Deborah Letz / February 21, 2013

Legal research is only half the battle

So you’ve completed your legal research on Fastcase. Now it’s time to start drafting that letter, motion or brief. If you’re like me, sometimes you find yourself going on and on and trying to anticipate every argument opposing counsel or the court might dream up. As you can imagine, this usually leads to long, overly complicated briefs and memos.

Today’s Lawyerist.com Lawyering Skills post addresses the problem of overwriting.

Language is not mathematics. It isn’t programming code. It’s imperfect, and kind of messy. All human communication is. So don’t create extra work (and extra, unnecessary, distracting words and phrases) by writing with the additional goal of forestalling some crazy argument someone might make in the future.

The post is a good reminder that “less is more” not only for the sake of clarity but also for the sake of your (and your reader’s) sanity. Rather than tearing your hair out trying to refute every possible but unlikely argument, aim for readability and substance.

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