Welcome to Ignorantia Legis Non Excusat!

Welcome to my blog!  It is a blog devoted first and foremost to "legal education for everyone".  No, I'm not trying to turn anyone into a lawyer (having taught at a law school I know what's involved in that).   Nor will I be using this blog to express my own legal opinions (though you can't talk about the law without doing some of that).  The goal is to provide information about the law and how it operates, usually focused on the legal newsworthy events of the day, though from time to time it may be a historic event that I think is important (or a legal oddity that I find interesting).

First, an important caveat: this blog is not meant for, does not, and (according to the Rules of Professional Conduct) cannot provide any type of legal advice.  As they say, if you are in need of some legal advice, get a lawyer.

Why this blog, you might ask?  It actually started with a series of postings on my Facebook page about the "travel ban" cases that soon expanded to postings about how the federal appellate courts and the U.S. Supreme Court operate.  Soon, any sort of intelligible posting got too long for Facebook purposes.  Several of my faithful FB following said: "Why don't you start a blog?"  With all of that and numerous positive comments about how my posts enabled people to understand the law and how it operated, things they had never understood before, this blog was born.

And the name of the blog?  Ignorantia legis non excusat means "ignorance of the law excuses not".  The concept is at least as old as Roman law, although phrases to the same effect can be found in Aristotle and Plato.  The rationale is very simple: if ignorance were an excuse, anyone charged with a crime or the subject of a civil suit would merely claim ignorance to avoid liability.  It is a principle of jurisprudence that one is bound by the law even if one does not know it.  My chosen version of the phrase is what is known as a brocard, a legal principle expressed in Latin often derived from Roman Law, which is used to express concisely a wider legal concept.  "Brocard" comes from the Latinized name of Burchard (d. 1025) the bishop of Worms (Germany) who compiled 20 volumes of such rules.  You can read more about it here and the linked articles.

So, "Welcome!"  Please subscribe, and as they say, tell your friends.
Also, if you have any comments or questions about any post, or have a topic you would like to see a posting about, please let me know!

[Picture credit: Rare Books from the Library's Collection, Supreme Court of the United States] 



  1. How about a discussion on the 25th amendment!

  2. Thanks, Minnie! That is the next topic I was planning to do. Watch this space!

  3. And I was thinking a brocard was what one exchanged in a bromance. Thank you, Tom. I am looking forward to reading your blog as I've enjoyed your FaceBook comments.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I'm looking forward to reading more.


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