As every student of history recalls, the Normans under William the Conqueror invaded England in 1066, butchering the defenders, raping and pillaging — and speaking French. Alas, England has never fully recovered from their French.

Now, nearly a thousand years later, comes a plan to undo William’s work. New terminology and procedures have been imposed on Her Majesty’s courts in England and Wales, banishing foreign language and restoring — sacre bleu ! — plain English. Writs have become claims. Interrogatories are replaced by requests for information. Plaintiffs are now claimants. Guardians ad litem are litigation friends. The changes are part of a broad campaign to make legal processes more comprehensible and accessible to laypersons.

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