Legal Terminology Flash Fiction #1

I will be writing stories revolving around a few key legal terms I haven’t memorized yet.


ad damnum: clause of a pleading alleging amount of loss or injury

at issue: when parties come to a point in the pleadings in which one side affirms something and the other denies it

bifurcated trial: a case in which the liability issue in a personal injury or wrongful death case is heard separate from and prior to trial of the damages in question

chattel: article of personal property

cross-claim: claim litigated by co-defendants or co-plaintiffs against each other


The third Little Piggy, whose real name was Pillsbury, was not very surprised to find out the ill fate of his late brothers.

He was the one who lived in a house of bricks.

He and their mom decided to sue Big Bad Wolf seeing as how all charges against him had been dropped by the District Attorney in a bifurcated trial.

The D.A. also happened to be a wolf.

Just sayin.

The ad damnum in their civil suit was for the amount of $27,376,525.72.

Pillsbury was an internationally renowned accountant so he kept the amount accurate to the cents.

It was based on the premise that his youngest brother, the one who lived in a house of hay, was a pre-med student, and their middle brother had just signed a promising record deal. Not to mention the various inherited chattels that had been brought over from Pigland Island over 400 years ago.

Now, Big Bad Wolf had already spent more money than he had on a bad ass lawyer from the capital. That lawyer was not a wolf. It was a Lion.

So they all went to try to resolve the conflict outside of court but the negotiations fell through when they came to be at issue with what the piglets’ lifetime earned income would have been.

Big Bad Wolf kept basing the pig’s life value on the current cost of bacon and sausage.

The judge this time was a St. Bernard.

All seemed in favor of the pigs’ case against the defendant when the Lion started to cross-examine Mrs. Piggy.

“Mrs. Piggy, how would you describe Pillsbury’s relationship with his brothers growing up?”

“Oh he always stood up for them. Even when he knew they were wrong.”

“Mr. Pillsbury has been described by his peers as a pig who knows how to turn a weakness into a strength. Would you agree with that?”

“Yes. Pillsbury always makes the most of every situation.”

“Would you say he is trying to make the most of his brothers’ deaths?”

Then the pigs’ lawyer, who was a sheep, stepped in. “Objeheheheheh-ection! Bah-ah-ah-ah-adgering the witness.”


“Mrs. Piggy. You are obviously a well-mannered pig. You put Mr. Pillsbury through school. Does your son owe you money?”

Mrs. Piggy looked down.

The truth was she had initiated a cross-claim against her son.

“I take the fifth.”

After that, the jury found the testimony of both Mrs. Piggy and her son questionable and they decided against them in their verdict.

Some sound recordings were recovered from the house of sticks, however, and were sold by the pig’s band manager to the record label.

Not that either one of the surviving pigs saw a profit from that.




About Ave Valencia

My friends say I'm an artist. My cats think I'm the greatest thing since smoked salmon. My family- well let's just leave it at that.

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