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LEGAL DEFINITIONS CF
A COLLECTION OF WORDS AND PHRASES AS
OF BOOKS ON LEGAL SUBJECTS
COMPILED AND ARRANGED BY
BENJAMIN W. POPE
OF THE PERRY COUNTY (ILLINOIS) BAR
IN TWO VOLUMES
To THE MEMORY OF MY MOTHER, WHOSE LOVE AND DEVOTION KNEW NO ENDING SAVE IN DEATH: TO MY SISTER, PLAYMATE OF MY CHILDHOOD, COMPANION OF MY YOUTH, LOVING AND DEVOTED FRIEND OF MATURER YEARS: AND TO THE HON. GEORGE W. WALL, MY FIRST INSTRUCTOR IN THE LAW, AN IDEAL JUDGE AND ONE OF NATURE'S NOBLEMEN-THESE PAGES ARE AFFECTIONATELY AND GRATEFULLY DEDICATED.
Nothing is more important to the practicing lawyer than to be able to ascertain at once the correct meaning of words and phrases. This necessity enters into his daily life. His contracts, pleadings, instructions and statutes are composed of words and phrases and his procedure must be dictated by their proper interpretation. Ordinary lexicographers are of but little assistance in the legal definition of words or phrases. For instance, the word "shall” is of ordinary use among laymen, and its meaning from the layman's standpoint universally understood. To the lawyer, however, it becomes a word of divergent meanings—sometimes a word of mandatory significance and at other times directory merely. Ordinary dictionaries afford little aid.
As was said in Hills v. London Gaslight Co., 27 L. J. Ex. 63, “Is not the judge bound to know the meaning of all words used in the English language; or if any are used technically or scientifically, to inform his own mind by evidence, and then to determine the meaning?”
Again, a word may be one thing when spoken and an entirely different word when written, as was pointed out over a hundred years ago by Lord Holt in Reg. v. Drake (1706), 3 Salkeld 225.
In the work here presented Judge Pope has endeavored to collect all of the legal definitions and applications of words and phrases so far as they have come before the courts of Illinois. Owing to the fact that no one state could completely cover the field he has as far as possible where Illinois decisions were lacking extended his research beyond the state and selected a great number of important decisions from other states. Particularly he has endeavored to exhaust the English cases so far as they are of value to the American lawyer, thus presenting hundreds of cases otherwise inaccessible.
The work has required years of painstaking effort, and is submitted to the profession with the utmost confidence by the Publishers.
CALLAGHAN & COMPANY.
CHICAGO, MARCH, 1919.