Judge Orders Lawyers to Write Well

Judge Robert Kressel of the Minnesota Bankruptcy Court recently published guidelines for lawyers submitting proposed orders to his court. Here are a few of his rules:

Guideline No. 6 - Capitalization

Lawyers apparently love to capitalize words. Pleadings, including proposed orders, are commonly full of words that are capitalized, not quite randomly, but certainly with great abandon. Please limit the use of capitalization to proper names. For example, do no capitalize court, motion, movant, debtor, trustee, order, affidavit, stipulation, mortgage, lease or any other of the numerous words that are commonly capitalized.

Guideline No. 12 - Undersigned.

Never use the word "undersigned."

Guideline No. 17 - Its and It's

Please use the possessive noun "its" and the contraction "it's" correctly.

Since lawyers are supposed to be professional writers, Judge Kressel's guidelines shouldn't be necessary. But so they are.

Here is the entire order - Judge-Kressel-Order-Preparation-Guidelines.

Hat tip to Lawyerist.