The gap between legal language and lay understanding of that language has long been of concern in legal circles. This chapter reports on a project where the New Zealand judiciary allowed some summings-up for juries to be analysed by an outsider, a forensic linguist. Judges are highly engaged with this issue when balancing their task of informing juries while remaining neutral. Judges are indeed wordsmiths, whose language use is a careful craft designed in both an individual and an institutional sense. The chapter focuses on how complexity manifests itself linguistically, how some judges attempt to reduce it, and the stances they exhibit in doing so. Taking mainly a qualitative approach it looks at how judges expressed the important concepts of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ and the prosecution’s role to prove guilt. Ultimately, the study demonstrates how judges’ choices work to balance their twin goals of directing the jury appropriately on the law and helping the jury to understand that direction. In highlighting the nuanced nature of judicial language in summings-up, the study not only has practical implications for stakeholders on different sides of the law, but also contributes to deeper understanding of the gap between legal and lay discourse.