Legal Writing and Legal Drafting

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Legal Writing

Legal Writing consists of writing information intended to defend or complain about a particular offense before the Court of Law. Written information guides other Lawyers in the courtroom and also provides the judge with essential information that is useful in decision making. However, people make a significant number of mistakes in Legal writing, which causes real problems.

Common Legal Writing Mistakes

Ambiguous Pronouns

One of the most common Legal writing mistakes is the use of ambiguous pronouns in the sentence when pleading. The pronoun used in a sentence can sometimes refer to more than one antecedent, leaving readers to think about the real meaning of the sentence. Many people may not understand which pronoun refers to which subject of the sentence, which leads to a situation in which one can be misinterpreted.

Unnecessary Wordiness

There is always confusion over the number of words an individual can use in legal matters. Many words are likely to go unreadable, while a few words can create the perception that one is arrogant and has a sense of entitlement. However, it is always important to be direct and present the argument in as few words as possible. It makes no difference to use twenty words where you could have used ten words to convey the same meaning.

Over using Legal Language

Mastering legal jargon is one way to demonstrate expertise and knowledge in legal matters, but it is something boring. Not all of the people in the courtroom are learned lawyers. Some learned lawyers and judges don’t like the Latin language that most lawyers prefer to use. It would be better if we could just use plain language with a bit of legal jargon. The message is seen and passes through every person in the courtroom.

Obvious Grammar Mistakes

Another common legal mistake found in legal writing includes apparent grammatical mistakes. Even a large number of native English speakers make grammar mistakes that you wouldn’t expect. Common mistakes such as tenses, spelling, nominalization, and misspellings can bring out a different meaning than the author intended.

Legal Drafting

Drafting word is used for the documents which are written with Legal prospective. It is actually the Legal relating document which includes the Legal statement or may be letter or a contract.

Drafting is an essential core skill that any Lawyer needs to master for their professional practice. The Lawyer should focus on the structure of their client’s factual world in order to make the law achieve their client’s goals in an ethically compliant manner which is the essence of the Legal profession.

Steps for Legal Drafting

Step 1: Arrange Client Notes

Step 2: Arrange all documents in chronological order

Step 3: Read the documents & take out information from the documents.

  • Read documents entirely
  • Mark & Note down important information
  • See what proposition you need to research for?
  • Around what proposition case laws are required
  • Note down the doubts or questions to be asked from client

Step 4: Detailed notes + Research Proposition

  • Read the Bare Acts: Note down the Relevant Sections
  • Research Case Laws/Judgments: Copy the relevant paragraphs
  • Check what arguments have been placed by advocates in Judgments

Step 5: Take a Performa & Draft!

Tips for Legal Drafting

  • Mark Annexures alongside drafting to avoid confusion
  • Shorter the better
  • Pleading the facts completely: Don’t hide anything
  • Mentioning Case Laws
  • Reproducing an important section
  • Connection between the paragraphs
  • Draft it today and leave it for next day to finalize.