Years in Legal Writing

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Legal drafting standards: dates, figures, quotations and headings Rule 8 bis. If you write a number of three or more digits, the word and is not necessary. However, use the word and to express any decimals that may accompany these numbers. ANSWER: It`s better without the th. An ordinal number indicates the position in a series (for example, first, second, fifteenth) and should not be used when writing a date. Each of these forms is correct: May 29, 2013 (the American method); 29 May 2013 (military or British method); or May 29, 2013 (acceptable, but outdated). Advice, grammar and use of English, grammar, legal prose, legal writing, writing rules Some say this is a purely archaic practice of writing numbers: it was done by people who had limited literacy skills, let alone numeracy. It is my working claim that this theory *as a scientist, I prefer “hypothesis” here* only makes sense when some say it is a purely archaic practice of writing numbers: it was made by people who had limited literacy skills, let alone numeracy. I argue that this theory only makes sense if the practice goes back both to a time and a place when literacy was very low, so that writing, including writing numbers, was unusual and concerned only important documents; and it would probably have to date it to a time before the widespread introduction of Arabic numerals.

This would presuppose that the tradition began in the 16th century at the latest. Note: The Associated Press Stylebook is an exception for years. Use a combination of numbers and words for numbers if such a combination keeps your writing clear. When I think intensely about this point (“placement only”), it seems to me that the problem resembles both the shared infinitive problem and the superstition that a preposition can never end a sentence. In many cases, these things are absolutely true for clear writing. In some cases, these are not necessarily problems, but they produce unpleasant writing. In other cases, they don`t matter. The “only” problem is real, but it is not a problem in all situations, so the solution should not be applied reflexively. Those of us who claim to be good at writing sometimes admit to being bad at math. How does this perceived mathematical deficiency affect us when we write about numbers? This article covers some of the most dazzling rules. It`s just horrible and there`s no excuse for it.

This is not recommended (or even tolerated) in any important style. Not even legal ones, like Bluebook or Redbook. Bryan Garner, the main motivator behind The Redbook, gives essentially the same advice he gives in Garner`s use of modern English for a more general audience: We should start by defining the terms number and number. Unfortunately, it`s more complicated than it should be. If you want to know the exact definitions of these words, please read the final note.1 The rest of you will be happy to know that the numbers in this article are values that can be expressed by words or numbers (so “11” and “eleven” are examples of numbers), and numbers are numbers (so “11” is a number, but “eleven” is not). Fortunately, the rules about numbers in writing are much simpler — and more dazzling — than definitions of words that refer to numbers. On the other hand, good legal writing can be both interesting and entertaining (as Justice Posner and others have shown time and time again). When it comes to advice on what to do when writing numbers in other documents – even legal documents – it`s not a difficult decision. Do not spell large numbers.

It`s extra work for you, extra work for your readers, and it makes mistakes more likely to creep into your documents. Keep it simple and use numbers as much as possible (as outlined in the style guide you`re using). In formal legal texts, such as the statement of facts in a letter, the preferred form is May 29 (if it is not necessary to specify the year). So, if the year has already been identified, it is better to write that Salazar spoke with an opposing attorney on May 29 than that Salazar spoke with an opposing attorney on May 29. The first version is visually cleaner and firmer. The central idea is that the archaic practice of spelling large numbers in pseudo-legal documents should be abandoned. My argument that the cost of the practice (wide possibility of introducing errors, wasted effort in writing and editing, wasted effort and potential confusion in reading) outweighs the benefits (correction of errors, easier detection of fraud). In any letter, it is boring to spell large numbers instead of using numbers. It`s worse in legal drafting. To appear well on the page in the first place, extra effort is required, and then additional checking.

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