That example is not legal jargon per se – it is simply a writer intentionally using a complicated and detailed description of an object, while failing to provide sufficient unique detail for the reader to easily grasp the idea communicated. (Using Latin phrases like per se is legal jargon too.)

Legal jargon is the use of words and phrases that have specific legal meanings or connotations, even if those meanings may be perfectly conveyed through the use of non-legalese. For example, we’ve all heard the words "null and void." That phrase is a relic of a time when English and French languages were used jointly in the old English legal system – one word comes from the French tradition, one from the Anglo-Saxon. Both were used because there were two different audiences. The proper modern usage is "void" or sometimes even "null" standing alone, since using the two together is redundant. Some lawyers think this phrase makes them sound more lawyerly, but it really just makes them sound like idiots.

Another example is the "party of the first part, party of the second part" which used to be included in contracts. Most modern contract drafters have abandoned this language, instead choosing words that describe more clearly the roles of the contracting parties. Sale contracts use "buyer" and "seller." Loan contracts use "lender" and "borrower." Mob contracts use "Sammy the Bull" and "Stool pigeon." Um, well, maybe they don’t write those down.

Many law schools have begun to teach their students to use English, not legal jargon, when writing, because it makes communication much easier, even with other lawyers. This trend will only get stronger as the profession draws from a broader pool of talent.

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