New York Personal Injury Law Blog » Odds and Ends


September 27th, 2007

The First Annual Golden Gobbledygook Awards

This deserves a bit more publicity: The First Annual Golden Gobbledygook Award, presented by The Party of the First Part.

Everything you hate about the way (some) lawyers write, and more.

Cryptic and pretentious legal writing, I think I can safely say, is devoid of plaintiff/defendant or conservative/liberal biases. It just sucks. Why anyone would want their reader to work hard to understand something is beyond me.

If I were to give one piece of advice to a legal writer it would be this: Assume the document will be read by someone sitting on a train, plane or perhaps a beach. Which Justice John Paul Stevens revealed he has done. Perhaps it will be read inside some ornate chamber by an individual with all the time in the world to parse the run-on sentences and ancient Latin phrases. But don’t count on it.

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