legal proofreadingOne of the services most valued by attorneys is proofreading. Because our goal is for all briefs to be as clean as possible when finished, at Cockle Legal Briefs, your documents are proofread, word-for-word, by two professionally-trained legal proofreaders. Our legal proofreaders are trained to read documents for misspellings, grammatical errors, improper sentence structure, and any inconsistencies. For example, if a case citation takes one form on page 1 and another form on page 20, our legal proofreaders will catch this inconsistency and question it on your proof.

Correct punctuation, grammar, spelling, sentence structure, style, and word choice are important to the reader because they drastically affect perceptions of the writer’s authority and credibility. Numerous or major errors are distracting for the reader and can hurt your credibility as a writer because the reader judges you and your abilities by the way that you write.

Not only do courts view typographical errors as unprofessional, and clients and opposing counsel as indicating incompetence, they can also cause direct monetary harm. Courts have slashed fee awards in half because of substantial grammatical and typographical errors in briefs.

In one case, a federal district court observed:

[P]laintiff’s response… [is] so riddled with typographical mistakes, grammatical errors, and faulty punctuation that the court had difficulty following plaintiff’s arguments. For example… the court has never seen such creative spellings of the words technologist (spelled, alternately, “tecnologist” and “technolgoist”) and occasionally (spelled “occassinaly”), and has never heard of the words “accomopdation,” “tranprot,” “studnet,” and “internshp.”

Spell-check and grammar-check are excellent tools, but they are not substitutes for a legal proofreader. The spell-check and auto-correct features built into Word and other programs do catch many common mistakes, but spell-checker will not catch missing words, homonyms such as “hear” for “here,” transpositions such as “untied” for “united,” incorrect words such as “statue” for “statute,” or misspellings in capitals-only text such as point headings.

Proofreading is an investment worth making because a brief with errors won’t carry much weight. Without expert legal proofreading, the meaning that you intend to convey to the Court can be diluted or lost entirely. At Cockle Legal Briefs, nearly a century of experience and our expert legal proofreaders allow us to ensure that your argument is presented in a coherent and persuasive manner.