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When I worked as a clerk in the Illinois Appellate System, our style manual required the use of "pleaded."


A quick search of our memo bank brings up about the same number of memos for pled and pleaded. It was 3800 or so for one and 3900 or so for the other, I forget which. So it seems our office has no rule on it. I like pled, but then I also still use lent instead of loaned.


As I recall from my civil litigator days, I'd usually write pleaded in the first example you use and pled in the second, although pleaded could be used in both. Like Milbarge, I prefer pled, because it sounds better to me, but pled is more likely to be used in criminal cases (e.g., before the word "guilty") than civil. I suppose that's because in civil law you're often dealing with terms of art like "the well-pleaded complaint." In any case, unless the style manual tells you otherwise (e.g., in IL), my advice is to go with your gut and your ear.

This has come up in my office before (and prior to that in the chambers in which I worked). My preference is for pled. This is what Fowler's Modern English Usage (3d ed.) has to say:

The pa.t. and pa.pple in standard BrE are pleaded, but pled and plead/pled/ occur in America, Scotland, and some dialects in the UK besided pleaded.


"Pled" is the past simple *and* past participle form of plead. "Pled" and "Pleaded" are effectively synonymous (though "pled" is generally seen as an "americanization." of "good" english). In your examples, I would go with "pled" and "plead" or "pleaded" in the second.
i-before-e rules are weird and unscientific.

John P.

My answer is this: Bryan A. Garner, A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage, 667 (2d ed. 1995).

(He recommends "pleaded" for both past tense and past participle.)

Anal Lawyer

All I know is "pled" is past tense and "plead" is present tense and far too many lawyers misuse the latter.

coach outlet

Are you felt that it is right? I do not really think that, but can keep personal opinions!

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