Legal Latin Mores

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V. Latin Phrases Used In Legal English

ad hoc for this purpose
amicus curiae friend of the court
bona fide in good faith
corpus delicti "body of the crime" - material evidence that crime has occurred
cui bono good for whom, i.e., who benefits?
de facto according to the fact or deed
de jure according to the law
de minimis non
curat lex
the law takes no account of trifles
et uxor and (his) wife
ex officio by virtue of the office held
ex post facto a new law applied retroactively to a deed already done
habeas corpus you may have the body (writ requiring party be brought to court promptly)
mala fide in bad faith
in flagrante delicto in the act
in prope persona in one's own person - without a lawyer
ipso facto by the very deed
modus operandi manner of working, operating
nolo prosequi "I don't wish to prosecute" (will drop all parts of a lawsuit)
nolo contendere I will not contend (plea equal to admission of guilt but allows recourse to deny the matter in subsequent proceedings)
non compos mentis not of sane mind
obiter dictum a judicial opinion not binding on other courts
onus probandi burden of proof
per se in itself
prima facie at first sight
pro forma as a matter of form only
pro tempore (pro tem) for the time being, temporarily
quid pro quo something for something - a fair exchange
sine die without a specific date set for reconvening
subpoena under (threat of) punishment

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