Time to ditch legal jargon says regulator

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Time to ditch legal jargon says regulator
People are dissuaded from using legal services by three key barriers: inaccessible language and communications; lack of trust; and failure to cater for the needs of vulnerable consumers.
That’s according to a new report published by the Legal Services Board, the legal profession super-regulator for England & Wales. It says that the profession should learn from other sectors in overcoming the issues, as they are not specific to lawyers.
On language, the LSB references an Australian paper by Tahlia Gordon and Steve Mark, released in April 2015 which noted: “The legal profession speaks a fundamentally different language to the general public. Although many jurisdictions have implemented measures to bridge the language gap through ‘plain language’ initiatives, many people continue to feel overwhelmed by the concept of approaching a lawyer for help.”  
The report highlights the efforts of financial and medical professions in the use of plain English (with multiple translations) to enable consumers to better understand processes.
Senior hire for international firm in Sydney
International law firm Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has hired Damian Scattini as a partner in its Sydney office. As one of Australia’s leading corporate plaintiff and class action lawyers, Scattini was a principal and head of Maurice Blackburn’s Queensland class actions practice.
Does Japan have too many lawyers?
A surge in the number of lawyers in the last two decades has not created a good marketplace for law firms, says the Wall Street Journal. Following Tokyo’s push to double the number of lawyers with a westernisation of the legal system, lawyers are often struggling to find work amid a low crime rate and falling bankruptcies.
“It’s getting a lot harder to make ends meet, no doubt about it,” law firm co-owner Shinichi Sakano told the WSJ.
Private attorneys’ income almost halved between 2006 and 2014, to an average of AU$0.11 million and there has been a drop in the number of students applying to Japan’s law schools.
Former judge joins Morgan Lewis in Tokyo
Shinjiro Takagi has joined the Tokyo office of Morgan Lewis as part of the firm’s strategic growth in Asia. The former judge is a prominent bankruptcy lawyer and is recognised in Japan for his leadership in some of the country’s most high-profile corporate restructurings.
  • William on 5/04/2016 10:50:58 AM

    The romantic involvement with language used by most lawyers makes them a target as their language and vanity reveals regular mistakes and inaccuracies in their correspondence.

    Once the camouflage of legal jargon is removed by the plain language lawyer the jargon lover is exposed.

    Emails make wonderful evidence and its great to observe high level jargonists cut their own throats due to their love of complex legal language in correspondence.

  • William on 4/04/2016 11:26:36 AM

    Is Steve Mark suffering from flocciniaucinihilipilification or is this just some for of antidisestablishmentarianism?

  • John on 4/04/2016 9:33:43 AM

    So looking at the Japan experience with falling income and a reduction in new law enrollments, why is it that in Australia we still have an increasing intake of new law students and law schools turning a blind eye to the already confirmed market oversupply?

  • Prof Phillip Hamilton on 4/04/2016 9:12:22 AM

    We have been relatively successful in Victoria, Australia, in 'translating' many important and useful documents into English without technical terms as far as possible. The UK could look to our lead. The USA still cannot escape its 18th century language and this is imposing a brake on the rest of the world moving into the 21st century of communication.

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