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Exercises from LEGAL WRITING IN PLAIN ENGLISH, Bryan A. Garner

§ 27. Provide signposts along the way.

Exercises

Basic

Find a piece of published legal writing--such as a book chapter, a judicial opinion, or a law-review article--in which the writer uses signposts effectively. Photocopy a section that illustrates the signposts and highlight them. If you're part of a writing group or class, bring a highlighted copy for each colleague.

Intermediate

Find a piece of published legal writing--such as a book chapter, a judicial opinion, or a law-review article--in which the writer omits signposts where they're needed. Photocopy a section that illustrates the lack of signposts, and then edit the page by hand to supply them. If you're part of a writing group or class, bring a copy for each colleague.

Advanced

One of your coworkers, in a hurry to leave for a two-week vacation, has come to you for help with a memo that needs to go out immediately. She leaves it with you. Although you don't know much about the subject--and don't know Ezra Bander, the recipient--do your best to rewrite the memo to clarify how many items your colleague is attaching.

To: Ezra Bander
From: [Your colleague's name]
Subject: Group Annuity Policies
Date: March 15, 2000
 
Attached are two photocopies of the policy files for five of the six group annuity contracts the N.Y. examiners selected for further review. To be as responsive as possible to the examiners' request, we have attached the applicable Administration section's complete file for each client relating to the contracts in question (other than PSR (GA-8192)). For PSR we have attached the Contract section's correspondence file since it is the most complete source of client information. Please note that for the GIC files (on page 1 of the list attached to your request), we consider certain pricing information to be proprietary and confidential. Therefore, we have added a Request for Confidential Treatment to the applicable portions of these files. We discovered that the jurisdiction for one of the contracts the examiners selected (GA-8180 Lucent) is actually Massachusetts. Please let us know if there is another contract you want to review. Due to the complexity of the SBCD Communications file, we created a timeline to facilitate the examiners' review (which was created solely to help the examiners follow the file). We are unable to send the original policy files since we have ongoing relationships with these clients. However, we have certified to N.Y. (see attachment) that we have copied the files they requested. Also, attached to each of the five files are all related state filing materials, including any prefilings under Circular Letter 64-1, the submission packages to the Dept. of forms, any correspondence with the Dept., and approvals from the Dept. if received. The files have been reviewed by the business area and appropriate legal counsel.
If you have any questions, please call me.

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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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