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Add Expertise:. Add Keywords:. One of the thornier issues which comes up in legal practice from time to time is the backdating of documents. Legally speaking, this is something that you should not do - or more accurately, there will only ever rarely be occasions when this is appropriate to do. However in practice, for both good reasons and bad, backdating of documents does occur. However, he rarely adds that he actually ended up losing that trial, which brings us to my second point - even though the law generally deprecates the backdating of documents, the legal consequences of backdating are highly variable.

Write in the active voice.

The active voice eliminates confusion by forcing you to name the actor in a sentence. This construction makes clear to the reader who is to perform the duty.

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The passive voice makes sentences longer and roundabout. Who is responsible is much less obvious. Passive verbs have a form of the verb to be plus the past participle of a main verb.

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The passive voice reverses the natural, active order of English sentences. In the following passive example the receiver of the action comes before the actor. Passive: The regulation [receiver] was written [verb] by the drafter [actor]. Active: The drafter [actor] wrote [verb] the regulation [receiver].

Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Aug 15,   Drafting Legal Documents, Principles of Clear Writing. Home | Previous | Next. Principles of Clear Writing. 1. Write in the active voice. The active voice eliminates confusion by forcing you to name the actor in a sentence. This construction makes clear to the reader who is to perform the duty. The passive voice makes sentences longer and archotelzeeland.com: imposes obligation, indicates a necessity to act. Oct 19,   Order chronologically. Keep track of when the document was created for a clear order of priority and to see the documents all nicely ordered according to the creation date. This can help you track the progression of the case as well as easily find documents. It's best to use four digits for the year and two digits each for the month and the archotelzeeland.com: Lindsey Dean.

Passive constructions are confusing when used in regulations. Active sentences must have actors, but passive ones are complete without them. They are called "nominals" - nouns with verbs inside.

Dating legal documents

They are hard to read and make sentences longer. Action verbs are shorter and more direct. Use "must" instead of "shall". To impose a legal obligation, use "must. SAY: The Governor must approve it.

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Be direct. Talk directly to your readers. Use the imperative mood.

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Regulations lend themselves to this style, especially procedures, how-to instructions, and lists of duties. Directness avoids the passive voice: SAY : Sign all copies. SAY : Attach a copy of your W-2 to your return.

This style results in procedures that are shorter, crisper, and easier to understand. Use the present tense.

Include a place for those signing the document to state the date. Loverign suggests that each signer also write the date. The date should be typed under the line where the contract is signed, so that it appears both in type and in ink above it. We've now entered the year -but don't abbreviate when signing your legal documents. Police have warned that anyone signing important documents Author: Seren Morris. Oct 15,   However, backdating legal documents is another matter. Backdating legal documents is frequently permissible. However, under other circumstances, it can be fraudulent or illegal. This article discusses when legal documents might be backdated and how legally to do so when it is appropriate.

A regulation of continuing effect speaks as of the time you apply it, not as of the time you draft it or when it becomes effective. For this reason, you should draft regulations in the present tense. By drafting in the present tense, you avoid complicated and awkward verb forms.

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Write positively. If you can accurately express an idea either positively or negatively, express it positively.

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A negative statement can be clear. Use it if you're cautioning the reader.

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SAY: A demonstration project will be approved only if the applicant meets all requirements. It's better to express even a negative in positive form.

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Avoid use of exceptions. Shelley Loverign, a court clerk in Aberdeen, South Dakota, says that in order to get rid of any confusion regarding dates, you should first write the date in numbers, such as February 21st,and then in words, such as February twenty-first, two thousand and nine.

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This will make the date clearly stated on the document. Include a place for those signing the document to state the date. Loverign suggests that each signer also write the date.

Dec 12,   Under modern rules, few if any states limit how you write dates in legal documents other than requiring standard American usage: the month first, the day second and the year last. Some attorneys spell out the month and use numerals for the day and . Apr 06,   Backdating contracts and other documents and instruments. One of the thornier issues which comes up in legal practice from time to time is the backdating of documents. Legally speaking, this is something that you should not do - or more accurately, there will only ever rarely be occasions when this is appropriate to do. Jan 04,   "When signing and dating legal documents, do not use 20 as the year ," a Facebook post by the East Millinocket Police Department said. "March 3, Author: Kate O'flaherty.

The date should be typed under the line where the contract is signed, so that it appears both in type and in ink above it. More Articles How to set up a notarized letter Do banks notarise documents? Under modern rules, few if any states limit how you write dates in legal documents other than requiring standard American usage: the month first, the day second and the year last. Some attorneys spell out the month and use numerals for the day and year, while others use all numeric numbers.

Spelling out the month eliminates confusion if dealing with other countries where the day comes first. As long as the intent is clear, all forms are acceptable. In standard form documents, a blank space is generally left for the date to be filled in by the person completing the form.

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