g) Avoid punctuations which cause ambiguity h) Apply the seven rules of clear writing
judges and other workers in the field of law to express legal rights obligations and opinions Types:
Rules in Clear Writing: A) Be clear on your point B) Make sure your point is communicated at
1. Informative writing 2. Persuasive writing
once C) Have a structure. This is where you put your
3. Functional writing
data, analysis and argument D) Observe grammatical rules
Motion – a written of oral application made to a court
E) Be precise
or judge to obtain a ruling or order directing that
F) Be consistent
some act be done in favor of the applicant. The
G) Be logical and clear in your argument
applicant is known as the moving party, or the movant.
Persuasiveness (Purpose) a) Rule-based reasoning
Elements of Legal Writing:
c) Policy-based reasoning
d) Narrative reasoning
Avoid tautology -
Fallacy - an error in reasoning.
This means doing away with unnecessary repetition of an idea in different words.
Fallacy of Ad Hominem -
from Latin “argument to the man”
an argument rejecting a person’s views by
a) Use concrete instead of abstract terms
b) When abstract terms could not be avoided,
character, motives, intentions, qualifications,
to back them up with illustrative examples
etc., as opposed to providing evidence why
c) Avoid wide gaps between subject verb and object d) Avoid nested modifiers e) Avoid dangling modifiers f)
Avoid ambiguous pronoun reference
the views are incorrect.
Legal Writing Midterm Reviewer Appeal to Pity
it does not follow that the mean is always the
also called argumentum ad misericordiam
argues that some persons conclude or make decisions solely on pity, and not on evidence. The argument is fallacious in that the basis
correct position. Slippery Slope -
argues that once a person allows an event to
of one’s decision is pity and not reason or
happen, another event will inevitably follow.
The argument is fallacious in that there is no objective evidence to suggest that the
Appeal to Popularity -
second evidence will necessarily follow.
argues that a claim or idea is true simply because more people are inclined to accept such claim or idea. fallacious
The argument is
Straw man -
presents an opponent’s position in a weak
the basis of one’s
and absurd way so that it can easily be
conclusion or decision is not evidence but an
refuted. The argument is fallacious in that
one deliberately misrepresents or does not
acceptance of a belief.
include the strong points in the other’s position thereby giving the impression that
Appeal to Tradition -
opposite of appeal to novelty
argues that the idea is necessarily better simply because it is older, more “tested” and “tried” because it had been used years over. It is fallacious because age per se does not necessarily qualify an idea to be better. Older is not necessarily better.
Middle Ground -
also called fallacy of moderation or the golden mean fallacy
it happens when the arguer assumes that the mean (or middle position) between two extreme positions must be the correct position. The argument is fallacious because