Good drafting

Any issue for determination of more than 3-4 lines is wrong!

 

Saleh v. Abah [2017] 12 NWLR (Pt. 1578) 100 at 129, paras. C-E, per Bage, JSC:

“We wish to pause a while to observe the seemingly superfluous and overlapping issues formulated by the parties in their briefs of argument. First, any sentence more than 3-4 lines is grammatically inelegant, and putting it straight, wrong. The appellant formulated 8 issues in paragraph 3.0 at pages 7-9 of the appellant’s brief of argument. The average number of each issue, formulated as separate sentence, is 8-10 lines. This is not too elegant. By adopting the issues formulated by the appellant, although this is a sole-appellant appeal; the 3rd respondent also invariably slips into the inelegance of long and inordinate sentences and the surplusage style of brief drafting and writing through overlapping formulation of issues.”

Blogger’s Note

Elegant drafting is one of the most important tools of a successful lawyer. Sometimes, I wonder what some counsel intend to achieve by incoherent presentation of arguments. It does not assist the court in any way. Rather, it can make the job of the court more onerous.  One of the duties of counsel is to assist the court, as ministers in the temple of justice, to resolve disputes.

Click here for more judicial opinions on the importance of good drafting.

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