"When a filing is prescribed to be filed with more than one of the foregoing, the filing shall be deemed filed as of the day the last one actually receives the same."
Department of Justice regulation
Confusing legalese is a barrier to regulatory compliance, according to the experts on the use of plain language and representatives of small business who testified before the House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs. I can understand that. It is difficult to comply if you don’t know what the regulators want from you. The above excerpt from a regulation is just one of many examples of confusing and ambiguous legal writing highlighted in the hearing.
To find out more about the hearing, read “Hearing Highlights Confusion Caused by "Legalese" in Regulation” from OMB Watch:
“There was also consensus that using plain, easily understood language could reduce the burden of regulations on both federal agencies and regulated communities.”
Here is one possible way to rewrite the confusing sample above:
"We consider a filing to have occurred when all those who must receive the filing receive it." (From Testimony by Annetta L. Cheek, Vice-Chair of the Center for Plain Language).