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 25, 2018
May 18, 2018
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
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
Apr 17, 2018
Snakes, spiders, rats, wolves
Slither, creepy, dirty, sly
The den of lawyers
Don’t worry, I plan on sticking to my day job.
Pro se is a term utilized in the court system to refer to someone who has opted to represent himself. Translated from Latin it means on one’s own behalf. Pro per is used in the courtroom interchangeably with pro se and is an abbreviation for the Latin term “in propria persona” which means … Read more
Apr 13, 2018
During Prohibition, it was still absolutely legal to consume alcohol; it was only illegal to manufacture, sell or transport “intoxicating liquors” according to the 18th Amendment which was passed in January 1919. The amendment didn’t go into effect until January 1920 so early American “preppers” could stockpile their liquor(s) of choice. The entire debacle came to a close with the 21st Amendment on December 5, 1933 but not before some … Read more
Apr 5, 2018
A subpoena is a writ ordering someone to attend a court proceeding. The word subpoena originated in Latin as “sub poena” which means under penalty – words still utilized in subpoenas issued today.
A subpoena duces tecum is a writ ordering someone to attend a … Read more
Mar 30, 2018
Legal assistants are notoriously stressed out and we sometimes focus too much on the negative things that rear their head throughout each day – and negative things do happen every day. On the flip side, the majority of us absolutely love what we do and have no desire to do anything else professionally.
The top reasons (in no particular order) why I love my job are:
Multitasking is a skill every assistant must … Read more
Mar 23, 2018
If you take the media reports at face value, all attorneys are corrupt and only looking to make a quick buck by filing as many frivolous personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits as possible and litigating them through trial to win exorbitant jury awards which causes everyone’s insurance costs to go up. The solution currently in place for this “problem” is tort reform legislation, but who stands to benefit from the legislation and who will … Read more