Q. The CMOS “rule” is of course that a comma should not be used between the parts of a compound predicate unless necessary for clarification or to indicate a pause, but in editing legal language I find myself intimidated. (I presume the rules are different, and I don’t know them.) I would not myself use a comma, as in the following example, but should I leave it in because it’s legal usage? “Honorary members are not required to pay annual membership dues, but have all of the rights, privileges, and obligations of Regular members.”
A. I’m sorry, but I don’t know legal style, either. My best suggestion is that if you need to edit legal material, you learn the rules. You might start with Bryan A. Garner’s The Elements of Legal Style, 2nd ed. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002). In the meantime, or if it’s not feasible for you to learn the rules, it’s best simply to query anything you doubt, rather than change it.