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Can we please get rid of antiquated, unnecessary language in pleadings? For example:
1) No more "then and there" in indictments. The sentence makes just as much sense without those words.
2) No more "to-wit." Isn't "namely" better? When in your daily life do you ever use the phrase "to-wit"?
While we're at it, we could stop referring to the state as a "she" like a boat, but that one doesn't bother me as much as "then and there."
WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, I don't know what you're talking about. I also pray for such other and further relief to which the State may be justly entitled.
Stodgy Old Guy
Jane, you can get rid of whatever you like as long as you are the one defending it on appeal.
When would the lack of "did then and there" or using "namely" instead of "to wit" ever be an issue on appeal?
Lawyers can get superstitious.
Oddly enough, one of the speakers at the 2013 Robert O. Dawson Conference on Criminal Appeals this past May recommended that when writing appellate briefs we should use plain language instead of the old phraseology.
It will be a melancholy day when lawyers have to stop using the obfuscating language into which we were whelped. Why should those not schooled in the ways of the advocate understand a whit of which we speak?
I have no idea what I am saying........
Yes, this should be done without day, er, excuse me, without delay. I still begin my prayers with wherefore, and see nothing so wrong with that. The "premises considered" is obviously covered by the "wherefore." Of course, it really would be just as effective and maybe more efficient to say: "The State prays . . ." or maybe "Accordingly, the State prays . . . ."
But, really, what would a lawyer be without a little legalese, especially in pleadings? Contracts are another story.
Only an opsimath would agree with Jane.
How about getting rid of the antiquated "A.D. 2013." Or has the statute of limitations not yet run on everything that occurred before the death of Christ?
I always use "A.D." to avoid confusion. I don't want anyone misunderstanding me and think I am talking about something that happened on a date 4,026 years ago, when in fact I am talking about something that occurred this year.
BTW: "A.D." refers to the birth of Christ or the incarnation of Christ, not the death of Christ. There's a 33 year difference. Precision--that is what we strive for.
So - out of curiosity...... Why did we come up with the vulgar, yet apt, "B.C." - "Before Christ", but then dress up following the incarnation, with "A.D." - "Anno Domini" - "The year of Our Lord"?.
I remember, as a kid, that someone told me that anything that happened B.C. was like the Dark Ages, and probably forbidden to talk about. If it happened in the "A.D." period, what? It was God approved? I dunno.
I can't remember if it was my big brother, who was always filling my head with stupid sh*t that I always believed.
Because the B.C. term didn't come into common usage until long after A.D. was in usage. (Mostly because it was being used to describe the current date at that time, not as historical back-looking.) There were various terms used, including "Ante Christum", the Latin version of "Before Christ." By the time it got standardized, it was the English version.
So the BC version isn't "vulgar" in any way, it's just a perfect example of the old adage "omnia dicta fortiora si dicta Latina." In other words, everything sounds more impressive when said in Latin.
So true. That's why I named my Kindle "Hominem unius libri misereo", which is as close as I can get to, "I pity the man of a single book."
I'd miss all the antiquated phrases. "Dude, do you want to get a drink hereinafter?"
Opismath = an old dog (i.e. stodgy old lawyer) learning a new trick. Good idea.
Thanks for the history lesson. I took Latin 42 years ago - all I remember is "Publius et Marcus venit in forum"......... and "Omes Galia divisis in partes tres est>" I don't even know if I am remembering them correctly.
Of course, the more politically correct method of dating now in "BCE" (Before the Common Era), and "CE" (Common Era). But I don't see them used very often, except on the History Channel. And the fact that I watch the History Channel is scary in and of itself.
My personal favorite legalistic antiquity from my weeks as a summer associate in a transactional section:
I still don't know what it means.
Witnesseth - "to take notice of".....
Opsimath - I am an opsimath who has yet to learn to shutteh my mouth.
OOPS - shutteth - "Third-person singular simple present indicative form of shut". I misused that.....
Well, shut my mouth!
Y'all make me skert!
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