Look It Up! Or Not…

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I always encourage my students to look up any words that confuse them as they read opinions.  But this 2011 New York Times article  cites a few scholars who don’t think it’s the most judicious practice to undertake from the bench.  Check out this excerpt: More


New Rule #6: What NOT to Say


New Rule!!!  Legal writers, never use the word “witnesseth” again.  Ever.

Even though I differ a bit from Bryan Garner on the use of footnotes, I think he’s right on the money when it comes to overused, archaic legalese.  Here’s Garner’s latest article on the topic.  He explains why these words/phrases should be retired from the legal lexicon:

  • and/or
  • herein
  • deem
  • know all men by these presents
  • provided that
  • pursuant to (I must admit I’m guilty of using this one)
  • said
  • same
  • shall
  • whereas
  • witnesseth
  • such

The Power of Words!

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Just heard that a case I briefed on appeal in Tennessee has been reversed and remanded! It was an uphill battle, replete with municipal immunities and judicial fact-finding, but we won! I always love to hear when battles are won with the mighty pen. Here’s to the power of persuasive writing!