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For the most part, statutes do not even purport to be easy reading. Legislators just load in the material and hope that nothing gets left out. For the convenience of your readers, you almost always need to summarize statutes. Consider the following statutory bar to high-level government officials owning or working for gaming entities during their tenure in office and for two years thereafter. The example is a composite, but it is representative:
No executive-level state employee, head of a principal department, head of an independent state agency or member of the legislature, or their immediate family members, shall have, at or following the effective date of this Act, a financial interest in or be employed, directly or indirectly, by any Licensed Gaming Entity, Licensed Casino Gaming Entity, applicant for such licenses, or any holding, affiliate, intermediary or subsidiary company thereof, during his or her status as an executive-level state employee, head of a principal department, head of an independent state agency or member of the legislature and for two (2) years following termination of such status.

Suppose your job is to summarize this long-winded statute for a memo or a brief. The approach is straightforward. First determine what you need and what you don’t need, then group the elements and place them in proper order. As the statute must, it names all the persons to whom it applies. Unless you are focusing on a particular type of public official, you don’t need to present the entire list, just a category that encompasses all persons on the list. Here, the phrase “high-level public official” can include executive-level state employees, heads of principal departments, heads of independent state agencies and members of the legislature. You can drop the reference to the effective date of the act because a reader will assume the stricture takes effect when the act takes effect unless you state otherwise. You can also drop the reference to “direct or indirect” employment by a gaming licensee unless you have an issue regarding indirect employment. Similarly, you won’t need the reference to “applicants,” meaning entities that have sought but haven’t received licenses, unless you have an issue involving an applicant. The statute refers to two classes of gaming entities — “Licensed Gaming Entities” and “Licensed Casino Gaming Entities.” Again, unless you have an issue that requires you to call attention to either of those two classes, just use a category that covers both (“gaming entities”). The same reasoning applies to the list of related entities — holding, affiliate, intermediary and subsidiary companies. They are all “affiliates.” The statute concludes by setting forth the period for which public officials are restricted — two years. In typical statutory fashion, it repeats the full list of persons covered. You can skip the repetition. Just refer to the relevant period. The elements of the statute can be grouped as follows:

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