Latin Words Used in Legal Documents

Once you have determined that the use of Latin is appropriate, decide whether you want to italicize the word or phrase.4 It is a common misconception to believe that a word or phrase should be italicized because it is Latin. On the contrary, Bluebook Rule 7(b) states that “Latin words and phrases commonly used in legal literature should be considered in common use in English and should not be italicized.5 However, very long Latin phrases and obsolete or unusual Latin words and phrases should remain in italics.” It also includes some examples of Latin words and phrases that are “often used in legal writings.” 6 To determine whether a Latin word or phrase that does not appear in Rule 7(b) is “frequently used in the legal literature” or “obsolete or unusual” without making an arbitrary decision yourself, see the latest edition of Black`s Law Dictionary.7 For simplicity, the following diagrams, which are not exhaustive, contain the examples given in Rule 7(b) and other examples: is not found in Rule 7(b): as in Black`s Law Dictionary (10th edition, 2014).8 This term can also be translated as “for themselves” and refers to the actions of litigants who represent themselves in court without the assistance of a lawyer. Any defendant or party to a case has the right to refuse the assistance of a lawyer and to represent himself. If a non-party to a proceeding has an interest in the case (or law) before the court, the non-party may ask the court for permission to file a friend of the court brief. An amicus curiae brief has no formal legal weight, but the non-party`s hope is that the argument will help the court resolve the issue based on its reasoning or legal perspective. You may feel like Latin legal terms are everywhere when you start your first year of law school, but you don`t need to be overwhelmed by their presence. Learning these terms a few at a time and understanding when to apply them is helpful for your overall success in law school. Be sure to check out our list of essential terms and study the definitions of each new Latin legal term you encounter during your 1L year so you`re prepared to look like a pro when you answer the questions in class and complete your first assignments in law school. 5BLUEBOOK, cited in footnote 4, paragraph 7b, p. 83; see also THE CHICAGO MANUAL OF STYLE § 7.53, P.

365 (The University of Chicago Press 16th ed. 2010). This term is often used in case names, for example In re Estate of Jones. This term refers to the process by which an appellate court reviews a case without reference to the legal findings or assumptions of the lower courts. In this case, the higher court hears the case “de novo” or completely from the new one without external notice. For those entering criminal justice studies who are new to the use of Latin legal terms, the following list includes 11 of the most commonly used terms, their definitions, and how they are most commonly used. The definitions come from Law Teacher and Merriam-Webster. The term status quo is used to describe the current situation, usually in reference to someone who maintains the status quo or challenges the status quo. Lawyers are appointed by the “ad litem” court for claims. These appointments are generally reserved for parties who have a legal interest or are involved in the case but are unable to represent themselves, such as children or certain adults with disabilities. Students aspiring to a career in criminal justice encounter Latin legal terms that go beyond what every detective viewer already knows – alibi, for example – and dive a little deeper into the legal field.

Habeas corpus refers to several common law orders made to bring a party before a court or judge. The U.S. Constitution also gives citizens the right to file a writ of habeas corpus to protect themselves from unlawful detention. The legal system used today in the United States has its roots in ancient Rome – the Romans once ruled over vast areas of present-day Europe, and the legal system in the United States evolved from the earliest European colonies, leading to a major adoption of Latin legal concepts in today`s law textbooks and methods. John Passmore is the editor of a legal publisher in Houston, Texas. He received his B.A. from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and his J.D. from The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. John and his wife, Rebecca, enjoy drinking coffee and pursuing their one-year-old daughter, four-year-old son, and standard poodle named Sebastian. “In forma pauperis refers to the act of a party that asks the court to obtain the waiver of court fees.

It is usually used when a party in a legal case cannot afford the legal proceedings. More information on the registration process can be found here. I have a British legal opinion from 1917 that uses the phrase “oy-pres” as in: “A scheme for the application oy-pres of the proceeds and of the endowment fund”.

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