There’s no ease in legalese

Posted on Aug 1, 2013 in Plain Language Blog Articles
Matthew Salzwedel offers some great tips and persuasive advocacy in his online column, most recently Simple Legal Writing Isn’t Baby-Talk.
One answer to Matthew’s question, Can Legalese Tank Business Deals?, came from management consultant, Lyn Boxall. Read her full response at the end of
Matthew’s column.
In Asia, Boxall says, US-style legal documents can mar good business relationships before they start.
Potential clients and partners interpret the arrival of many, many pages of dense legalese as a sign of lack of trust.
Everybody loses!
She tells about putting a car lease into plain English for a finance company.
At first, the company was alarmed: potential clients were reading before signing — and asking questions.
But eventually the company had fewer customer disputes.
Because customers did read before they signed, they complained less often later; or,
if they read them later, they saw clearly-stated positions they couldn’t dispute.
Everybody wins!