Center for Plain Language board members win awards

Posted on Jun 22, 2011 in Plain Language Blog Articles

We don’t usually post information about our individual board members, but two recent awards merit mention. The Center and its members are so proud of these accomplishments!

Burton Awards to Cooley Professor Joseph Kimble
2011 Burton

On Monday, June 13, 2011, in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Professor Joseph Kimble of the Thomas Cooley Law School received the most prestigious national award in legal-writing – a Burton Award for Legal Achievement. Kimble received tthe Reform in Law Award for his drafting work on the completely restyled Federal Rules of Evidence. This is Kimble’s second Burton Award. In 2007, he received one for his work in redrafting the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. He has served as the drafting consultant on all federal court rules since 1999.

The Burton Awards for Legal Achievement are designed to reward major achievements in the law ranging from literary awards to the greatest reform in law. Recipients are selected, generally, by professors from Harvard Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School and the University of California at Irvine School of Law, among others.

At Cooley, Kimble teaches Research & Writing and Advanced Research & Writing and chaired the school’s Research & Writing department for 15 years. He has published many articles on legal writing and research, including, Lifting the Fog of Legalese: Essays on Plain Language. He has given more than 100 presentations on plain language worldwide and is the editor in chief of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, the longtime editor of the “Plain Language” column in the Michigan Bar Journal, and a past president of the international organization Clarity.

Melodee Mercer, the Center’s “unofficial” video producer, a Telly Award for the Center’s DEMAND TO UNDERSTAND videos about plain language. The Telly Awards honor the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions, and work created for the Web. Since 1978, their mission has been to strengthen the visual arts community by inspiring, promoting, and supporting creativity. The 31st Annual Telly Awards received more than 13,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents.

The awards are given in these categories:      

  • Film and Video Production
  • Web Videos, Commercials, Films
  • Local, Regional, and Cable TV Commercials, Programs, and Segments

The Center’s Demand to Understand videos:  The Elusive Lender,  The Baffling Banker,  Dr. Doubletalk won in the category of Web Videos, Commericals, and Films.  Our videos, part of a year-long campaign to help consumers understand the issues and consequences around plain language, are funny and definitely show you the problems with financial information that consumers cannot understand. Each video runs about 1 minute.  Watch. Enjoy.

Congratulations Joe and Melodee!