Methods of shortening or clarifying long sentences
Minnesota Revisor's Manual 2013 Edition

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Sentences in the law are often long, and they seem to grow longer every time they are amended. Long sentences are not necessarily difficult in themselves, but length often goes along with other evils.The longer the sentence, the more likely it is that the reader will have to ask: What parts go together? What does this modifier modify? Which of these clauses and phrases are parallel? To avoid confusion, drafters should write short sentences when possible, and give long sentences clear structure.
Intrusive Phrases and Clauses

Most sentences in bills have verbs with more than one part: shall + (verb), may + (verb), must + (verb), and so on. Sometimes a word is placed between these parts, as in “the commissioner shall immediately order an investigation of a reported epidemic.”

One-word adverbs in this position do no harm; sometimes they are necessary.
But longer divisions are difficult to read, as in this sentence:

Within ten days after service of the notice of appeal, the appealing party shall in writing, with a copy to the executive secretary of the Public Employment Relations Board and all parties or their representatives of record, order from the Bureau of Mediation Services a transcript of any parts of the proceedings it deems necessary . . . .
The interrupting words make no sense without the verb order, but the reader must struggle through 20 words to reach it. The interrupting words would serve better as a separate sentence:
. . . the appealing party shall order from the Bureau of Mediation Services a transcript of any parts of the proceedings it considers necessary. The transcript order must be in writing. The appealing party shall give a copy of the transcript order to the executive secretary of the Public Employment Relations Board and each party or the party’s representative of record.

The same advice holds in other places in the sentence as well: Avoid interrupting any group of words that must be understood together.
Conditions and Exceptions

Often a statute sets forth a simple, general proposition, subject to certain conditions and exceptions. Conditions and exceptions are often added by amendment during the legislative process. The more conditions and exceptions apply, the longer and more complex the statute becomes. One of the challenges to the drafter is to organize the statute so that the general proposition remains clear while conditions and exceptions are added.
If only one condition applies, the usual way to express it is to begin the sentence with an if or when clause: “If the person under arrest refuses to permit chemical testing, none may be given.” Use if or when, not the legalism where.
Sometimes more than one condition introduces a sentence. When this happens, keep the main clause as short as possible:

If the basic member and the surviving dependent spouse are killed in a common disaster, and the total of all survivor's benefits paid under this subdivision is less than the accumulated deductions plus interest payable, the difference must be paid to the children in a lump sum payment.
If you can't keep the main clause short, or if there are more than two conditions, put the conditions after the main clause:

The city is eligible for a proportional share of the subsidy provided for the counties if the city has a population of 40,000 persons or more; has a board of health organized under section 145.913; and provides local matching money to support the community health services as provided in section 145.921.
When conditions have several components, and especially when they include both and and or, be sure to use numbers and white space to make clear how the pieces relate to one another. Otherwise, the sentence may be ambiguous, as in the following example from Clear and Effective Legal Writing:

If a client is receiving alimony or is receiving child support and has been divorced for more than one year, then this section of the rule does not apply.
The drafter can resolve the ambiguity by using the list form. This sentence might be rewritten in two different ways:

This section does not apply if the client:

(1) is receiving either alimony or child support; and
(2) has been divorced for more than one year.

This section does not apply if the client:

(1) is receiving alimony; or
(2) is receiving child support and has been divorced for more than one year.
Provisos

Drafters should avoid drafting provisos. Most provisos are really conditions, which should begin with “if,” or exceptions, which should begin with “except that.”
The phrase provided that often gives drafters a tool for gluing afterthoughts onto the end of a sentence. Drafters should avoid that temptation.
Example: (an unnecessary provided that)

The board may revoke a supervised release if the supervised person fails to enter a program; provided, however, that if no community program is available at the time of supervised release, the board may order the supervised person to enter the first available community program.
Example: (a clearer version, without provided that)

The board may revoke supervised release if the supervised person fails to enter a program. If no community program is available at the time of supervised release, the board may order the supervised person to enter the first available community program.

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