8. Law enforcement agencies were prevented ___ from illegally obtaining evidence ___ prevented from presenting evidence obtained ILLEGALLY at trial 19. Write short sentences. Readable sentences are simple, active, affirmative and declarative. The more a sentence deviates from this structure, the more difficult it is to understand. Long sentences are a fundamental weakness of legal documents. Legal documents often contain conditions that result in complex sentences with many clauses. The more complex the sentence, the more likely it will be to determine the intended meaning of the sentence. Below is a list of action verbs to help you describe your experience and accomplishments: One of the “problems” with bilingual legal dictionaries is that most contain mostly nominal entries of a word.
But my students and lawyers need many verbs to explain Spanish law to their English-speaking clients. This week we wrap up an 18-hour session on criminal proceedings, and below I share a list of the “40 best crimpro verbs (and their prepositions!)” that we used in class. Focusing on verbs will require you to consider the purpose of your sentence and place key information in the place of the verb where your reader will notice it. To get the same work from the noun “assumption” that you made from the verb “assume,” you need two additional words, a supportive verb (to do) and an article (the). If the word “agree” is changed to “agree,” you will need three additional words, a support verb (to come), a preposition (to), and an article (to). This allows you to use your words more effectively and comply with court-imposed page limits by simply using the basic verbs. Also look for vague verbs like “have,” “worried,” “involved,” or “deals with” that don`t convey an actual action. These words can often be replaced by an action verb.
For example, the verb “to have” should only be used to communicate possession.6 If the sentence communicates an action, replace the verb “to have” with the verb that conveys the true action of the sentence. They are called “nominal” – nouns with verbs inside. They are difficult to read and make longer sentences. Action verbs are shorter and more direct. 3. Use “shall” instead of “should”. Often we lawyers hurt our potential ally the verb. We tend to weaken the power of our verbs by turning them into long nouns with verbal roots called nominalizations. Basic verbs are underlined in the following examples of nominalizations: 1. Write in the active voice. The active voice eliminates confusion by forcing you to name the actor in one sentence. This construction clearly indicates to the reader who must fulfill the duty.
The passive makes sentences longer and heavier. Who is responsible for this is much less obvious. Passive verbs have a form of the verb to be more the past participle of a main verb. To impose a legal obligation, use “must”. To predict future actions, use “will.” DO NOT SAY: Let the governor approve it. SAY: The governor must approve it. [Commitment] OR: The governor will approve it. [Future actions] 4. Be direct. Speak directly to your readers. Enjoy the imperative mood.
Regulations are suitable for this style, especially procedures, instructions, and to-do lists. The franchise avoids the liability:SAY: Sign all copies. SAY: Attach a copy of your W-2 to your return. This style results in shorter, sharper and easier to understand procedures. 5. Use the present tense. A regulation with continuing effect refers to when you apply it, not when you write it or when it comes into force. For this reason, you should write regulations in the present tense. By drawing in the present tense, you avoid complicated and cumbersome verbal forms. DON`T: The fine for driving without a licence is $10.00. SAY: The fine for driving without a licence is $10.00. 6.
Write positively. If you can express an idea positively or negatively, express it positively. DO NOT SAY: The governor cannot appoint persons other than those qualified by the Human Resources Agency. SAY: The governor must appoint a qualified person by the Human Resources Agency. A negative statement can be clear. Use it when you warn the reader. DON`T WALKDON`T SMOKE But avoid multiple negatives in a sentence. DON`T SAY: A demonstration project will not be approved until all the requirements of the application are met.
SAY: A demonstration project will only be approved if the applicant meets all requirements. It is better to express even a negative in a positive form. To make your writing more lively and effective, focus on your verbs. For those who did not learn the parts of the language in school, the “subject is the part of a sentence about which something is said” and the verb “says something about what the subject is [a state of being] or [an action] does”. 1 The passive voice reverses the natural and active order of English sentences. In the following passive example, the receiver of the action comes before the actor. 12. Prefer simple words. The government`s letter should be worthy, but it does not need to be pompous. Writing can be dignified if the language is simple, direct and strong. To make your writing clearer and easier to read, and therefore more effective, prefer the word simple. 5.
At the time of the ______ arrest, Mr. X ___ did not confess to the crime, but pleaded not guilty ___ to charge ____ 15. Use specific words. Government writings often deal with abstract subjects. But abstract words can be vague and open to different interpretations. Put the instructions in simple, concrete words. 16. Don`t use words that are disturbing. Words can attract or repel readers. It is possible to choose words in our writing that do not give a bad impression or annoy our readers. Use words that people respond positively to, not words they don`t like.
3. He was subsequently arrested __ burglary and ____ was taken into custody. Putting the actor before the verb forces you to become aware of responsibility. The word “verb” comes from the Latin verbum, which means “word”. 2 The basic word in each sentence is the verb. Each sentence must have at least one verb, and some sentences consist of a single word, the verb.3 To orient themselves in determining the message of the sentence, your readers will search for the verb.4 Acknowledgement/finding not guilty of (someone) (here specific offence) 12. After serving four years of his ten-year prison sentence, Mr. X became ____. 4. He was arrested __ a charge ___ burglary and brought ___ to the judge. In the first paragraph of this article, we found that a verb can either express actions or describe a state of existence. The forms of the verb “to be” (am, are, is, was, were) describe a state of existence and are only appropriate if the purpose of the sentence is to focus on the fact that something exists.5 When we use the verb “to be” as the main verb of a sentence that concerns the plot, the reader`s attention is diverted from the key information in the sentence.
By burying the actual action in a noun or adjective, we weaken the sentence. 2. After investigation, the prosecutor charged __ M. X, who ___ was to be charged with two counts of burglary. Avoid the gendered pronoun if the previous one can be male or female. DON`T SAY: The director or his/her representative must complete the evaluation form. SAY: The director or his/her representative must complete the evaluation form.