Question of the Week

What terms and phrases do lawyers overuse?

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In lawyer Marcel Strigberger’s latest Your Voice column, he talks about how lawyer language and communication can sometimes be confusing.

“It’s no secret that lawyers are generally perceived as being long-winded, even when we expect straightforward information,” Strigberger writes. “Lawyers also use confusing and excessive terms, including but not limited to a plethora of ‘hereinafters,’ ‘whereases’ and, of course, ‘including-but-not-limited-tos.’”

“Nor do we impress clients with our foreign terms such as ‘voir dire,’ ‘de minimis’ or ‘habeas corpus,’ ” he adds. “Even the terms for lawyers appear a bit ostentatious. ‘Attorney at law’ sounds uppity.”

Above the Law, Lawyerist and also break down several words and phrases in lawyer legalese that they think ought to be banished.

This week, we’d like to ask: What terms and phrases do lawyers overuse? Are there any that you wish would just disappear from the lawyer lexicon?

Answer in the comments on our social media channels via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Check out last week’s question: What do you wear to work in the summer?

And view some of last week’s answers from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Featured answer:

Posted by Michelle Wynn on LinkedIn:

“I live and work in Florida. My practice is a solo law firm, so I get to set my own dress code. Most of the year (except the short period of actual winter), I wear business-casual dresses, much like you would expect to see on a teacher. It makes my clients more at ease to see me wearing something comfortable and not ‘looking like a lawyer’ and allows for better communication between myself and my clients. Whenever I wear a suit or a more formal dress to a client meeting, the clients seem more reticent to talk about issues that are embarrassing or uncomfortable for them. So, by dressing the way I do, I stay more comfortable and have a better rapport with my clients.”

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