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Comes Now?, by Michael M. Simpson, The Grammar Snob Blog


“Comes Now” is probably one of the most common legalese phrases, and often used in pleadings, motions, briefs — almost any legal document except contracts. (If Comes Now shows up often in contracts, please don’t tell me. Let me keep some of my happy place illusions.) If you have a legalese phrase used more frequently than “Comes Now,” please share!

As I have said before, there is no statute, case law, regulation, constitution, or any other legal requirement to use legalese. I’ve looked. If you disagree, please point me to that legal authority. I have been looking for it a long time. I’ve been told by a lawyer that they use it because it just sounds “more legal.” Judge for yourself. -CCE

As always, because I have a real job I don’t get to post to my blog as much as I like. I’ve been editing a post on dangling modifiers, since there are only 52,138 other internet pages explaining why dangling modifiers are bad, but I haven’t finished mine, which will be the pinnacle of dangling modifier criticism, I suppose. (Again, for those of you who haven’t the foggiest idea what a dangling modifier is, surely there’s a NASCAR race stored in your Tivo ready to watch.) Instead, I’ve got a blog for my fellow attorneys, many of whom file pleadings in court containing the phrase ‘Comes now.’ As in:

‘Comes now Plaintiff, John Doe, and complains of Defendant, David Evildoer, and pray the Court grant him judgment, and for cause of action would show the following.’

A question. You’re sitting on your favorite barstool at the local watering hole, taking the edge off a rough day in the salt mine with your favorite poison (for me, a tall draft of Harp or Warsteiner, or on a Friday, a shot of Maker’s Mark with a sidecar of ice) and your best friend walks in to join you. Do you exclaim ‘Comes now Drew, and sits next to mine self to drink beer’? Okay, if you answered this question ‘yes,’ an exciting career in writing boring pleadings awaits you. If you answered ‘no,’ then I understand why you hate legalese. . . .