Criminal drafting is an important skill and plays a vital role in writing complaints, affidavits, writs, and applications. It is the only way facts and law come together before the court for the proper and just judgment of the cases. An advocate's superior quality of drafting helps enhance the representation of grievances and relief the defendants expect from Courts of Law. Such ability requires knowledge of the procedure, settled judicial principles, law, and English language proficiency.
Any experienced senior lawyer would reiterate that in the legal world, success in oratory defense is derived from and supported by impeccable written communication.
Every legal notice that is served, every reply sent, every petition filed in the court, and all legal documents relevant to the case helps build the case.
Every word written and exchanged with the opposite team helps decide if you will win or lose the case.
The drafting process directs the decisions even before the counsel, or you open your mouth in front of the judge.
It is critical to understand the importance of the legal draft.
You will understand the need for it from its numerous revisions within a reputable law firm or a good chamber.
One lawyer may suggest one change, while another may propose a completely different change in the draft. Every line is checked for effectiveness and accuracy, and each word is validated multiple times for its impact and contextual meaning.
Each written word will be interpreted, dissected, and reconsidered later on its meaning by the opposing side. Intentions never considered when writing the defense will be assumed into the language by the opposition. Even the most minor contradiction will be overanalyzed and used against you.
It's essential not only to write what one wants to convey, but you should also predict what will be used by the opposition against you, and thus you need to note down even what you didn't intend to say, hence clearing all possible kinds of interpretation.
It's critical to never allow any legal ambiguity in the drafting, and at other times be ambiguous strategically. It would help if you were skilled enough to know when to lay traps within drafting.
It would be best if you visualized the drafting like a brick house. Each brick is laid over another. The entire construction will collapse suddenly with one loose end, a rotten brick, or a crack.
Also, once a house is constructed, it's difficult to analyze what to fix until it collapses.
One might question if it's possible to figure out the one weak link from all the legal documents that are part of the case brief? Not unless the opposing lawyer manages to find and point it out during the proceeding.
And once that occurs, there's no use trying to fix it at this point. The case is already lost!
This is exactly why the ability to draft an impeccable legal document is critical much more than your oratory skills inside the courtroom.