Legal Usage - A Modern Style Guide

Author(s): Peter Butt

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Style guides for legal writing are rare — especially for lawyers and law students in British, Australian and other Commonwealth jurisdictions. This book fills that gap. It explores all aspects of legal usage. The purpose is to encourage a modern legal style that is clear, concise, elegant, reader-friendly and legally effective.

The book is organised alphabetically by word, phrase and subject matter, with extensive cross-referencing to related topics. The author cites hundreds of usage examples from leading judges in common law jurisdictions. He offers simple plain-language alternatives for numerous technical terms and foreign-language phrases, with supporting examples from judgments and legal texts.

Publisher: LexisNexis
HK$ 700.00
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Published:
ISBN/ISSN: 9780409341461
Publisher: LexisNexis

Product description

Style guides for legal writing are rare — especially for lawyers and law students in British, Australian and other Commonwealth jurisdictions. This book fills that gap. It explores all aspects of legal usage. The purpose is to encourage a modern legal style that is clear, concise, elegant, reader-friendly and legally effective.

The book is organised alphabetically by word, phrase and subject matter, with extensive cross-referencing to related topics. The author cites hundreds of usage examples from leading judges in common law jurisdictions. He offers simple plain-language alternatives for numerous technical terms and foreign-language phrases, with supporting examples from judgments and legal texts.

Topics include:

  • organising material logically
  • adding impact to sentences
  • writing in ways that are gender-neutral and idiomatic
  • minimising ambiguity
  • using provisos and recitals
  • breaking complex material into digestible chunks
  • paragraphing effectively
  • punctuating properly
  • managing definitions
  • handling principles of interpretation
  • eliminating prolixity
  • creating effective headings
  • using (or avoiding) terms of art and Latin phrases
  • avoiding ‘fussy’ drafting
  • creating effective layout and design
  • using graphs, diagrams, notes and examples
  • avoiding noun-strings and passives
  • testing documents for readability
  • understanding readability formulas
  • using humour in legal writing.

This innovative and authoritative guide is an essential reference for lawyers, legislative drafters, decision-makers, students, in-house counsel, and anyone charged with preparing effective legal material.

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