Vermont Bar Journal, Vol. 40, No. 2 Vermont Bar Journal, Fall 2017, Vol. 48, No. 3 - Page 28

On gress’s eye to the debt collection in- dustry. From that scrutiny emerged the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a statute that authorizes private lawsuits and weighty fines designed to deter wayward collection practices. So per- haps it comes as little surprise that we now face a question about who exact- ly qualifies as a “debt collector” subject to the Act’s rigors. Everyone agrees that the term embraces the repo man— someone hired by a creditor to collect an outstanding debt. But what if you purchase a debt and then try to collect it yourself—does that make you a debt collector too? That’s the nub of the dis- pute now before us. 22 This paragraph is emblematic of Gorsuch’s writing style. He starts with a quadruple allit- eration (more on alliterations later) and main- tains an approachable style throughout. He avoids “legalese” and speaks to the reader in the common parlance. The Henson opinion is easy to read. It contains 120 sentences averaging 25 words per sentence. This meets the benchmark set by most legal writing experts. 23 The opinion achieves a score of 44 on the Flesch Read- ing Ease scale. 24 The Flesch scale runs from 0 to 100—the higher the number, the easier the text is to read. Supreme Court opinions average 31 on the scale, so Gorsuch’s score of 44 is commendable. The Henson opinion scores 13 on the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, meaning a first-year college student should be able to read and understand the opinion (Supreme Court opinions average 14.5 on the Grade Level scale). 25 Lawyers seeking to improve the readabil- ity of their writing (hopefully everyone is!), should apply the Flesch Reading Ease scale to their own writing to see how they fare. Other programs, like The Writer’s Diet, 26 can help writers improve the readability of their writing. Those seeking to write like Gorsuch should take this lesson seriously. C. Logical Flow (Coherence) Gorsuch is good at establishing coherence through the use of transitions and other co- hesion techniques. We can all benefit from a careful study of Gorsuch’s writing in this re- gard. Look back to the opening paragraph in the Henson opinion. “From that scrutiny” in the second sentence uses a “pointing word” to link back to the first sentence. 27 The end of the second sentence, “wayward collection practices,” subtly and effectively refers back to that zinger opening sentence and its qua- druple alliteration. In the same manner, the end of the third sentence, “the Act’s rigors,” refers back to the “weighty fines” of the sec- ond sentence. These examples prove that good writers vary the placement of transi- tions and cohesion techniques. Transitions, pointing words, and cohesion techniques 28 can occur anywhere—even at the end of a sentence. The remainder of the paragraph leads to the question presented in an artful and “folksy” way (the term “repo man” is not in the statute!). The paragraph flows natural- ly and is held together as if by glue—a para- digmatic example of coherence. II. Less Effective Writing Habits A. Excessive Alliteration Gorsuch has certain writing habits that range from annoyin ѼݹɥЁ͕ѥ(Ʌѥаѡ͔ѕȴ)ѥ̄ѕɅѥq́ѡɕѥѥ)ѥȁͽ́ݼȁɔ)Ёݽɑ̻tՍé!)ͽх́ݼՅѕɅѥ́)ٕեѕɅѥ胊qͥ)Սɕѥѥ́ՉɅ͡ͅлt($)QЁՅѕɅѥ)́ѡЁ!ͽսд)ٔQ͕́Ёѡ)ѡѕȁձٽȁ)MхȀѡЁѡЁ́Ё)Ѽɍ͕́ФՍ͕)䁹ѥѡЁ܁ɥ́Ʌѥ)ѕɥ͔ɕ͔ѼɅɕձѥ) ɕ́́ѡɥ镐Ѽɕձєѡ)܁ɥ́Ʌѥ́Ёͼ̸͕)Qѡ́а͕́Յ)ѕɅѥՉѕɅѥ)́ѡݥѠѡȁɔѡ)ѕɽѡ胊q хЁѤ)ѥݕхՅ䰁ɕձ)ѽȁɕձѕ́ɥ͔)ȁݽɱ Ёѡȁ͡ձ)ѡɽȁɽѡՑ䁥ѡЁɼ)ϊQѼ䰁Ёѡݽɬѡ)Aéɕɕ͕хѥٕ̻t)ѡ՝ѡՅѕɅѥ)ɅɔՍéɥѥɥѕɄ)ѥ́ɔɔQ$qͽѤ)ѕхѥͽͅձϊtăQԴ)ѕɅѥ́չqmAuͥ)ȳtȃqͥѥՐt̃q)ɥՕѥ́ȁѥtЃq)́ݸtԁ䁽ѡȁѕɅѥ)Սé̸Ս́ͼ)ѡͽ؁!ѥձɱ䁱́ѡ)Ʌͥѥqѕȁt1ɥѥ)ÍՉɵՑ̰q'eЁɔ'eٔ)ٕݸՑݡٕ́ѡɅͤ)ѥ̃aQɗdaѕȁdͼՍt)Ս́Ёѽѡɔ]ɕд)ɱȁа́ɽѼ͔ѡ)եͥєՅͽqѕȁ)t)ѕɅѥ́ձȁ͔Ѓqɥ)ѕ́Ѽѡ䁽ɥѥtMѥ)ѕɅѥQݡٕ͕QɅ)ѕѥѼ͕ɥ͕ͭ́́ѽ)ٕȰѽєЁЁɥѽȁѼ)ɥѥ͕؁͡ͅչȴ)ՍéѕɅѥ́!ͽqɅѥt)́ݥѠͼɡѽɥѕՕ́ɥд)ѕɅѥ́Ёѥٔݡ͕)Q!YI5=9P H)=UI9010)Ʌѥ) Ʌѥ)Ս͕́Ʌѥ̃qɕѱͱ今t)Q!ͽȁᅵՑ)͕ٕѕɅѥ̸$ѕՑ)ЁѼ͔Ʌѥ̸Q́ɕ́х)ɐ٥Q1]ɥѥ!)хѕ́ѡձ胊q́Ʌձ)ٽɅѥ́ɥѥtȁ$)ɕ锁ѡЁхѕ́展́ɔ)$ͼɕ锁ɥѥѡЁ́ѽȴ)ɥͭ́ͽչѥѕMѥ$ٽȁȴ)䁽ٕȁɵ䁥ɥѥ)єЁɅѥ́ɥѥ)Ёѡݡ$qȁѼэ)ѱtѼ͔Սхȸ́$)Ё͔Ʌѥ́ɵɥѥ)Ё$ЁѡЁѡ䁍Ѽѡͥɕ)ٕͅѥѽѥٔɥѥ5)٥ɔ́ѡ́ͅݥѠѕɅѥ)5Ʌѥ) MхѥMѕ́ݥѠ ɑѥ) չѥ)$ٔɑȁѥݥѠ)ՍéɕՕЁЁхѥ͕ѕ)́ݥѠɑѥչѥ̸)ɥѥ́܁ѡqձt)Ёхѥ͕ѕݥѠ а)=ȰMȁeЁqѠtЁٕͼՍ)х́ѡ́䁅չ́ݥѠи!х)ݕ͕ѕ́ѡ!ͽݥѠ)ɑѥչѥQ!ͽ)͕́ѕ̰ͼ)͕ͥѕ́хЁݥѠ аeаM)ȁȸMѡ͕ѕ́$ٔսд)ٔх́ݥѠɑѥչ)ѥ%Ё́ɐѼսєՍ)䁱ѠݥѡЁսѥՍ͕ѕ)Չɵ́ЁᅝɅѥݡͅ)ѡЁՍх͕́ѕ́ݥѠ) Ёѡqѡ̻ͅtԁѕȁ)ݕɕՍ̰$ɕ)ѡЁݡɔ$݅́ɕѥѥ)ѡЁȁ Ѐх͕́ѕ)ݥѠeЁȁMЁЁ́ɕՕѱ䤸$ٕ)Ѽ݅ЁMɕ́ѡ)ѡѕՔ́ݥѠ܁́Ѽ)ѡ䁍ɴѡ̸$Ёݥ͠)ݽձЁЁͼѕQ́ѕ)Ёɵե䁉́Ց)͡)U͔ѡMAͽ)䰁$ɽՉՍé͔)ѡ͕ͽ́ɥд)!ɔɔ܁䁕ᅵ胊q)ӊé䁕՝Ѽ͕܁ԁЁͼ)Ѽ͕̀хЁݥѡЁх)ݹ͡лt؃qmeuԁѥЁݽ)聍 ɕ́ɕ䁑є́ͱ)ѥٔѡɥQ́ݕȁѼɥє܁ձ)ɅQѼᕍѥٔ)t܃qQɕ͕mݕݼ)ɅtЁɅ͔ͽՕѥ́)ȁtqMٕȁ)ܹщȹɜ