Judge Orders You to Stop Writing Stupidly
Minnesota bankrupcty court judge Robert Kressel just sent out guidelines for lawyers submitting proposed orders to him. It is a catalog of and prohibition against every bad legal writing practice. And it makes sense, since he eventually has to sign those badly-drafted orders.
Guideline No. 6 – Capitalization
Lawyers apparently love to capitalize words. Pleadings, including proposed orders, are commonly full of words that are capitalized, not quite randomly, but certainly with great abandon. Please limit the use of capitalization to proper names. For example, do not capitalize court, motion, movant, debtor, trustee, order, affidavit, stipulation, mortgage, lease or any of the other numerous words that are commonly capitalized.
Guideline No. 8 – And/Or
Never use “and/or.”
Okay, I admit it, I just want to quote the whole thing. Instead, here is the whole thing (PDF). Study it. Learn it. Even if you never practice in bankruptcy court in Minnesota.