I was involved in an interesting Twitter discussion recently about legal writing pet peeves. Both law professors and practitioners alike chimed in to create the list. So what are some common pet peeves among those who judge the writing of students and young associates?
--Starting sentences with: “It is important to note that” (@ksilverkelly), “Due to the fact that” (@daniel_l_real), and “There is/are” (@ladylegalwriter)
--Using double negatives (@katrinajunelee)
--Failing to use affect and effect properly (katrinajunelee)
--Employing rhetorical questions (Who likes those?) (@djsziff)
--Using “however” in multiple consecutive sentences (@aerwrites) and failing to properly punctuate when using “however” mid-sentence (@ladylegalwriter)
-- Employing unnecessary parentheticals to define terms (@5thcircappeals)
Other pet peeves of mine include:
--using too many nominalizations (which leads to wordiness)
--failing to spell-check and proofread (They are not the same thing!)
--failing to follow local rules
--employing over-the-top language
What do you think of the list? What would you add?