Google’s definition of ‘legalese’ is the “formal and technical language that is often hard to understand.” Legal documents are difficult to understand and it often confuses a person when they are reading it. From waivers to terms and conditions to latin terms: why can’t it just be plain language? It can.
Law school professors teach what they were taught, and so this old language carries on to the next generation of lawyers. There is absolutely no reason to use terms like ‘quantum meruit’ when it just means ‘what one has earned’ or ‘caveat emptor’ for ‘let the buyer beware.’ Just because the words sound fancy, it doesn’t mean anything extra.
As generations go on, the legalese becomes more obsolete, where today’s attorneys are getting their point across (clearer) by speaking with more explanation and less legalese.
Simply put, legalese makes something sound special by using big and useless words. It’s considered lazy writing. Rather than write an explanation to why this legal matter is a legal matter, attorneys and judges will just use the legalese term that defines that explanation.
Legalese also makes the lawyer sound pretentious. It’s almost like they are trying to tell the world “look at me using big words.” “How does it make non-lawyers feel that you use those terms” should be a question that is asked every time.
There is no prestige in legalese and it needs to be stopped from using it that way. Plain and simple. Just like this blog.