CLAS224 Word Elements. Monmouth College Monmouth, Illinois

Instructor: Thomas J. Sienkewicz (


amicus curiae = friend of the court, impartial advisor

argumentum ex silentio = verdict based on absence of data

beati possidentis = possession is 9/10 of the law

breviarium = an abstract or abridgement

certiorari = legal warrant for lower court to provide records for higher court

damnum absque injuria = loss without actionable injury

de (ex) facto = actually

in contrast to de jure = by law

de minimis = about very small (matters); unimportant; not worthy of litigation

dies non juridicus = court not in session

doctor utriusque legis = master of both canon and civil law

ex curia = out of court

flagrante delicto = in the act of the crime

habeas corpus = a writ ordering an accused person to be brought into court

ignorantia juris (legis) non (neminem) excusat = ignorance of the law does not excuse any one.

in camera = in chambers

in forma pauperis = not liable for costs

in jure = according to law

in personam = law against a person

in rem = law against a thing rather than a person

locus delicti = scene of the crime

mandamus = legal writ ordering a specific thing to be done

manu propria = with one's own hand

noli prosequi = cancellation of court proceedings

nolo contendere = a plea where the defendant makes no defense, but does not admit guilt

non possumus = plea of incapability

obiter dictum = remark by judge on a matter not dealt with in his written opinion

onus probandi = the burden of proof

pendente lite = litigation pending

placitum = decree, legal decision

rebus sic stantibus = things staying as they are: premise for continuing the validity of a contract

res judicata (adjudicata) = a settled matter

scire facias = legal writ requiring a person against whom a judgment has been rendered to show cause why it should not be executed

separatio a mensa et toro = legal marital separation

sub poena = writ demanding the appearance of a witness in court

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