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What are the negative consequences of writing a Particulars of Claim that is lengthy? I have read tips that suggest it should be brief and if I could make mine brief without omitting key points then I would. Mine is lengthy because it includes all the examples of the civil wrongs that constitute my claim. These include all the minor wrongs that led to the major wrongs. I have written it in this way partly in the hope that the Defendant might realise that they really did commit these wrongs as they appear to be in denial. It is detailed though I have attempted to leave out some detail at this stage. Writing it in this way just seems to make sense rather than wait until we exchange evidence for the possibility of a resolution. I have avoided including evidence in my Particulars of Claim as I realise that is a mistake. That said some explanation of the evidence is part of the civil wrong so excluding it would mean leaving out an allegation. It is a civil case and not a small claim. I am conscious of the fact that if I leave out key information that might surprise the defendant then I may be liable for their costs. Should I keep it as brief as possible and if so why?
I hope this message finds you well and congratulations on undertaking this particular legal writing task. What is generally meant by keeping it brief is to not be duplicative or to have any unnecessary information in your legal document. In other words, there is a premium on efficient writing.
You want the reader to be well aware of what the claims are, their nexus and their basis in the law. You want to keep your sentences fairly short and concise. You want them to read well and you need to scan the document to extract anything that does not move your argument forward.
The examples that you have added are perfectly fine and will be needed. Leave them in there but make sure that only the information necessary to move the narrative forward is present.
Keep your paragraphs as short as possible...no one wants to see a piece of paper and see what amounts to a wall of prose. Two and three sentence paragraphs are welcome for a reader.
In short, legal writing is less about length and more about efficiency. Remove the fat and leave the muscle and bone. If you want to look at good legal writing examples, I suggest you find a couple of opinions written by Judge XXXXX XXXXX that used to sit on the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He was a brilliant legal writer. When you read one of his opinions, you will see a master at work...someone to emulate in style and prose.
Let me know if you have any additional questions or comments.
Best wishes going forward!
Thank you for taking the time to write that. It was exactly what I needed to know. Concise and clear too. I am very appreciative.
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