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AND CITATIONS OF UPWARDS OF FORTY THOUSAND REPORTED CASES,
IN WHICH WORDS AND PHRASES HAVE BEEN JUDICIALLY
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1883, by
STEWART RAPALJE and ROBERT L. LAWRENCE,
in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
MAY 16 1940
In view of the fact that there are no less than three large two-volume law dictionaries now published in the United States, some explanation seems to be in order of the reasons deemed by us sufficient to justify the issue of a fourth work of this character.
While we have no desire to pass undue criticism upon any of these books, at least one of which has for many years been almost universally accepted as a standard authority, yet we have long been impressed by the actual fact that not one of them is, in the strict sense of the term, a "dictionary of the law.” One of them is, for the most part, a mere glossary, containing much matter of interest to the antiquarian and philologist, but comparatively little of value to the practicing lawyer. Another, while it avoids this defect, contains a large amount of matter foreign to its avowed object, and properly belonging to the domain of the digest and works on court practice. The third is not open to either of these objections, but so many strictly legal terms are altogether omitted, and the attempt to embrace the definitions of words and phrases to be found in the reported cases, is so imperfectly carried out that this work has been severely criticised by one of the leading legal periodicals of the day.
In our judgment a practical law dictionary should contain the following features :
(1) Accurate and concise definitions and explanations of the technical words and terms of the common, civil, and canon law.
(2) As complete a list as possible of the Latin maxims upon which those systems are in a great measure founded, with correct English translations, and illustrations of their application.
(3) A reliable guide by which to ascertain in what manner, if at all, the judiciary have defined or construed words and phrases in ordinary use, into very many of which the law, urged on by the necessities of the case, has imported meanings more or less different from the vernacular sense.
It is believed that these three features will be found pretty fully developed in this work; they have been constantly held in view during its preparation, and no expenditure either of labor or money has been spared to secure their presence.
Such merit as this work may possess in respect of the third essential feature above mentioned is due in a great degree to a very valuable and extensive collection of adjudged words and phrases, contained in five large manuscript volumes, contributed to the work from a work entitled "ADJUDGED WORDS AND PHRASES,” prepared by John J. Brown, deceased, of Morristown, New Jersey, which was submitted to Chancellor Kent many years ago, whose opinion of it will sufficiently appear from the letter printed below. The original MS. of Brown's book is the property of the Misses Scofield, of Morristown, who allowed it to be used for this work under a contract. A copy of this, in the possession of Hon. Robert Gilchrist, ex-Attorney-General of New Jersey, was loaned to us, at their request, by him, he having originally called our attention to its worth. The value of these references (about thirty-five thousand in number) to the profession in the aggregate it would be difficult to estimate. The citations are entirely reliable, every one baving been carefully verified.
With respect to the first feature (which we may call the dictionary proper) much assistance has been derived from a recently published English Law Dictionary by Charles Sweet, Esq., f advance sheets of which have been furnished to us from time to time by special arrangement with the English publisher ; and much valuable matter has also been gleaned from the older dictionaries, glossaries and lexicons, of Blount, Brown, Cowell, Jacob, Spelman, Tomlin, Wharton, Les Termes de la Ley, Bell's Scotch Dictionary, and many others. A strenuous effort has been made to produce the most correct and extensive repository of the accepted meanings of both modern and ancient law terms extant, and at the same time to trench as little as possible upon the domain of the glossary, confining all obsolete matter, by means of brevity of statement and the use of small type, within the narrowest practical limits.
The number of maxims included will be found to be the largest ever presented in a single work, and comprise all those contained in WHARTON'S LAW LEXICON, together with many others obtained from various sources original and derivative.
The thanks of the authors are due to the officers of the New York Law Institute, the Broožiya Law Library, and the Jersey City Law Library, in which three institutions, by their kind permission, much of the labor here bestowed has been performed; and to Charles C. Black and James A. Gordon, Esqs., of Jersey City, for much valuable assistance in verifying the multitude of citations contained in the work.
S. R. NEW YORK, May 3d, 1883.
R. L. L.
SUMMIT, August 17. DEAR SIR:
I return by Mr. Sylve your MS. book on "Adjudged Words and Phrases" with my thanks. I have run over the book and I think it calculated to be very useful to the profession in the pursuit of law points and explanations. You have shown a vast deal of labor and research and I wish you may meet with sufficient encouragement for the publication of it, as I think it would be well received by the profession. I am, with much respect, your obliged and obedient servant,
JAMES KENT. JOHN R. Brown, Esq.
† A DICTIONARY OF ENGLISH Law, containing definitions of the technical terms in modern use, and a concise statement of the rules of law affecting the principal subjects, with historical and etymological notes. By CHARLES SWEET, LL.B., of Lincoln's Inn. LONDON: HENRY BWEET, 3 Chancery Lane, 1882.
USED IN THE
CITATION OF LEGAL AUTHORITIES.
Acc.-Accordant. In the reports, denotes the A.-Anonymous. See A.
agreement between one decided case and A. B.-Anonymous Reports at the end of Ben- another in holding the same doctrine, in
loe's Reports, commonly called New Benloe. like manner as contra denotes the disagree A. C.- Appeal Court, English Chancery.
ment of cases.
Act. Reg.-Acta Regia.
paper books of Ashurst, J., and other Judges, Ad. E.-Adams on Ejectment.
Ad. Eq.-Adams' Equity.
Ad. Torts--Addison on Torts.
Ad. & E.-Adolphus & Ellis' King's Bench A. & E.-See Ad. & E.; Adolph. & E.
Reports. A. & F. Fixt.-See Amos & F. Fixt.
Add. or Add. (Pa.)- Addison's Pennsylvania Ab. or Abr.-Abridgment.
Ct. of App.-Abbott's New York Court of Add. Torts-Addison on Torts.
Agn. Pat.-Agnew on Patents.
Aik. (Vt.)-- Aikens' Vermont Reports. Abb. (N. Y.) N. Cas.-Abbott's New Cases, Aird Civ. L.-Aird's Civil Law of France. New York Courts.
Al.-See Aleyn. Abb. (N. Y.) Pr, or Abb. Pr.-Abbott's New Al. & Nap.-- Alcock & Napier's King's Bench York Practice Reports.
and Exchequer Reports. Abb. (N. Y.) Pr. N. S. or Abb. Pr. N. S.-Ala. or Ala. N. S.-Alabama; Alabama Su
Abbott's New York Practice Reports, New preme Court Reports.
Ala. Sel. Cas.-Alabama Select Cases.
Alb. L. J.-Albany Law Journal. Abb. Tr. Ev.-Abbott's Trial Evidence. Alc. Reg. Cas.-Alcock's Irish Registry Cases. Abb. U. S.-Abbott's United States Reports. Alc. & N.-Alcock & Napier's King's Bench Abb. U. S. Pr.-Abbott's United States Courts and Exchequer Reports. Practice.
Ald. Ind.—Alden's Index. Abb. Yearb. Jur.-Abbott's Year Book of Juris- Ald. Ques.-Aldred's Questions on Property prudence.
Law. Abd. & W. Inst. - Abdy & Walker's Institutes of Ald. & Van H. Dig.--Alden & Van Hoesen's Justinian.
Digest of the Laws of Mississippi. A'Beckett res. judg.-A'Beckett's Reserved Judg- Aldr. Hist.-Aldridge's History of the Courts ments.
of Law. Abr. Cas. Eq.-Equity Cases Abridged. Aleyn-Aleyn's King's Bench Reports.