What is POFP?

Why do lawyers refer to long documents as briefs and
18-year olds as infants? Why do they use so much Latin when so few of their
clients are Ancient Romans? Is it a conspiracy?

Party of the First Part has the answers! Check out the Website for the
Legalese Hall of Shame; a glossary of legal words linked to Adam Freedman's
columns; tips on writing legal documents in plain English; and more!

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Even in a legal-language website, words fail POFP when it comes to DC Judge Pearson's $54 million lawsuit against a local dry cleaner that damaged or lost (or whatever) his pair of pants.

One word that comes to mind is frivolous. In everyday English, it means light-hearted, but in legal language, it is code for "a meritless lawsuit." Why bring a meritless lawsuit? Well, it does pass the time, and it's a great tool for extorting money from people.

Overlawyered.com reports that a trial-lawyer interest group (Public Citizen) is pushing to limit the definition of "frivolous" so severely that - you guessed it - Judge Pearson's lawsuit would not be frivolous. So go ahead and sue the pants off of anyone you like!