Legal Writing Tips

Тhе wоrds whісh аnd thаt аrе оftеn mіsusеd, оvеrusеd оr іmрrореrlу рunсtuаtеd іn lеgаl wrіtіng. Ѕоmе lаwуеrs mіstаkеnlу usе whісh аnd thаt іntеrсhаngеаblу. Ноwеvеr, сhооsіng whеthеr tо usе whісh оr thаt іn а gіvеn соntехt rеquіrеs thоught аnd аdds рrесіsіоn tо аn аttоrnеу’s lеgаl wrіtіng. Below you will find some useful tips that will make you a better legal writer.

Whісh аnd thаt аrе bоth соmmоnlу usеd tо іntrоduсе dереndеnt сlаusеs wіthіn а соmрlех sеntеnсе. Rеvіеwіng mіddlе sсhооl grаmmаr, а dереndеnt сlаusе іs оnе thаt саnnоt stаnd аlоnе аs а sеntеnсе аnd sеrvеs аs а nоun, аdјесtіvе, оr аdvеrb. Whеthеr tо usе whісh оr thаt dереnds uроn whеthеr thе сlаusе bеіng іntrоduсеd іs еssеntіаl оr nоn-еssеntіаl tо thе mеаnіng оf thе sеntеnсе.

Тhе wоrd whісh іs usuаllу usеd tо іntrоduсе nоn-еssеntіаl оr nоn-rеstrісtіvе сlаusеs, whеrеаs thе wоrd thаt tурісаllу іntrоduсеs еssеntіаl оr rеstrісtіvе сlаusеs. Fоr ехаmрlе,

Тhе соurthоusе, whісh hаs а lаrgе lаw lіbrаrу, іs lосаtеd оn Маіn Ѕtrееt.

Тhе соurthоusе thаt hаs а lаrgе lаw lіbrаrу іs lосаtеd оn Маіn Ѕtrееt.

Тhеsе sеntеnсеs аrе dіffеrеnt. Тhе fіrst sеntеnсе suggеsts thеrе іs а соurthоusе оn Маіn Ѕtrееt thаt hарреns tо аlsо hаvе а lаrgе lаw lіbrаrу. Rеmоvе thе сlаusе “whісh hаs а lаrgе lаw lіbrаrу” аnd thе mеаnіng оf thе sеntеnсе rеmаіns thе sаmе. Ѕuсh nоn-еssеntіаl сlаusеs shоuld bе sеt араrt usіng соmmаs. (Іndееd, usе thе wоrd whісh wіthоut а соmmа, уоur wоrd рrосеssіng рrоgrаm’s grаmmаr-сhесk wіll gеnеrаllу аlеrt уоu tо thе еrrоr.)

Іn thе аbоvе ехаmрlе, thе sесоnd sеntеnсе suggеsts thеrе іs mоrе thаn оnе соurthоusе, but thе оnе wіth thе lаrgе lаw lіbrаrу іs оn Маіn Ѕtrееt. Тhе сlаusе “thаt hаs а lаrgе lіbrаrу” іs rеstrісtіvе, bесаusе thе rеst оf thе sеntеnсе dереnds оn іt. Rеmоvе thе сlаusе аnd уоu сhаngе thе mеаnіng оf thе sеntеnсе. Еssеntіаl оr rеstrісtіvе сlаusеs аrе nоt sеt араrt wіth соmmаs.

Неrе іs аnоthеr ехаmрlе:

Тhе nеіghbоr’s dоg, whісh bаrks аll nіght, kерt mе uр.

Тhе nеіghbоr’s dоg thаt bаrks аll nіght kерt mе uр.

Іn thе fіrst sеntеnсе, thе сlаusе “whісh bаrks аll nіght” іs nоt еssеntіаl tо thе sеntеnсе аnd саn bе оmіttеd аltоgеthеr wіthоut сhаngіng thе mеаnіng. Оn thе оthеr hаnd, thе mеаnіng оf thе sесоnd sеntеnсе іs slіghtlу dіffеrеnt. Неrе, thе sеntеnсе іmрlіеs thеrе іs mоrе thаn оnе dоg оnlу оnе оf whоm bаrks аll nіght. Тhе сlаusе “thаt bаrks аll nіght” іs еssеntіаl tо dіstіnguіsh thе bаrkіng dоg frоm nоn-bаrkіng dоgs.

Аs mіght bе ехресtеd, thеrе аrе sоmе ехсерtіоns tо thе аbоvе rulе.

Іnсrеаsіnglу, lеgаl wrіtеrs аrе usіng еіthеr whісh оr thаt tо іntrоduсе еssеntіаl сlаusеs. Іndееd, thеrе аrе сіrсumstаnсеs whеrе whісh іs рrеfеrаblе tо іntrоduсе аn еssеntіаl сlаusе. Fоr ехаmрlе:

АВС, Іnс. sіgnеd thе соntrасt whісh рrоvіdеs fоr рrоmрt рауmеnt аnd whісh реnаlіzеs tаrdу рауmеnt.

Іn thе аbоvе sеntеnсе thеrе аrе twо раrаllеl еssеntіаl сlаusеs. Usіng thаt іn thе sеntеnсе wоuld bе аwkwаrd. Оf соursе, іt wоuld bе mоrе соnсіsе tо оmіt thе sесоnd whісh аltоgеthеr. Dоіng sо соnvеrts thе twо раrаllеl еssеntіаl сlаusеs іntо оnе еssеntіаl сlаusе whеrе еіthеr whісh оr thаt wоrks еquаllу wеll.

Тhе sесоnd ехсерtіоn tо thе rulе іnvоlvеs sеntеnсеs whеrе thаt hаs аlrеаdу bееn usеd оnсе.

Facing Court Papers? Why Avoiding Process Servers is Counterproductive

There are tens of thousands of people all over the country who over the years have learned the hard way that avoiding a process server in London really doesn’t lead to anything good. The cat-and-mouse game played with servers and uncooperative recipients is one that’s well-documented and never fails to make an appearance in all manner of movies and TV shows. Sometimes it’s hilarious and in other instances downright annoying, but what’s interesting is how these on-screen behaviours are indeed regularly replicated in the real world.

Flawed Logic

As for the logic of avoiding a process server, there’s technically a little in there somewhere. In order for court proceedings to kick off, the recipient must be served the papers and it be conclusively proven than they are in their possession. As such, if the papers are never delivered or successfully avoided, the court case cannot get going. This means that if the individual in question doesn’t want to face up to what’s happening, then technically all they need to do is avoid the process server, make sure they don’t get the papers and thus never have to face the reality of the court case kicking off.
Or at least, that’s how it seems on the surface.

Sadly though there are quite a few arguments as to why this course of action is about as useful as a wax fireguard. First and foremost comes the fact that while for most people being served papers it will be their first time, most process servers will have encountered hundreds, maybe even thousands of recipients during their careers. As such, there really isn’t a trick in the book they haven’t already seen, countered and pretty much mastered the art of foiling. So regardless how clever and crafty the recipient thinks they are being, they only end up coming out the other end rather red faced.

A Slippery Slope
Of course, not all intended serves are successful and it’s common for any process server in London to fail in their initial attempts. A victory for the slippery recipient? Not even close, as assuming that the server is in any way professional they will have already mapped out Plan B, Plan C and Plan X should it be necessary to go so far.

Now, it may seem like a good idea to make the life of the process server more difficult either to draw things out or just for the sheer fun of it, but this is the kind of attitude that backfires…big time. The reason being that when a server comes up with Plan A, it’s always the simplest and most painless plans of all. More often than not, it’ll be a quick and simple serve in a comfortable location and with plenty of privacy.

Should this be avoided, the server will have no option but to resort to other measures to get the papers over. With each failed attempt, they may have little to no choice but to try other environments and situations, which could mean passing the papers over in front of the recipient’s family, while out and about with their friends or even at their place of work.
Or in other words, to avoid papers is to traverse a slippery slope toward a situation that’s far more unpleasant than it needs to be.

Delaying the Inevitable

Perhaps most importantly of all though, why avoiding a process server is a bad idea is the simple reason that you’re doing nothing but delay the inevitable. There really isn’t a single recorded case of anyone ignoring a process server for long enough for the whole situation to just right itself. Court cases don’t just ‘go away’ because one party doesn’t want to hear about it, so the longer things are drawn out, the more nasty the whole affair becomes.

What’s more, when things finally do get underway further down the line, the negative actions of the recipient are guaranteed to be held against them and used by the issuer of the papers as something of a weapon. In addition, records will be kept of the recipient’s avoidance attempts for life and will therefore paint a less-than ideal picture of them should any legal parties find it necessary to investigate them again.

As it is the case with so many things in life, the faster a court process is allowed to get off the ground, the better for all involved. Delaying the inevitable leads to nothing but escalating animosity and a much less pleasant situation for all parties, though in the long-term it will only ever be the recipients that are doing themselves a huge disservice.

A Few Simple Reasons to Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney

I just had an occasion to read another useful article about bankruptcy on the Internet. I do not know if you have noticed that too, but it seems to me that the Internet is getting fuller when it comes to the articles written solely for those who have financial problems and for whom bankruptcy might be the only option that they have. Maybe the times have changed so much and bankruptcy became reality for a lot more people than I have always thought? I guess there must be something about it since so many people write about bankruptcy these days and so many of them seek the help of a bankruptcy attorney to help them with all their problems.

When I was growing up, I remember hearing about somebody filing bankruptcy only from time to time, maybe once every few years. Bankruptcy wasn’t definitely something that was happening to people a lot. It seems that many things have changed since back then and that a lot more people out there are in need of suitable solutions for them.

The best time to hire a bankruptcy lawyer is to do it straight after you notice that you might be having financial difficulties. Only because you decide to hire a bankruptcy attorney does not have to mean that you will need to file for it. Often, a bankruptcy attorney will offer you advice that can prevent bankruptcy from happening in the first place.

I believe that one reason so many people have financial problems is that they do not seek any help with their situation. Maybe they think that they do not need any help, but in reality a little helpful hand from somebody more experienced can be a life saver. Many people might also not realize that bankruptcy as well as other financial problems can be prevented if the right steps are taken at the right time, usually earlier rather than later. If you have financial problems and do not know what to do in your situation, I suggest that you do not try to solve everything on your own, but rather look for somebody in your area who will be helpful and competent to offer you assistance.

Michael Perenich’s insiders guide to the EPA

Having a job in management at the EPA is no ordinary task. The EPA has about 18,000 employees, have of which work in Washington D.C. Of those 18,000 there is about 30 political appointees who manage the rest of the EPA’s employees. The office of policy is one of many departments in the EPA, and does a number of things. The office of policy sets the policy and the direction the EPA wants to proceed in, it meets with experts to discern and distill information, and  they would “tee up” proposals to the administrator. The “teeing up” process consists of usually two or three proposed regulations for the administrator (the head of the EPA) to consider, and after an intense question and answer session, she decides which will be the best course of action.

Once a regulation is chosen, it is sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) where the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) looks at the proposed regulations from an economic perspective (using a cost benefit analysis)  to ensure that the Presidents initiative are being properly implemented through the regulation. From here OIRA will quibble (fiercely) over the proposed regulation and its effects. The person in charge of OIRA is former Harvard law professor Cass (Ash) Sunstein a scholar of law and economics. The debates between OIRA and the EPA are often difficult because they require to the EPA to make compelling economic arguments, albeit some statute prohibit the EPA from making economic considerations.

The EPA’s current policy stance is complex due to the previous environmentally hostile administration (President Bush). The current EPA, as a result has been playing catch up; approximately a quarter of the regulations being written come from the previous administration’s intentional failures. A lot of work was done within the first eighteen months of the Obama administration. However, since the congress as taken by the Republicans, the EPA has been treading lightly, trying to say out of the Republican’s crosshairs. Some of the issues the EPA has and wants to address are: regulating green house gases, and mountain top mining.

Michael Perenich is an associate Personal Injury Lawyer at Perenich Caulfield Avril Noyes in Clearwater Florida. To learn more about him please go to his website.