Legal Writing Term Of Art

Be cautious not to quote overly and paraphrasing whenever you can. Students of law are often taught that they should only take a judge’s word for it. In the end, as the theory is that the judge should understand the best way to communicate the law. But, excessive quotation is not an effective alternative to analysis. The job of an attorney is to study the precedent, not to simply copy it.

The Term “Term Of Art”

An art term refers to an expression or word that has a specific significance. Art terms are prevalent in the legal system. For instance, the term double jeopardy is employed in everyday conversation to refer to any circumstance which carries two risks. The law says that Double Jeopardy refers specifically to the inadmissibility of a second trial for one of the defendants for the same crime which led to the initial trial.

A normal technical term that is no other term or phrase is not considered to be a work of art. This criterion excludes “CPU” as well as “RAM” within the field of computer and “Phillips screwdriver” in carpentry. But other fields that aren’t covered by the law have rules of art.

The Term “Term Of Art” Or Jabbering Jargon?

Latin words like sua sponte, vel or sub judice may make a lawyer think less “lawyerly” but at the cost in the readers’ understanding the topic.

Write using”active voice.

The active voice helps eliminate confusion by requiring you to identify the person in a sentence. This form of speech makes it clear to the reader who has to do the job.

The passive voice can make sentences more lengthy and circular. Who is accountable is less clear.

Our voice is a blend of several elements working together: our word selection Word order, organizational and much more. If you write your voice using tools such as sentence structure and expressive language, the link will click into the right spot. Your readers will be able to hear your voice with the same clarity as if you were speaking in public. Make sure you use the correct voice and readers will believe in your words. If they are able to trust you then you will be able to persuade them to put the actor in front of the verb makes you take responsibility for your actions.

  • The courier will carry the item.
  • The contractor will determine the day for the start.
  • The administrator has to accept the numbers

Legal memorandums predict the result of a legal issue by looking at the authority that governs the matter and the relevant circumstances that led to the legal concern. It provides explanations and a way to apply the authorities’ methods to predict the outcome and concludes with advice and suggestions. Legal memorandums also serve as a record of the studies conducted for a specific legal issue. Typically, and in order to meet the requirements of the legal readers it is formalized and written.

The Following Citation Elements Must Be In Italics:

  • Case names (including procedures)
  • Book titles
  • the titles of journal articles
  • Signals used to introduce clauses or sentences.
  • Prior or subsequent history explanation terms
  • words or phrases that attribute the authority of one source to a different source
  • the cross-reference words: “id.,” “supra,” and “infra”

Finding the appropriate words and formulas is an essential aspect of a good legal writing. However, many lawyers struggle with the finer points of writing and phrasing. Even experienced writers can work on their language. Sometimes, blank passives obscure the most important details, but are they can be harmful. Utilizing blank passives to hide details is not ethical. Example:

“Mistakes occurred.” This sentence implies that you’re not sure who was responsible for the mistakes. It becomes: “Attorney Abe made mistakes.”

Legal writing has to make the challenge of trying to deal with all eventualities and still remain concise. Legalese can be described as shifting the focus to the first of these concerns. Legalese, for instance, typically employs triplets and doublets of phrases (e.g., “null and null and void” and “dispute or controversy, or claim”)A paraphrase is the expression of someone else’s concepts in one’s own words.

You are able to paraphrase material provided you include a an appropriate citation following the paraphrase. Do not place quotation marks on material that you have paraphrased. The citation suggests that the ideas originate originated from a different source. The absence of quotation marks suggests that the words used to express these concepts are your own.

Write Clearly and Clearly

A lot of legal writing instructors have taken note of Stephen King’s assertion that “the Adverb isn’t your friend.”[iiiPerhaps Adverbs aren’t really the adversaries in legal writing. Court documents frequently contain adverbs within legally-recognized guidelines, such as “clearly wrong” or “reasonably believed.”

Quoting can be a powerful tool. It allows you to include others with a reputation for honesty into your discussion. However, there’s the option of doing this without losing your own voice. The best legal writers have done it repeatedly their distinct voice is evident throughout their briefs including a lot of quotes throughout the process.

5-200. In Text

These words and phrases must be capitalized when they are used on the page of a short or legal memorandum

  • the use of cases or titles in the text, without full citation (even the ones that would be cited in full should not have italics)
  • foreign terms that haven’t been accepted into lawyer jargon
  • The words quoted were italicized in the original

Commonly Used Expressions

Incorrect phrasing is not only embarrassing , they can also be harmful to your cause. An error such as making use of “on accident” instead of “by accident” could distract a person from your argument at a minimum. More importantly, mistakes like these can lead readers to conclude

Utilizing “beg your question” to refer to asking the issue is now so widespread that some experts in the field believe it’s acceptable. Your job as an attorney is to convince and you should not put yourself in the position of putting off judges and other readers that are traditionalists.

Law schools are increasingly under pressure to enhance training in practical abilities. The most crucial of these is writing for legal purposes. The literature that exists on legal writing includes a myriad of guidelines and suggestions for how lawyers can enhance their writing abilities.

Be prepared to be a little skeptical about getting it right the first time around. Write as many drafts of your work as you can, and then allow time to edit them. A good writing style will require more than one draft.

Specialized terminology refers to terms specifically designed for the field of law. Certain specialized terms were developed in the legal system with the purpose of communicating particular meanings that are specific to the law.

In a law firm, lawyers may borrow other lawyers’ writings without attribution. This is done by the context of a well-written, effective argument in a prior brief.

Plagiarism is strictly forbidden in academic writing, particularly in law reviews seminars, papers for seminary, and similar works that aim to express the author’s original ideas.

“Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47, 52 (1919). “One is not allowed to counsel or encourage others to violate the law in its current form. Words aren’t just tools of persuasion but the triggers for action and those that have no purpose other than to advise violations of the law cannot be interpreted in any way that could be considered part of the public opinion that is the sole source of the government in a democracy.” Masses Publishing Co. v. Patten, 244 F. 535 535, 545 (S.D.N.Y. 1917)(Hand, J. ).

The ability to compose formal English without feeling boring or losing accessibility. The trick is to write your sentences with care and keeping the reader’s perspective in mind.

The use of emphasis quotes is not an item. You can’t use them in writing. Your argument isn’t more convincing because the other party “blatantly” failed to fulfill its obligations.

Don’t quote common phrases or adages. For example: These are the times that test men’s souls. Quotes are no longer needed. Like I said earlier the same is true for commonly used legal terms in art.

This could as well be a matter of style for instance, like Judge Posner’s disdain for footnotes in briefs.In this scenario the litigator’s inability to think about his audience’s needs clearly hinders the brief’s ability to serve its purpose of convincing the judge.

Understanding the technical language used in law is the initial step to analyze the legal documents as an essential source. Check out the “Glossary of Legal Terms” page on the United States Courts website for an alphabetical listing of frequently-used legal terms and definitions.

5-300. Citation Items Not Italicized

The following types of citations or elements should not be italicized

  • Constitutions
  • Statutes
  • revisions
  • the names of journalists and their services
  • Journal names
  • rules


Wordiness, similar to legalese, reduces the quality of writing by increasing length without need and reducing analysis. Wordiness can be caused by writers using the passive voice double negatives, unneeded wordings that are heavy on prepositions and superfluous words.

It is recommended to use quotation marks. The Bluebook suggests not to surround it using quotation marks. The Legal Writer suggests using double quotation marks in the block quotation. They allow you to read quotations, particularly when documents are published online.Coverage of potential contingencies: Legal writing has to make an issue of trying to take care of all eventualities while still remaining concise. Legalese can be described as shifting the focus to one of these areas. For instance, legalese often employs triplets and doublets of terms (e.g., “null and null” and “dispute or controversy or claim”) that may seem redundant or insignificant to laymen however to lawyers it might be an important use of different legal concepts.

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