I was moving house. I had booked a large lorry with an electric lift at the back. I went to collect it on the day of the move and the hire people asked to see my licence. I had packed it!
“You do have a licence, don’t you?” he said. “Yes, of course I do”, said I indignantly.
I was asked to produce it when I brought the lorry back. Meanwhile, the boss put his own name and licence on the forms saying that he trusted me and hoped I was honest.
When I went back I produced my licence. “No, your HGV licence” they said.
I didn’t have one, didn’t know I needed one. I thought the lorry was big and had struggled to get the hang of the air brakes - much to the fear of the person in front of me at some traffic lights!
This shows the importance of using the correct and detailed wording. All too often lawyers do not communicate well with their clients, using words nobody except a lawyer can understand. It is trained into them! But it has to be trained out.
Careful use of wording is essential, too, in documents such as prenuptial agreements and during a divorce especially a financial settlement.
All our family lawyers try hard to use plain English but this can be tricky when dealing with Courts who tend not to. But surely, the use of clear and plain English is so important that it ought to be part of a lawyer’s training.? It would help make law more accessible for all.