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Episode Info: Episode 08: Is it time lawyers lose the legalese? MINDSET: LESS LEGALESE, MORE TRUST On this episode of the Checklist Legal Podcast: • Scientific proof clients hate legalese • Why lawyers should hate legalese too • Why (as Prof Joe Kimble says) the law is no serious obstacle to writing clearly and plainly • How you can sound smarter (hint: use plain language) • 3 legalese words to banish from your contracts. Key Takeaways Steer clear of legalese. Do the work to understand your reader and write for readability to gain trust. Complex texts are difficult to read. Write clearly and simply if you can, and you’ll be more likely to be thought of as intelligent. Ask for feedback… identify complicated wordy words in your contracts and other writing and look them up on word swap lists to find Actionable Challenge Do a “find replace” on your contracts for the following words… Utilise (or utilize)… swap for… Use Subsequent… swap for…Later, next Pursuant to…swap for… By, following, under LINKS Caitlin Whiteman, ‘Why easy-to-read is easy to like – what science tells us about the remarkable benefits of simplicity’, (21 March 2016) Chistopher R Trudeau, ‘The Public Speaks: An Empirical Study of Legal Communication’ (May 20, 2012). 14 Scribes J. Leg. Writing 121 (2011-2012). Available at SSRN: Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage (Hardcover), Bryan Garner. See also a fun article on these ‘here-and-there’ words based on Garner’s work by Andy Mergendahl (Lawyerist, 24 May 2012), accessed 10 June 2017. Joseph Kimble, ‘You Think the Law Requires Legalese? (21 October 2013) retrieved via legalese/#.WS1J1Gh97b0, accessed 30 May 2017. Centre for Plain Language, ‘Law Words: 30 essays on legal words & phrases’ (1995) Retrieved via accessed 10 June 2017. Law Reform Commission of Victoria, ‘Plain English and the Law Report’ (1987) No 9, Appendix I Drafting manual: Guidelines for drafting in plain English Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd Pocket Edition), definition via, accessed 10 June 2017. Joseph Kimble, ‘What is plain language?’ (2002) Retrieved via, accessed 10 June 2017. BA Garner, ‘Learning to Loathe Legalese’ (November 2006) Retrieved via, accessed 10 June 2017. DM Oppenheimer, ‘Consequences of Erudite Vernacular Utilized Irrespective of Necessity: Problems with Using Long Words Needlessly’ Applied Cognitive Psychology, (31 October 2005) Retrieved via, accessed on 10 J...
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