Legal Locutions to Class Up Your Exam Writing II

Honghu Wang (1L) with translations from the Editorial Board

Whereas the writers for Ultra Vires desire to help students complete their examinations with a style and verve which might showcase their most fulsome potential; and

Whereas the writers draw inspiration from cases past;

Therefore we present a brief guide containing phrases that you can drop on your way to an HHH, with translations provided for those who have not attended a British boarding school.

Regarding farming

Legislate until the cows come home

And then they can finally legislate for once. Like, where are they even?

The peculiar value of news is in the spreading of it while it is fresh

Which, coincidentally, is the best use for Ultra Vires.

You cannot reap what you do not sow

None of you are cut out for subsistence farming.

Regarding food

The sauce to meat is ceremony

We’re getting sauced.

The falsehood is a little more subtle, the injury a little more indirect, than in ordinary cases of unfair trade, but I think that the principle that condemns the one condemns the other. It is a question of how strong an infusion of fraud is necessary to turn a flavor into a poison

If you fall asleep before you finish reading my decision then it doesn’t matter if it makes sense or not.

You can’t take two bites at the cherry

You can, however, take two bites at the apple.

Regarding gardening

No doubt a garden is a pleasure – on high authority, it is the purest of pleasures.

My garden is a private space and I don’t recommend walking in unannounced.

Regarding investments

As a general matter, the law sometimes protects investors from the ‘free riding’ of others; and sometimes it does not.

Or, the story of how we’re going to copy the Osgoode Hall Law School student newspaper from now on.

Stock in trade

What exactly a stock is remains unclear, Business Organizations no longer being a required course.

Regarding Latin:

A fortiori

Used to express a conclusion for which there is stronger evidence than for a previously accepted one.

Ab initio

My original six-pack abs before I started law school.

Ipso facto

Ipso facto that I didn’t actually ever have six-pack abs.

Inter se

Person A: Knock Knock

Person B: Who’s there?

Person A: Intersession

Person B: Inter se-

Person A: [Interrupting] Don’t even fucking talk to me about intersession.

Publici juris

When a Supreme Court Justice goes streaking.

Sine qua non

From the Latin for “I don’t actually understand Latin”.

Sui generis

Important for understanding compound interest.

Regarding legal French:

Bête noire

Probably racist.

Pur autre vie

In which you wrote a best-selling novel and retired to the south of France.

Pur sa vie

In which you work weekends so that a senior partner can retire to the south of France.

Regarding literary quotes

“Sit a monkey in front of a typewriter and by chance it may be able to write Romeo and Juliet of Shakespeare, however, it is unlikely” (Umberto Eco)

It is more likely that it will write an HH Constitutional Exam.

Regarding parts of the body:

It doesn’t lie in your mouth…

It lies in mine, gimme.

You can’t blow and suck at the same time

No comment.

Regarding respect

As s/he then was

Just in case you missed the memo on my/their promotion.

With respect

You are a moron.

With great respect

You are a moron and also you’ve got a dumb face.

With the utmost respect

You are loathsome, arrogant, and fundamentally unjust. You hide behind your status like a coward. You have a chronic inability to master any social skills. You are pedantic, aggressive and petty in your daily life. You have obliterated any humanity from your judicial position. You have non-existent listening skills. You have a propensity to use your court — where you lack the courage to hear opinions contrary to your own — to launch ugly, vulgar, and mean personal attacks, which not only confirms that you are as loathsome as suspected, but also casts shame on you as a judge. You are unable to face your detractors without hiding behind your judicial position.

Regarding trial strategy

At the trial his plight was plain

Lookit this poor fuck.

Belt and suspenders approach

With respect, the honourable counsel needs to adhere to the Law of Fashion.

Man and boy defence

With great respect, the honourable counsel needs to stop copying Muddy Waters’ hit single as a defence strategy.

Splitting hairs

With the utmost respect, the honourable counsel needs a better hair care regime.