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Legal English: “Common Law”

Today’s phrase “common law” refers to the legal system that was created in England and adopted in the United States, which uses previous court decisions to determine the outcome of the cases currently before the court. These previous decisions are...

Tips for Public Speaking in a Second Language

Giving a presentation or speaking in public in your native language can be nerve wracking. Presenting in a second language can seem like an insurmountable task. But the reality is . . .

Legal English: “Due Process”

Today’s phrase, “due process,” is a critical legal concept, especially in the field of criminal law. Essentially, due process can be thought of as fairness in execution and administration of the law, legal processes, and the judicial system...

Legal English: “En Banc”

Today’s phrase, “en banc” is a French legal term that literally translates to “on a bench.” A group of judges is said to be reviewing a case en banc when all of the judges of the court preside over the case together, as opposed to a case heard by a single judge or by...

Legal English: “Amicus Curiae”

Today’s phrase, “amicus curiae” is a Latin term that literally translates to “friend of the court.” An amicus curiae is a a person, or legal entity, who is not a party to a particular action but files a document (such as a brief) with the court to express their opinion...

Legal English: “De Facto/De Jure”

Today’s phrases, “de facto” and “de jure,” are closely related concepts. De facto means a state of affairs that is true in fact, but that is not officially sanctioned. In contrast, de jure means a state of affairs that is in accordance with law (i.e. that is officially sanctioned)...