Judge Gives Verbose Lawyer a Lesson In Editing

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A US judge’s stinging criticism of a lawyer’s ability to write concisely has been doing the rounds on the internet over the last few days.

Having criticised the lawyer for exceeding a page-limit of 25 pages, Judge Steven Merryday states…

He then proceeds to heavily edit one of the paragraphs submitted by the lawyer:

Having done so, the judge re-writes the paragraph his own way, reducing it from 125 words to a mere 47.

By eliminating “redundancy, verbosity, and legalism” in the rest of the document, the judge orders the lawyer to trim its length to the original agreed 25 pages. The full order is here.

1 Comment

Pilar A

This approach is completely the opposite to the prevailing verbosity and legalism in written systems. Though I oppose the vices of verbosity, legalism is one of the cornerstones of my country’s system (even stated in the Constitution), where its lack may cause the dismissal of a claim.


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