CAMPAIGN FOR USE OF PLAIN ENGLISH

Location : India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
Event Date : 7/28/2018 12:00:00 AM


SUBJECT : CAMPAIGN FOR USE OF PLAIN ENGLISH
TOPIC : SENTENCED TO PUZZLEMENT ; THE CURSE OF LONG SENTENCE 
 
 
Dear Members,
 
This is an important mail about an important subject. Your patience in reading this long mail is appreciated. 
 
Although we lawyers spend most part of our working day in articulation – dealing with words – written or spoken - but language and writing skills are neither part of law school curriculum nor part of our professional training.  It is such an important skill that we need for practicing law, but we do not pay attention to it. Not many of us can even give the name of any authoritative text or author on the subject. We as lawyers “pick up” the language of the law from older generation and pass it on to the younger generation – and that cycle goes on. This is one of the key reasons that language of the law is not the greatest communication tool.  
 
Critics – within and outside the profession remind us lawyers that our job forever has been to communicate law and legal concepts to the layperson who needs to understand her rights and obligations. They remind us that centuries have passed, that the common speech English language has developed over time with good substitutes for old world words, that the social and economic developments have forever changed our audience, that now the law engages with the lives of common persons and has ceased to be a domain of the elites.
 
There is no discussion or debate on the language of the law, its relevance, and the need to change and improve. There is little awareness of use of plain English. In many jurisdictions, there are active campaigns to promote use of plain English by lawyers. 
 
Society of Law Firms (SILF) is taking the lead to start a campaign for use of plain English in India. Many of the member firms, including the top law firms of the country, are supportive of this initiative. SILF will promote and propagate use of plain English amongst its members. SILF proposes to organize and conduct training sessions for lawyers from its member firms on tips and techniques for use of plain English.        MR. JYOTI SAGAR, Associate President SILF, who is Chairman & Founder of our member firm J Sagar Associates, has played a key role in initiating this campaign. He has taken the responsibility to design and develop modules which will be used to deliver the training.  
 
To plan the training sessions – particularly to get a better understanding of pedagogy, delivery mechanism, and issues that would be faced in scaling up – a pilot training session will be conducted by Mr. Sagar as follows:
 
Date: Saturday, July 28, 2018
 
Time: 3 to 5.30 pm
 
Venue: Casuarina Hall, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi
 
Subject: Sentenced to Puzzlement: The curse of the long sentence. 
 
For this pilot session, we need 30 participants. We request our Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon based member firms to nominate their lawyers. Do note the following:
 
a) Not more than two nominees from each firm;
 
b) Ideally, the nominees should be lawyers with two to seven years of post-qualification experience.
 
After nominations have been received, we will prepare a list of attendees and we will inform the sponsoring firms. The planned number for this pilot is 30 (a class size beyond that may not be effective). Therefore, all the nominated lawyers may not get accommodated. 
 
For our members outside of Delhi and Gurgaon, please do note that this is only a PILOT session and once we start rolling out the training sessions, all major geographies will get covered. As said above, the pilot will help us in figuring out how to scale and how to use technology to get to a wider and larger audience. So, please bear with us. 
 
We look forward to conducting this pilot training session and to your enthusiastic participation. 
 
With Best Regards
 
LALIT BHASIN
President