Reprinted with permission from WordRake Writing Tips, October 17, 2018. ©2018 by WordRake Holdings, LLC.
Many of you are lawyers; many of you hire lawyers. Lawyers are nice people—stay with me. One thing I love most about lawyers is that they work hard to be good at what they do (it’s not an easy way to make a living). But put them in a suit, hand them a briefcase, and say, “Go represent this guy,” and they change personalities. It’s like somebody performed a lobotomy and out with the frontal lobe went common sense. They start writing stuff like, “The Appellee brazenly claims. . . .” “Incredibly, the Appellee contends. . . .” “It is lame, circular reasoning for the Appellee to argue. . . .” “With amazing chutzpah and inexcusable gall, the Appellee suggests. . . .” Ironically, the lawyer who wrote those sentences was “the nicest litigator I’ve ever had a case against,” according to opposing counsel. “Only when we got in front of the judge or wrote something for the judge to read, did he act like this.” Put them in a suit, hand them a briefcase, and say, “Go represent this guy,” and lawyers. . . .