Publication Date


Document Type


Organizational Units

Sturm College of Law


Legal writing, Plain meaning


When President Clinton parsed words in his testimony, the response was contempt and disdain. The impeachment trial hinged on the assumption that Clinton's intent in interpreting common words with a narrow or special meaning was deceitful. We lawyers cannot speak to Clinton's intent, and we wince at the bad publicity he is giving to the profession. However, most of us would have to admit that Clinton's use of common words with special meanings is not only acceptable, but commonplace in the law

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.