Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Arguendo, ceteris paribus, res ipsa loquitur. Vel non.

Bryan A. Garner's (editor in chief of Black's Law) What's hot and what's not.

Garner believes that if the latin phrase has a clear English translation and is not a legal term of art it shouldn't be used.

Here's is a what's hot; what's not list for 2009.

habeas corpus: “you have the body.” Written orders for bringing someone into a court, most frequently related to ensuring a person’s imprisonment or detention isn’t illegal.

res ipsa loquitur: “the thing speaks for itself.” A rebuttable presumption of negligence.

respondeat superior: “let the superior make answer.” A principal or employer is liable for the acts of an agent or employee within the scope of agency or employment.

corpus delicti: “body of a crime.” Physical evidence of a crime and objective proof a crime has been committed.


Arguendo: use “for the sake of argument”

inter alia: use “among other things”

ceteris paribus: use “other things being equal”

sua sponte: use “on its own motion”

ab initio: use “from the beginning”

vel non: use “or not”

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