What is POFP?

Why do lawyers refer to long documents as briefs and
18-year olds as infants? Why do they use so much Latin when so few of their
clients are Ancient Romans? Is it a conspiracy?

Party of the First Part has the answers! Check out the Website for the
Legalese Hall of Shame; a glossary of legal words linked to Adam Freedman's
columns; tips on writing legal documents in plain English; and more!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

That's Dactylic Hexameter, Partner

Who knew that along the shores of the Brazos, the murmur of the Muse is sweet? At least for lawyers, that is. Texas Lawyer reports that a reading by lawyer-poets gathered a crowd of 30 or so listeners at a Houston Borders. One of the poets, former litigator Ken Jones, read an Elizabethan sonnet about lawyer/yuppie ennui inspired by a Brooks Brothers "Half-Off" sale. "Ultimately as attorneys we are writers," said Jones. "It's also a love of words, of language."

Another participant at the reading was University of Houston law professor David Crump, who I take to task in my book for opposing some "plain English" reforms. Turns out that Crump is himself a master of the sonnet; having published a book of 52 (one per week). Hats off to Professor Crump.

Watch this space -- POFP will be publishing an article about the use of poetry in judicial opinions soon!