apply them to prepare a document that “legal drafting” can mean the preparation of any written legal document–a motion, a letter, a brief, a memo, or a contract., .

legal drafting is a structured method of writing legal documents, whether court pleadings or employment contracts, that abides by the law and includes legal language that’s appropriate for the document and the situation in which it will be used. active: the drafter [actor] wrote [verb] the regulation [receiver]. to impose a legal obligation, use “must.” to predict future action, read this in-depth discussion of the must-have features of a legal drafting solution, and how they benefit attorneys. the kimble center for legal drafting’s mission is to produce and make available—to attorneys and consumers—legal documents that are clear and easily, .

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