Category: Queen’s English / Latin Lovers

Latin Lovers 2004

Like doctors and other professionals, attorneys are licensed by the various states to practice within the state’s borders. A doctor licensed in New Jersey generally cannot practice in Pennsylvania unless also licensed here. The same goes for attorneys. Sometimes a court in one state will… Continue reading

Queen’s English

Lynne Truss has written a book on punctuation that has been at the top of the best sellers’ lists in England for nearly two years, and in the couple of months since its introduction here in March 2004, it has been meteoric on our lists.For… Continue reading

Latin Lovers

The phrase per stirpes seems to appear in almost every will ever written and has provoked countless questions about its meaning.Literally, the term means “by the roots.” A better understanding of the term can be gained by contrasting it with the term per capita.If you… Continue reading

Queen’s English Gift Me a Break!

Anyone who’s done any estate planning in recent years has discovered there is an almost universal new use of an old fashioned word. Life insurance agents, accountants, financial planners, and (yes!) lawyers have conspired to morph the word gift from a noun to a verb.… Continue reading

Latin Lovers

Ethics rules applicable to attorneys generally prohibit ex parte communications with judges in active cases. Literally, the term means “on one side only”, and the rule against ex parte communications is rooted in fundamental fairness. If a judge is to be an impartial arbiter, he… Continue reading

Latin Lovers

When a complaint is filed in court, there is often an allegation that the individual (non-corporate) parties are sui juris. What does this mean? If it is alleged that defendant John Doe is sui juris, it simply means that he is not under any legal… Continue reading

Queen’s English He/She/It/Their/Them

The rule is that which requires pronouns to agree in case with the noun (or pronoun) it refers to. “All of the boys wore their coats.” Both all and their are plural, and all is well. But in “Everyone must wear their coats,” everyone is… Continue reading

Latin Lovers

If nothing else, lawyers always have an argument. Ad Hominem is a type of argument which desperate lawyers sometimes employ (and experienced judges frown upon) where the facts and/or the applicable law are not terribly helpful. Literally the term means “to the man,” and amounts… Continue reading

Latin Lovers

Sometimes judges, in their opinions, say things that are not strictly necessary to support their decisions. Because our legal system depends heavily on the reasoning contained in prior decisions (the principle known as stare decisis) loose words contained in a judicial opinion can cause problems… Continue reading

Latin Lovers

Hypothetical: Suppose you are stopped under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, and your blood alcohol content registers at .07. Under the law, the legal limit for drunk driving is .08. A few weeks later the legislature passes a new law lowering the… Continue reading