The University of Chicago Press, www.press.uchicago.edu
Exercises from LEGAL WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH, Bryan A. Garner

§ 20. Make everything you write speakable.

Exercises

Basic

Rewrite the following openers and closers from letters to make them speakable:

  • Enclosed please find the following documents:
  • Pursuant to your instructions, I met with Roger Smith today regarding the above-referenced cause.
  • Please be advised that the discovery cutoff in the above-referenced cause is Monday, March 20, 2000.
  • Pursuant to my conversation with Alex in your office on today's date, I contacted the trustee.
  • This letter is for the purpose of retaining your services as a consultant regarding the above-referenced matter.
  • Thank you in advance for your courtesy and cooperation in this regard. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions regarding this request.

Intermediate

In a law review, find a long sentence or a short to medium paragraph that strikes you as particularly unspeakable. Type it, provide a citation, and set out a bulleted list of reasons why you consider it difficult to read aloud. If you belong to a writing group or class, bring a copy for each colleague.

Advanced

In a judicial opinion, find a two- or three-paragraph passage that strikes you as being particularly unspeakable. Type it, provide a citation, and set out a bulleted list of reasons why you consider it difficult to read aloud. Rewrite the passage. If you belong to a writing group or class, bring a copy of your before-and-after versions for each colleague.


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© 2001, Bryan A. Garner

These exercises appear in Bryan A. Garner's Legal Writing in Plain English: A Text with Exercises, published by The University of Chicago Press and available at bookstores and on the Web at www.press.uchicago.edu.


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