It means “from the beginning.” Thus, when a court declares a contract void “ab initio”, it rejects the entire agreement. Don`t even discuss certain provisions or how the parties acted as if they had an agreement. Rewind the legal story and start from scratch. For some reason, many lawyers use Latin words or phrases to improve their legal writing, perhaps thinking it will impress their readers. However, this often has the opposite effect. Using archaic and unusual Latin not only makes your writing less clear, but you`re also more likely to make a grammatical mistake when using Latin.1 For these reasons, the use of simple English is usually superior.2 The only exception is for Latin words or phrases that have a particular legal meaning and no appropriate English equivalent. Such as “See say”, “habeas corpus” and “ex parte”. 3 In all other cases, use English instead of Latin. Call Hardy, Wolf & Downing Injury Lawyers today at 1-800-INJURY for free legal advice.

This was the Renaissance period when Latin was a ubiquitous and everyday language widely distributed, read and written throughout Europe and beyond, the Roman legal system and a variant of it was later adopted by England and its former colonies, commonly referred to as “common law”, when the mixing of law and Latin took place. 4For non-academic legal writing, the Blue Book allows underlining to be used instead of italics. See THE BLUEBOOK: A UNIFORM SYSTEM OF CITATION R. B1, p. 3 (Columbia Law Review Ass`n et al. eds., 19th edition 2010). However, because underlining is archaic, tires the reader`s eyes more than italics, and erases the descendants of certain letters (such as “g” and “j”, which then look like “o” and “i” respectively), the use of underlining in text sentences is not recommended. See REDBOOK, op. cit.

cit., note 2, p. 2. 79–80 (“Underlining and capitalization are merely remnants of the typewriter era and should be avoided altogether.”); SCALIA & GARNER, op. cit. Cit. note 2, § 47, p. 122 (“No one uses a computer in the 21st century should underline the text. To the extent that the Blue Book suggests otherwise, it should be revised. »); GARNER, op. cit. Cit. note 1, § 4.3, p. 78 (“If italics are italicized, you should generally prefer italics to underlining.”).

In fact, it goes back to the Anglo-Saxon “gewrit” and the Proto-Germanic “writa”. The term refers to a formal written order of a court or a document filed with the court to request a specific order. For example, a writ of habeus corpus asks the court to release the body of a detained person. In New Hampshire, avocados have even reached the 21st century. In the nineteenth century, Writs went to court and sought redress. The court form, stamped with the raised seal of the court, could only be obtained by lawyers in the clerk`s office. New rules abolished the old form. Like everyone else, we write legal documents on the computer and print them on plain paper. Most of the time, what we submit is called a complaint or petition.

Recently, many Latin words are used by laymen and are now part of the common English language, but lawyers have the distinction of still using rarely used words/maxims of Latin origin in written and oral communication, day after day. Here are some of the most important Latin words and sentence terms that persist in the language, in alphabetical order: Most lawyers like to throw Latin phrases. The reason for this is that the legal system of ancient Rome had a strong influence on the legal systems of most Western countries. After all, the Romans had once conquered most of Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. The Roman motto was divide et impera (dee-vee-deh eht im-peh-rah) – “divide and rule”. When they conquered the nations, they set out to “Latinize” the “barbarians” (all those who were not Romans). Their goal was to teach them to think, act and be like true Romans. As the Roman Empire disintegrated and disappeared, the new orders in all these countries gradually adapted to the existing legal system.

England (and most of its former colonies) and the United States of America use a variant of ancient Roman law called “common law”. That`s why today`s lawyers love these Latin phrases! (Well, that and the fact that you can`t leave law school without mastering it.) Law Latin, sometimes written L.L. or L.Lat.[1], and sometimes derisively called dog,[2] is a form of Latin used in legal contexts. While some of the vocabulary comes from Latin, many words and much of the vocabulary comes from English. [1] Legal Latin can also be seen as a mixture of English, French and Latin words superimposed on English syntax. [3] No one should feel compelled to abandon their complaint for fear of misunderstanding Latin legalese. At Hardy, Wolf & Downing Injury Lawyers, we make sure you understand the legal process every step of the way. Our company has been helping Maine residents since 1976 and strives to achieve the best results for each of our clients. 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: which are not listed in Rule 7(b): as in Black`s Law Dictionary (10th ed.