Why Speak In Legalese?

I suppose you’ve all met that “lawyer” who only speaks in legalese. I suppose it makes him or her feel smarter than anyone when he or she begins spouting archaic terms that died several centuries ago along with Latin. Or maybe it’s because if he or she doesn’t sound smart, no one will listen to the dried dead words they speak. Maybe they think they can charge more money if no one understands them. Perhaps it is a thousand other reasons, but it still doesn’t answer my question, why speak in legalese?

I know of no intellectual who I study under that has taught me anything about life or can answer a simple question at all. What would happen if you went to ask directions from someone in a gas station and they speak in Latin? Yes, not everyone has a GPS phone. Besides my phone will not let me look for address that I do not know. I just can’t type in Larry’s Gas Station in Wilderville and hope this technological wonder knows where I mean. It asks for an address and if I had the address, I wouldn’t need directions. Also, the businesses I go to aren’t listed on my phone. I don’t shop at Walmart World all the time, I like to use mom and pop stores not listed in my phone’s directory.

So here I am at the gas station and the fellow I ask for directions begins speaking,, “No billius corpus rendum. Left at habeas, uno eburbiam ritillios. Straight for technos leagues. Bear right hailus norbidium, then deducum gratutis. You’ll go rectus delictus verbitious, quorum conditious certiarery. Okay?”

Huh?   Sound familiar? Does your lawyer speak like that? Do you want that ball of knowledge speaking on your behalf in front of a jury? A jury might find you guilty and sentence you to death even though it’s a civil case and you’re asking for money just because of your lawyer.

I mean there are some damn smart people out there who are comfortable speaking with words I can’t pronounce, yet I’ll listen to them and more likely than not understand them. But it is because they are natural and comfortable with who and what they are, not because they try and be someone they are not. Not because they want to imitate someone else, but because it is right for them.

Does your lawyer seem natural and comfortable in his or her own skin? I suggest you put them on the spot and ask them tough questions and listen and watch how they respond. Are they honest in their answers? Does their voice go up an octave? What happens when your lawyer is in front of a jury and the jury asks tough questions? How credible is he or she in front of them?

I hope your lawyer is credible and natural. I’m off to work, have a nice day.


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