Why is Legal Writing So Complex?

“If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” In The Atlanticarticle “The Needless Complexity of Academic Writing“, the author Victoria Clayton critiques opaque writing that infects academic journals. She writes that the prose is “riddled with professional jargon and needlessly complex syntax… even someone with a Ph.D. can’t understand a fellow … Continue reading Why is Legal Writing So Complex?

Presence Becomes Precedence

Professor Elizabeth Judge writes that “presence is precedence”.[1] Judges decide present cases based on rulings from past cases (the rule of stare decisis). In deciding cases, judges look to the established legal canon their own personal canons (what they know). Cases are given visibility by being incorporated into other cases through quotation, summary, and citation. The act of quoting … Continue reading Presence Becomes Precedence