Precedence simply means repeating some thing the way it was done before. In legal document writing, precedence is one of the main features that is valued. Precedence and analogy are two forms of legal arguments. Precedence however is distinguishable and subject to over ruling. Other main features of legal writing are,
Lawyers always are known to use the same words and formats that were used earlier for similar or identical cases. Thus old documents are re used any number of times for the new but similar occasion with just the necessary changes. Such formats are referred to as legal forms or document templates. Similarly, citations are also given high legal importance as they have been issued earlier by a legal authority. Based and backed up by such citations, statements and arguments are made by the lawyer during litigation. Precedence based legal research is often done by law professionals who spend a lot of time searching for the right and appropriate citations from past cases.
Besides the value of precedence, legal document writing also gives importance to the vocabulary used. There are certain words that are exclusively for the legal and law usage. These include words like, tort, writ and novation. Legal documents are always very formal as a result of the above mentioned features. Lawyers also like to maintain a formal language in their documents as it conveys a serious and lofty purpose of the law. But off late there has been suggestions from legal authorities and a “plain English” movement for making legal documents simple and immediately intelligible if not for the lay man at least to those who are concerned with it.
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