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At Least Do The Easy Stuff


Spring 2021 | Volume 105 Number 1 | Download PDF Version of Article
Person marking paper with red pen

In these two examples, I have done very little rewriting. I simply used plain words and cut unnecessary words (including the egregiously unnecessary parentheticals). And in the second one, I replaced “petitioner” with the party’s business name. None of this will be news to readers of this column. And it all goes to show that bad habit accounts for much of what’s wrong with legal writing.

Click the image above to view redlines (PDF).


About Joseph Kimble

Joseph Kimble is an emeritus professor at WMU–Cooley Law School. He is senior editor of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, the editor of the Plain Language column in the Michigan Bar Journal, and the author of three books and many articles on legal writing (not to mention a children’s book). He served as drafting consultant on the projects to restyle the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Federal Rules of Evidence. Follow him on Twitter @ProfJoeKimble.