What Transactional Drafters Should Know About Plain English

12 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2009

See all articles by Wayne Schiess

Wayne Schiess

University of Texas School of Law

Abstract

Many transactional lawyers react negatively when they hear the phrase "plain English." This piece addresses that reaction by presenting and discussing four important misconceptions that every transactional drafter ought to be aware of:

1. Some lawyers believe that the plain-English movement will not affect their practices.

2. Many lawyers assume that plain English means only brevity, and they assert that brevity alone is too simplistic an approach to legal drafting.

3. Many lawyers insist that traditional legal language is more precise than plain English and that traditional legal language is well defined by case law.

4. Many lawyers believe that clients expect and prefer traditional legal language and that legalese increases the demand for legal work.

Keywords: legal writing, legal drafting, transactional drafting, plain English, plain language, myths, misconceptions

Suggested Citation

Schiess, Wayne, What Transactional Drafters Should Know About Plain English. Texas Journal of Business Law, Vol. 39, No. 515, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1323451

Wayne Schiess (Contact Author)

University of Texas School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton St.
Austin, TX 78705
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.utexas.edu/law

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