Some joke that lawyers use legal language so they can charge higher fees. While this is not entirely true, as mentioned above, there may be some truth to this. Just as a physician needs to know a lot about technical terms when diagnosing and treating patients, lawyers also need to know the language of the law to do their job effectively. This is partly why clients pay legal fees. Clients hire trained and qualified lawyers to help them navigate their legal questions and documents. Written pleadings filed by parties to legal proceedings in which they set out the facts and laws in support of their legal case. In Singapore, the most common types of pleadings are motion, defence reply, reply and counterclaim. Attend the most popular CLE seminar ever. More than 215,000 people – including lawyers, judges, trainee lawyers and paralegals – have benefited since the early 1990s. You`ll learn the keys to professional writing and learn no-frills techniques to make your letters, memos, and briefings more powerful.
Pro bono In Latin, it is short for pro bono publico and means « for the common good ». This is legal work done free of charge. As discussed in this article, legal language serves a useful function and is not necessarily bad. However, there is a time and a place for legal language. For example, the correct use of legal language in contract drafting can help the document gain clarity and precision when read by someone with legal training. But what if it is a text that is not intended for this audience? It is not uncommon for lawyers and other jurists to assume that laymen are familiar with these terms and use them with this assumption. This can make the law intimidating and confusing. This rest of this article gathers some of the most common and confusing legal terms and explains them in plain English! Obiter dicta In Latin, it means « incidentally ». It refers to parts of the court`s judgment that are not essential to the final decision and therefore do not form part of the precedent set by the case. This is the opposite of ratio decidendi.
The use of legal language also allows for some precision, as law students and lawyers need to know the specific and precise meaning of each of these legal terms and everything associated with them. Another way to look at it is that it ensures consistency. Lawyers or lawyers are less likely to misunderstand each other if they understand a legal term that they use consistently. Legal language continues to be used, in part because it saves time. It can be difficult to fully explain a complicated legal concept while being brief. If you`ve ever seen The Simpsons, you may remember Bart Simpson yelling about force majeure used to describe unforeseen circumstances that prevent someone from performing a contract. There`s a lot more to the concept than that, and lawyers know it, and all that complexity can essentially be reduced and condensed into two Latin words. Permanent Power of Attorney A legal document that allows a person over the age of 21 to appoint one or more people to make decisions and act on their behalf in the event of a loss of mental capacity. Ratio decidendi In Latin, this translates to « reason for decision » and refers to the legal principle or rule on which the decision of a case is based, and is part of the precedent set by the case. This is the opposite of obiter dicta.
Previous A previous case that raises similar legal issues and facts to the present case, which will be helpful in determining the outcome of this case. Some types of precedents are binding, which means that the precedent not only helps decide the case, but the court must apply and follow the precedent. Habeas corpus In Latin, it means « you shall have the body. » It is a court decision, often addressed to the authorities, to bring a detained person before a court for a hearing to determine the lawfulness of his detention. It prevents the authorities from arresting people without legitimate reasons. De facto In Latin, it translates as « in fact ». This is used to describe practices that exist in reality, even if they are not strictly legally recognized. License our cutting-edge legal content to strengthen your thought leadership and brand. Legal terms can be extremely confusing to laymen, but lawyers seem to use them on a whim. Every law student needs to learn this, so they learn it during their years in law school, use it daily in their professional life, and may not even realize they`re using it. These legal terms are legal.
While some believe that legal language can confuse and alienate their clients and laymen, there are others who remain strong advocates. Since there are many over 30 words in American English that tend not to be pronounced the same, we`d like to ask you: What words do you always hear mispronounced? Do mispronunciations drive you crazy? Or do you admit yourself resisting the official pronunciation of certain words because the official pronunciations seem wrong to you? Or do you not even notice different pronunciations of both, cover, interesting, et cetera? The law has been around for a very long time, and much of the law is based on precedents and previous cases to interpret today`s law. This is called stare decisis (defined below). This means that much of the legal language used today was used hundreds of years ago and why many legal terms seem outdated and old. While this gives it some charm, it can be confusing and discouraging for people who don`t know the language of the law. Lawyers should switch between legal language and simply explain those legal terms to someone who is not in the law, and the big ones know when to use them. Ab initio In Latin, it translates as « from the beginning. » It is often used to describe when a contract, law, marriage, or charter first became legal. Do not confuse these legal terms. Liability (being obliged) is different from defamation (a defamatory statement).
However, not all Supreme Court lawyers are so respectful. When Judge Kagan (Duane refuses to name the judge directly, but you can hear Judge Kagan here around the 48-minute mark of the unusual pronunciation) asked about Aunt Tessa`s background, the deputy attorney general did not adopt the unorthodox pronunciation. Duane, who watched oral arguments with her students, recalls: You can meet VOR DIYER. In this case, you may just want to run away. Force majeure A natural disaster that occurs beyond human control and for which no one can be held responsible. The term dates back to the 13th century and has been used to refer to actions taken by God. Now it is usually used in connection with the force majeure clause to serve as an event that releases the parties from their contractual obligations.