In Practice

War of the words: pleaded vs. pled

Friends debate the past tense of 'plea' but agree it's never correct to say, 'He plead the Fifth'

, Daily Report

   |6 Comments

As lawyers, we get to debate some of the most pressing questions of our time: The limits of Congress's commerce power. The reach of the Due Process Clause. "Pleaded" versus "pled."

This article has been archived, and is no longer available on this website.

View this content exclusively through LexisNexis® Here

Not a LexisNexis® Subscriber?

Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via lexis.com® and Nexis®. This includes content from The National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at customercare@alm.com

What's being said

  • Transaction7

    The correct past perfect in legal usage is, of course, plud. I learned that from the same law professor who taught us "he slud off."

    The ultimate authority, MS Word spell check,, will accept either "pled" or "pleaded" without hesitation, so either must be correct.

    My best recollection from my years of wide-rangingcivil and criminal practice, including appeals, leaves me with the impression that, at least where I have been, one is more likely to hear "he pled guilty" but that a case is or is not "well-pleaded."

    Now will somebody please explain to me how and when the rules of English usage and grammar changes so radically that, contrary to the rule we leanred against split infinitives, the form "to not go" has become common even among writers and publications I wold expect to get it right. With a tricky vision condition that makes proofreading practically impossible, I use spell-check, with certain adjustments, but long ago turned off its grammar and syntax checker because it was always trying to get me to use wildly illiterate phrasing that didn't make any sense.

  • DonJ

    Pled is the preferred use of past tense of plead in legal jargon. In other contexts, (e.g She said "He pleaded with me not to leave him") , pleaded works nicely.

  • Jurisprude

    I readed this whilst I dranked my coffee.

  • John Bramfeld

    Get attorneys to quit saying "in regards to" and you will have accomplished something worthwhile.

    as regards
    best regards
    in regard to

    better yet: regarding

  • Albert Davenport

    What about differing connotations? Doesn't pleaded sound more plaintive than pled? As in "She pleaded with him not to go." Pled, on the other hand, sounds more succinctly businesslike shifting emphasis to the rest of the sentence. Pleaded draws attention. It's almost two syllables of whining.
    If you subscribe to this subtext approach, the usage would change depending on the desired spin.
    http://www.valhallapress.com

  • Albert Davenport

    What about differing connotations? Doesn't pleaded sound more plaintiff (no pun intended) than pled? As in "She pleaded with him not to go." Pled, on the other hand, sounds more succinctly businesslike shifting emphasis to the rest of the sentence. Pleaded draws attention. It's almost two syllables of whining.
    If you subscribe to this subtext approach, the usage would change depending on the desired spin.
    http://www.valhallapress.com

Comments are not moderated. To report offensive comments, click here.

Preparing comment abuse report for Article# 1202584399947

Thank you!

This article's comments will be reviewed.