Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Comment on vel non

I had to share this comment with all readers. I laughed until I stopped:

"Vel non" is especially hilarious, because even its English translation is useless.

  • Whether, vel non, plaintiff complied . . .
  • Whether, or not, plaintiff complied . . .
  • Whether plaintiff complied . . .
A few years ago, someone, with a devilish intent, took a word processor and analyzed all the opinions for a given period of years issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. They counted the frequency of words and phrases. There was one judge who was stuck on "vel non." He used it hundreds of times, and more often than all the other judges combined. The study was published in the New York Law Journal, a daily read by nearly every lawyer in the New York City legal world.

Whether, vel non, that judge continued to use the phrase, vel non, is not well known to me.

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