The art of legal writing and drafting is one of the most challenging aspects of legal practice faced by lawyers in India, explains Ramni Taneja

Aristotle described the law as “reason free from passion”. These words should weigh in our mind whenever we draft a legal document, whether it involves transactional legal work or litigation in the courts.

What are the qualities of a good and skilful legal writer or draftsperson in the law? International commentators on legal writing and professors of law constantly emphasize the need for clarity, originality and precision in the use of the English language in law.

One of the finest expositions on legal writing is by Judge Mark Painter. The retired judge explains in his succinct essay on legal writing 30 rules that need to be taken into consideration by a lawyer whenever he or she drafts pleadings to be presented in courts.

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Ramni Taneja is the proprietor of the Law Office of Ramni Taneja, a legal practice in New Delhi.