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Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 technology  research  practice

A Research Tip

  • Research & Writing

By this, I don’t mean where partners spend their week-ends. Instead, I have horrors like these in mind:

herein

therein

wherein

hereinafter

thereinafter

heretofore

herewith

therewith

aforementioned [or (shudder) its bastard progeny, ‘above-referenced’]

thereof

thereto

whereas

whereof

whereupon

hitherto

inasmuch as

notwithstanding

As Richard Wydick puts it, these words ‘give writing a legal smell, but they carry little or no legal substance. When they are used in writing addressed to non-lawyers, they baffle and annoy. When used in other legal writing, they give a false sense of precision and sometimes obscure a dangerous gap in analysis’ (Plain English for Lawyers, 5th ed (2005), 58).

Avoid that bad legal smell and don’t use words like these in your client piece – and think about ways to avoid them in legal drafting too.

Next time: your queries answered

Neil Guthrie (@guthrieneil)

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