Good writing is good writing. Or is it. Dan Hull had a terrific post on how we write for our clients. I posted a comment, suggesting good writing knew no venue, and it shouldn't matter whether the writing was a pleading or a letter. Or, as I just posted, an invoice. Communications are effective when they are clear, concise and direct.
Dan has just responded to my comment with another very thoughtful post. In this post, he notes that the norm in many courts is to use enough legalese to fill a truck. After considering the value of piecemeal change, he issues this challenge to himself and the rest of us:
"Doesn't changing legal writing to just clear and simple writing come down to to leadership? Maybe I should start setting a better example. Why not buck the traditions 100%--whether it's writing to courts, to clients or to other lawyers--and never use those expressions again? Ever."
That sound you hear coming from my office is loud clapping. A standing ovation for Dan. Hooray! I will be with you every step of the way.
Actually, a confession. I practice in a lot of different states. I can't remember all the terms some courts get their kicks from. I don't know what a demurrer is, but I do know what a motion to dismiss is. So I use words I know. A simple mind yields simple writing. I'm lucky in that respect.