I’ll ignore stock contract-drafting phrases like above and foregoing, agree and covenant, save and except, and others. They might need pruning, but I’ll focus here on analytical legal writing (memos, motions, briefs, reports, letters, e-mail).
Some redundancies are obvious: new innovations, past history, unexpected surprise. As you edit, look for these and remove them, of course. But other redundancies can be harder to spot; you’ll need to have your redundancy antenna up as you edit. Look at this sentence:
- Isam Yasar alleged that in a conversation, his supervisor, Russell Dunagan, told him to stop complaining.
Here, conversation and told convey the same idea—they’re redundant. So unless the conversation itself is a key fact, removing that redundancy will shorten the sentence from 15 words to 12:
- Isam Yasar alleged that his supervisor, Russell Dunagan, told him to stop complaining.
More to come.
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