The Florida Bar

Confronting the Communication Crisis in the Legal Profession

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Classification:Client - Client Concerns
Date Published:01/01/1989
Title:Confronting the Communication Crisis in the Legal Profession
Source:N.Y. Law School L. Review/ Roger J. Miner

As Will Rodgers said "The minute you read something that you can't understand, you can almost be sure it was drawn up by a lawyer."
The attorney as counselor must communicate with clients, colleagues and government agencies and must do so in a clear, concise manner.
A counselor is required to consult with the client to let the client know what choices await him and be able to reach a full decision-making capacity, then particiapate in the client's exercise of that capacity by offering information, legal advice and other perspectives.
Miner continues by indicating that "litigators need for clarity of speech in the courtroom is often a complaint of judges. Also, the inablitiy of courtroom lawyers to communicate with witnesses, juries, and the bench itself is a problem. The ability to present a structured argument and to respond to the question of judges with a restricted time period must be cultivated, but very few seem interested in developing skills of oral argument".
Adjudicators who need to communicate with various types of people but jury instruction is the most important. Judges must also show fairness in speech and demeanor when presiding at trials.
Miner also gives examples of attorney communication in legislation and in education and indicates that various branches of the legal profession perform their work through the media of written and oral expression. Communication is essential to the effectiveness of diverse audiences and the author hopes to focus attention on the problems of legal communication.
17 pages, File 1


[Revised: 07-31-2006]