Tuesday, February 01, 2005

On Legal Wronging

What torts there lie in the tortured scrib'lings
Of scriv'ners, scratching at their desks,
Who answer Law's attornal calling
By twisting terms to fine grotesques.

The humble layman pleads at reading
Th'unholy scribes pernicious scrawl:
"May God preserve this writ so witless,
As witness to creation's Fall."

Against the quills that ink infernal,
And laser lamps that, unquenched, burn,
Comes now my plaintiff list of errors:
Read on and, sadly, will you learn.

With referents littered herein, therein
(Aforesaid telling wheretogo),
We're led into the hereinafter,
Directly toward the place, below.

Redundabundance reigns, againly,
The repetitious legal mind:
For each and every word inflected,
Another follows to remind.

(Anticipations will be expected
For every risk that takes a chance,
And memories are recollected
Of each surrounding circumstance.)

The next of kin is Pleonasm,
That wordy verbosity of every term, phrase,
clause, sentence, and paragraph, including,
but not limited to, punctuation and case,
appearing on the face of, or comprising,
or causing to compromise our laws;
This, quite simply, due to the fact that
For most of us it's just "because".

Were English Law's most favored language,
We might have read in regnal Anglo;
But, per ipso jure, leges Angliae
Scriptae sunt in delicto lingo.

In church, the Roman tongue speaks lauds;
In court, res ipsa loquitur;
But too much Latin lexi causes
A sine qua non sequitur.

And French creeps in as l'enfant terrible
(Our cousin, Norman, owed a spanking);
For barristers, from en ventre sa mere,
Hope, one day, to go en bancing.

But forgive these few and scattered faults--
For ev'rything a seasoned place;
And, all these present points in time will
Become distant moments in space.

And, as there's too few gentle lawyers,
We should have known this all along,
Of legals and their lingual lapses:
At law, whene'er they write, they wrong.


Blogger Gone Away said...

Brilliant. A joy to read, to follow the tortuous twists and turns of legalese. So witty, so informed and also, I do aver, so right write rite (and so I writ).

2/02/2005 12:02:00 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

What a delish (albeit pleonasty) mix. Very spicy.

"Redundabundance reigns" states, in essence, the best legal advice ever given: Stay out of court at all costs.

2/02/2005 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger Remainderman said...

How we wish all judges were so kind and so pleasing in rendering a sentence.

2/02/2005 11:53:00 AM  
Blogger Hannah said...

Hannah, henceforth known as critic number 3, finds this entry, henceforth known as this entry, to be absolutely hilarious.

2/02/2005 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Remainderman said...

To Critic Number 3, we extend what shall hereafter be referred to as our "eternal gratitude".

2/02/2005 11:28:00 PM  

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