Editing Essentials

I've been an editor for over a decade, but I couldn't tell you what a dipthong is without resulting to google and my knowledge of predicates comes from Skee-Lo's version of The Tale of Mr. Morton. None of this worries me, because none of that grammar jargon matters to my authors or my readers or my authors' readers.


What does matter? Clarity and flow. When editing legal and other professional documents, I trend towards clarity. A document has clarity when it makes sense all the way through.

 

When I've got poetry or creative prose in front of me, I'm biased towards flow. A document has flow when you can read it from beginning to end without being tripped up in any way. Things that trip people up include:

 

  • when something doesn't make sense (or is just plain wrong),
  • when something is out of place (like a word that doesn't make sense with the document type),
  • when a sentence is badly constructed (passive construction when it's not warranted, sentence fragments, etc.), and
  • typos.

 

Both clarity and flow are essential qualities for any document that you want people to understand and to stick with all the way through.

 

Have a quick editing question? Want to hire me to do a piece of editing? Send me a message via my contact page.

Garnishment Terms

Sometimes it's good to have a list of the most common garnishment terms all in one place.

People:

            Debtor: The person who owes the money.

 

            Creditor: The person the Debtor owes money to.

 

            Garnishor: The person who issues the Writ of Garnishment (see below) on behalf of the Creditor. Sometimes it's an administrator at the courthouse, and sometimes it's a lawyer like me. We check over the paperwork to make sure it's correct before it gets sent to the Debtor and the Garnishee (see below).

 

            Garnishee: The employer (or sometimes bank) the Writ of Garnishment (see below) gets sent to. The Garnishee is responsible for taking the money out of the Debtor's wages (or sometimes their bank account) and sending it to the Creditor.

 

Documents:

            Writ of Garnishment: The document that tells the Garnishee that they must send money to the Creditor. This document tells the Garnishee how much the Debtor owes the Creditor, and how much of that money the Garnishee must send to the Creditor for the 90 days after they receive the Writ of Garnishment. It also lets the Garnishee know what their rights and responsibilities are in this situation. A Writ of Garnishment can be sent by the Garnishor to the Garnishee every 90 days.

 

            Judgment: The court papers that back up the Writ of Garnishment. A judgment shows how much money the Debtor owes the Creditor, including any fees caused because the Creditor had to go to court to get this document. The Judgment also says what the rate of interest on the debt will be.

 

            Debt Calculation: A document that shows all of the debt amounts, fees, and interest that the Debtor owes the Creditor at the moment the Writ of Garnishment was sent to the Garnishee. This amount will change as the interest rises over time and/or as the Garnishee sends the Creditor money from the Debtor.  

 

If you want any more garnishment-related terms defined or you'd like to look into having me sign garnishments for your company, please go to my contact page and send me a message. 

Readability

Version #1

 

Once you know your demographic, write your content for it. Sometimes, that means exhaustively-edited, scintillating prose with a prodigious range of vocabulary to challenge your readers. At other times, that means miniscule words in micro sentences. I'd call that simple style "Hemingway-esque" for the former set of readers, and "easy reading" for the latter.

 

Novels, essays, and poetry benefit from, nay, require elegant variation and complexity of thought, but lists, articles, and instructions are the opposite. You may inspire the imagination with wild prose, but you reach the widest audiences when you can keep your words simple and precise.

 

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 11

 

 

Version #2

 

Write for the people you are trying to reach. Sometimes that means getting fancy, and sometimes that means simple words and short sentences. The "short and simple" style is great for lists, articles, and instructions. Keep what you're writing to a fifth grade reading level. That way, a lot more people will be able to get what you're trying to say.

 

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 5

 

Have a quick question about readability? Want to hire me to do a piece of editing? Send me a message via my contact page.

How to Make Sure I Can Sign Your Garnishments

So we've negotiated rates, volume, and delivery method of your garnishments. Now you want to know; how do I make sure I'm sending garnishments she can sign? Because of course, time is money (especially when it comes to garnishments!), so the faster I can get them signed and returned to you the better, and that the quickest way to expedite that process is to make sure you've sent me everything I need to legally sign them.

 

So what goes into all that? The first thing is sending the right documents; the Writ of Garnishment itself, the debt calculation, and the judgment the Writ is based on. I'm flexible about whether you send me a judgment or an e-court docket, but no matter which one you send me, they must include the following elements;

 

            1) creditor and debtor names

            2) date of judgment

            3) amount of judgment

 

Remember, the judgment amount on e-court dockets isn't always on the first page, and sometimes includes some of the fees. My preference is for whichever document shows me all of the award and fee amounts separately, which allows me to very rapidly check it against your debt calculation.

 

Yes, I will check the judgment against the debt calculation. I expect any set of garnishment documents sent to me to be correct, but everyone makes a mistake every once in a while, so it's good to have an extra set of eyes to avoid getting sued.

 

That brings me to my next point; make sure the Writ and debt calculation pages match the judgment! I can't sign anything with an error in it, so I'll have to send it back to you for correction and then you'll have to get it back to me again. Everything is quicker if we don't have to re-do steps, so double-check your math before you send anything over.

 

Last but not least, I only sign Oregon garnishments. Bring on garnishments from any and all Oregon counties, but nothing from out of state.

 

Want to talk to me about signing garnishments for your company? Send me a message via my contacts page, or email me at rachelrosenberglaw@gmail.com.

How to Get Me to Sign Your Garnishments

You might be wondering, once you and I have negotiated rates and volume, what happens next? You need my physical signature on your documents, so how do you get your unsigned garnishments to me, and how do you get them back? How do you make sure I can sign them and get them back to you quickly and easily?

 

Well, you can connect me and the garnishments in one of three ways; digitally, by courier, or in-house.

            Digitally - You can e-mail me your writs, debt calculations, and judgments. I will review them all, and if everything looks good, I will print the signature pages of the writs and debt calculations, sign them, and snail-mail them back to you. You'll pay for the postage and a minimum cost for envelopes, and USPS will do its thing. I do my best to get as many signature pages as I can into one envelope, so you'll get maximum value for that postage cost.

 

            By Courier - People in the legal services business often have process servers or other couriers on-call. You can let me know someone is coming and send your courier to my address (which I will provide you) with all of your writs, debt calculations, and judgments, and I will sign the appropriate signature pages and let you know when someone can come pick them up. The courier costs are on you, so this is a great option if you already have someone on payroll.

 

            In-House - If you've got a large bulk of garnishments for me to sign (hundreds or thousands per month) and your office is in the Portland metro area, we can set up a time for me to come to your office and do the signing in person. I can come in once or twice a week and go through your stacks of prepared garnishments all at once. This is a great option for debt-collection agencies, because it's very efficient!

 

Which method works best for you? I'm flexible, and I already have clients that utilize each of these methods. Feel free to ask me questions, and if your volume changes, we can always switch from one method to another and back again. 

 

Want to talk to me about signing garnishments for your company? Send me a message via my contacts page, or email me at rachelrosenberglaw@gmail.com.