Just like Elle Woods, I feel confident using legal jargon in everyday situations.
Us lawyers use big words. We are sometimes extra clever and even use them in the correct context. The legal documents and correspondence I read everyday regularly contain words with more letters than your average post office, and the occasion Latin phrase or two, just for shits and giggles.
And while that’s all part and parcel of being a member of my esteemed profession, sometimes the reading of such well versed written work gets a little, well, dry… there’s only so many ‘furthermores’ one can read before their mind starts to wander. And that’s usually where my over active and slightly mischievous mind gets to work, turning normal everyday legal phraseology into, well, dirty things. Like these examples:
Tripartite – real meaning, ‘3 party’, for example, a tri-partite contract. NMJ meaning – 3 people getting it on.
Inter alia – real meaning ‘amongst other things’, for example, our client will seek damages for, inter alia, loss of profit. NMJ meaning ‘in the alia’. Take from that what you will.
Ex parte – real meaning, a singular party, for example ‘There is no defendant in this ex parte action’. NMJ meaning – those drunken hook -ups with you ex, which we have all had.
Cum persona – real meaning – a personal action that dies with the party entitled to bring it. NMJ meaning – the excretion of certain bodily fluids on another’s person.
Dicta – real meaning – a statement of opinion, for example, the dicta in the decision is indicative of the Court’s view of s24 of the Act. NMJ meaning – dick. Or dick – ta (like, thanks for that penis sir!)
In absentia – real meaning – in the absence of, for example, in absentia a signed copy of the deed, my client alleges no binding contract exists. NMJ meaning – in the absence of a partner/ getting it on solo style!
It may not be the most mature approach to the practice of law, but after 10 years in the profession, you can’t blame a girl (especially a cheeky little bugger like me) for trying to inject just a little bit of fun, however pathetic my efforts.
And to all my learned friends out there, feel free to add to this list. Just know next time I send you a fancy looking legal letter inviting you to ‘enter into a tri-partite settlement whereby we will, inter alia, dissect the dicta of the recent court decision with particular reference to the application of the doctrine of cum persona, before retiring to our respective offices to continue such analysis in absentia, thereafter proceeding to bring the ex parte action’, I ain’t just showing off my ability to use fancy big legal words.
Naughty Miss Jones xx