May 25, 2018
The Latin term “per se” peppers many conversations though it is often used incorrectly.
The literal translation of per se is “by itself”; however, many Americans use it as a synonym for “quite” and “exactly”. The phrase is so misused that it has won an entry in Urban Dictionary. When utilized correctly the phrase pinpoints a single element of a larger thing, e.g., I didn’t enjoy the movie per se, but the cinematography was … Read more
May 18, 2018
The terms “et al.”, “etc.” and “inter alia” are similar, though different in meaning.
Et al. is an abbreviation for et alia (neutral), et alii (masculine) or et aliae (feminine). When translated from Latin, it means “and others”. Etc. is an abbreviation for et cetera (commonly written without the space in English), translated from Latin as “and the rest”. The literal Latin translation for inter alia is “among other things”.
Et al. is used at … Read more
May 17, 2018
One of the readers of my previous article commented: “While I don’t know everything, I do know what I know.” Despite my admission that legal assistants don’t know everything related to law, there are circumstances in which we do know everything.
Legal assistants are the detailers of the legal profession. We make the attorney’s vision of their solution to a client’s problem come to fruition. We get ‘er done.
Many attorneys only understand their part … Read more
May 1, 2018
A Latin legal term that pops up in headlines fairly frequently is “habeas corpus”.
Habeas corpus is a legal procedure to keep the government from indefinitely detaining someone without showing cause. The literal Latin translation for habeas corpus is you shall have the body.
Any person can petition the court to issue a writ of habeas corpus ordering the detainer to present the detainee in court along with proof justifying why the detainee should continue … Read more