LawProse Lesson 359: When you begin writing.

LawProse Lesson 359: When you begin writing.

When will clarity come? We hope it’s when you arrive on the scene—when you begin writing about whatever it is.

For many legal writers, that’s just not the case. They probably don’t understand the reader–writer relationship, in which the reader’s interests are paramount. They may lack the skill of empathy—or perhaps just the skill of clear exposition.

The question is how to start explaining a legal point to a busy reader. Two lawyers approach the task very differently:

Lawyer #1

This case, originally filed on August 22, 2020, as docket number 19-49782-73 but redocketed on August 31, 2020, as 19-49782-74 pursuant to Standing Order no. 9 of this Honorable Court, presents questions that will be further clarified below in this brief in support of the motion for preliminary injunction. The aforesaid motion should be decided on the papers, and the motion should be granted. At the same time, the Defendants’ motion for summary judgment should be denied for the reasons set forth hereinbelow. The Court should order that a bond be posted in an amount sufficient to protect the movant’s interest in the subject matter of the preliminary injunction matter.

Lawyer #2

Hilton Car Corporation and its advertising agency aired a commercial featuring a character reminiscent of James Bond. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Danjac Inc. (collectively “Metro-Goldwyn”), owners of copyrights in the James Bond films, seek a preliminary injunction to stop the commercials. Given the demonstrable similarities between the Hilton character and James Bond—as well as resemblances in theme music, death-defying actions, and the astonishing rescue of a female character—Metro-Goldwyn will demonstrate irreparable injury and its likelihood of success on the merits. The Court should issue the injunction and require a $3 million bond.

Which lawyer would you rather be? At LawProse, we’d like to see you achieve this: Whenever you arrive on the scene, clarity comes with you. Not death-defying clarity necessarily, but clarity nevertheless.

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