Saturday, April 17, 2010

Write simply

In our mandatory continuing legal education, the importance of writing good, correct English was highlighted.
The correct way to write and communicate effectively is to write in very simple English (emphasis on "very").
The legal profession is not insulated from people who fail to communicate effectively.
I am not even referring to lawyers.
There are even judges who cannot communicate their decisions effectively.
As a result, their decisions cannot be understood.
One example discussed in the continuing legal education, is that judge whom the court took to task for his manner of writing a decision.
The Supreme Court was apparently pissed of with the judge's writing style, to the extent that the high court quoted verbatim a significant portion of the judge's decision.
It was indeed, horrific.
In the case of Leonor versus Court of Appeals [256 SCRA 69 (1996)], a horrified Supreme Court noted the following portion of a lower court decision:

"This is an action for 'Cancellation of Entry in the Civil Registry' particularly on the marriage contract of one Mauricio Leonor, Jr. and Virginia Amor supposedly to have taken place in a long distance past on March 13, 1960 and after a Rip Van Winkle sleep and dormancy liken to a Mt. Pinatubo explosion that rocked the peace and quiet in the lives of the supposedly participants to this drama in Calatrava and San Carlos City, Negros Occidental when out of the blue one party in the person of an aggrieved left-behind spouse revived and revealed an ancient piece of marital bond between her and a reluctant spouse."

The high court did not mince words in describing the decision.
It described the lower court decision as a "crude attempt at literary sophistication."
The high court criticized its "jarring syntax and grammatical inconsistencies."
It decried the use of "convoluted language."
Need I say more?
Its nice to go back to the basic advice in writing well: K.I.S.S.
Keep It Simple...Stupid.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Change v status quo

The cat is now out of the bag.
Loose talks that Nacionalista Party standard bearer Manny Villar is the secret candidate of Malacanang have gradually been confirmed.
The governor of Cebu Gwendolyn Garcia, an administration ally, has confided that first gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo had called up other members of the Garcia clan to back Villar over the official administration standard bearer Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro.
Contrary to perceptions that the political landscape has been muddled, actually it has become clearer.
Leading to next months elections, it now turns out to be a one-on-one contest between Manny Villar, the candidate backed by the Arroyo administration, against Noynoy Aquino, of the Liberal party, who personifies the opposition.
What happens to Gibo Teodoro?
Sorry to say, he will end up bigo.
He will be junked by his own administration partners in favor of Villar.
Politics is cruel. But that is politics.
The people now have a clearer choice.
If you are for the status quo, then vote for Villar.
If you want change , because you do not like how this country is run, vote for Noynoy.
If you want to go back to the past, vote for Erap.
By the way, I really find funny Villar’s posturing that he swam in a sea of garbage.
For me, anybody who swims in a sea of garbage has some psychiatric issues.
Who is in right mind will even wade in a sea of garbage?
If you think that the Arroyo administration policies should be continued in the next six years, then vote for Villar.
If you want these policies to be recalled and rejected, then vote for Noynoy.
So as we head nearer to the elections, our choice as voters have become simpler and clearer.
Manny Villar for status quo.
Noynoy Aquino for change.
Pick your choice.