Thursday, March 31, 2011

Civil Suits Make for Great Stories

Honest. I swear. They tell you who's doing shoddy work, who's not keeping promises, in short, how people in your community treat one another. Lawsuits are also how we challenge laws and ordinances and hold governments accountable.

But be careful. Until a judge or jury decides the issue, lawsuits are just one-sided allegations, so be fair. Talk to both sides. Dig into the claims.

Here's a sample civil suit. Like most, it spells out what the person suing (the PLAINTIFF) is upset about and what he or she or it (a person, a business or a government) wants the defendant to do about.

Here are two versions of stories written about a sample suit. Look at how careful the writers were to include the other side and to attribute the information.

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