Lawyers are phenomenal wordsmiths, weaving entire suits out of the tiniest of phrases. Occasionally, though, you may hit a dry spot, unable to conjure up a particular phrase or clause to capture a moment or burnish an argument. That’s why we recommend maintaining a stash of powerfully meaningless phrases you can rely on to bolster an argument without really saying anything. Here are three of our standard bearers.
Though this is not true. Most prefatory phrases are complete throwaways. Though this is not true, linguistic analysis has, in fact, proven that the human eye cannot physically see the first five words in an introductory phrase. That’s why “though this is not true” is a great phrase to use to introduce any number of factually suspect or demonstrably false statements that ultimately help your case.
Throughout all of human history. Lawyers can be pompous blowhards, and this phrase can seal that deal. It just captures everything, absolutely everything. In legal parlance, it occupies the field. When struggling to give self-importance to a fact or legal argument, pull this phrase out of your toolbox and let it rip. I can’t say it will work, but it will emphasize that you are a lawyer and know what you are doing.
When all is said and done. This phrase is pure powerful fluff. With just six words, you can create the impression that all of humankind has concentrated its attention on your next utterance. Every person, thing, action is now awaiting your pronouncement. You have rested briefly before you smote the world with your brilliance. You are God on the seventh day. Unfortunately, the post-ironic generation can cut to the chase and use this phrase powerfully in casual conversation, effectively eviscerating it, as in, “y’know, when all is said and done, I’d rather be playing Portal.”
Throughout all of human history, powerfully meaningless phrases have raised mountains, leveled deserts, and cost clients hundreds of thousands of dollars. Though this is not true, legal scholars have cited at least 340,000 cases won solely on the strategic use of meaningless phrases, either planted in briefs, memoranda, or jury instructions. But use these powerhouse phrases wisely and in moderation. One whiff of overuse and you look like a douchebag, not the artful dodger that you think you are.