Lawyers’ writing, which includes much more than briefs and court documents, requires an astonishing amount of precision. When ambiguity trumps precision, the door to expensive and embarrassing litigation may open. Saying “I’m sorry” will not insulate you:
- from the difference between $4,000 and $400,000,000 of Officers’ and Directors’ Liability Insurance in a signed contract;
- from your clients’ skepticism about your competence should your documents be littered with typos and grammatical errors (“I can spell. Why can’t my lawyer? What else is wrong with her advice? ”) [props to the excellent lawyer and writer Maura O'Connor]; or
- from the understandable rage of a prisoner whose statute of limitations for appeal tolled because you weren’t clear about the difference between working days and calendar days.