Why use old law dictionaries?

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Logos
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Why use old law dictionaries?

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Post by Logos »

Upon reading our document templates one might wonder, "why would they reference Bouvier's (no longer used by "them") and an outdated edition of Black's?

These reference works' entries consist of (a) maxims and (b) definitions paraphrasing court decisions, legal treatises, and ancient sources such as those of the maxims themselves.

The 4th was the final edition of Black's to cite the ancient sources for maxims. The meanings of the other terms don't change though newer definitions for a term may cite more recent court cases. Also, some terms may have been purged, though I didn't check if any of those we used are no longer found in the 8th or 9th editions. Many terms now reference Corpus Juris Secundum as their source, which itself may reference some of the cases our older Black's edition cites; in a sense, the more recent the edition of Black's, the more it serves as an index to C.J.S.

The docs are written to be as informative as they are effective. Though C.J.S. would be considered more esteemed a source, unfortunately C.J.S. isn't readily available online :x , unlike Bouvier's and multiple editions of Black's which can be downloaded as torrents :) . Another thing this author has noticed is that the tone of a number of definitions has changed from the older Black's editions, moving from substance to form. The best way I can characterize this difference is that the older entries are described more in terms of the nature of what they are, as opposed to how they are applied (?)

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Re: Why use old law dictionaries?

#2

Post by Logos »

I refer to the latest edition (9th?) of Black's to see if a latin term has fallen into common legal usage; this dictates how I'd style the term in a document: italics for uncommon usage, normal print for common usage.

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