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Important Latin legal maxims and phrases Important Latin legal maxims and phrases

Bronze medal Reporter adv John Posted 21 Nov 2018 Post Comment Visitors: 126 Read More News and Blogs
Important Latin legal maxims and phrases

ad infinitum- To continue forever.        

ad litem- Describes those designated to represent parties deemed incapable of representing themselves, such as a child or incapacitated adult.

ad quod damnum-Used in tort law. Implies that the reward or penalty ought to correspond to the damage suffered or inflicted.      

adjournment sine die-When an assembly adjourns without setting a date for its next meeting

affidavit-A formal statement of fact.     

alter ego-A second identity living within a person. 

amicus curiae -A person who offers information to a court regarding a case before it. 

animus contrahendi-Intention to contract.     

animus nocendi  -The subjective state of mind of the author of a crime, with reference to the exact knowledge of illegal content of his behaviour, and of its possible consequences.    

animus possidendi-"In order to claim possessory rights, an individual must establish physical control of the res and the intention to possess

animus revertendi-"Wild animals, such as bees and homing pigeons, that by habit go 'home' to their possessor. Used when discussing ferae naturae.

Ante- “An antenuptial agreement is a contract between two people that is executed before marriage.”        

Audi alteram partem-Refers to the idea that one cannot be fairly judged unless the cases for and against them have been heard.  

bona fide-Implies sincere good intention regardless of outcome.      

Cadit quaestio -Indicates that a settlement to a dispute or issue has been reached, and the issue is now resolved.

Casus belli-The justification for acts of war.  


Caveat-When used by itself, refers to a qualification, or warning.     

Caveat emptor    -In addition to the general warning, also refers to a legal doctrine wherein a buyer could not get relief from a seller for defects present on property which rendered it unfit for use.

Certiorari-A type of writ seeking judicial review.   

 Ceteris paribus  -More commonly rendered in English as "All other things being equal."

communio bonorum-The aggregate of marital property under a community property matrimonial regime.

contra- Used in case citations to indicate that the cited source directly contradicts the point being made.

contra bonos mores- Contracts so made are generally illegal and unenforceable.

contra proferentem- Used in contract law to stipulate that an ambiguous term in a contract shall be interpreted against the interests of the party that insisted upon the term's inclusion. Prevents the intentional additions of ambiguous terminology from being exploited by the party who insisted on its inclusion.

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