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Legalese vs. Usability (08 Jul 2005)
Perhaps we could get somewhere if we started applying some of our HCI skills to the problem of legal document review. Clearly, the ALL CAPS madness needs to stop. But beyond this, we will need clear ways to structure legal documents so they are scannable, readable, complete, and clear. Creative Commons has gone a bit down this path by essentially iconifying different types of legal agreements and giving “plain english” versions of contracts. What other things might be possible? Are there any lawyers in the house that could talk about what it would take to shorten and clarify these documents without diluting their effectiveness?
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