Category Archives: Editing

Who Is He, She, and It?

pronoun_1ab Pronouns are wonderful. No one wants to keep repeating someone’s name or a company’s title over and over if “she” or “it” will do the work. But problems come when the antecedent that the pronoun is replacing is missing, obscure, or ambiguous.

Ask yourself five questions to make sure your judges on appeal know who he, she, or it is. Continue reading

Don’t Create Zombie Nouns in an Appeal

zombieLawyers are bad about creating zombie nouns by burying verbs. In drafting a brief for an appeal, we never mediate or litigate; we always engage in mediation or litigation. We never examine a witness or object to her testimony; we conduct an examination and make an objection. And we don’t settle cases; we effectuate settlements.

We will throw a suffix on most anything, transforming a perfectly fine verb into a weak noun. Continue reading