Some legal arguments are quite simple. Some are more complex. The more layers of charges, the more challenging it is to explore the case and reach a conclusion.
Quintilian, and J.S. Watson. Institutes of Oratory.Edited by Lee Honeycutt, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition. Book III Chapter 10.
Quintilian divides “causes,” or cases of argument into those that are simple or complex. A simple cause has only one charge, while a complex one has several. In a complex cause, the charges may or may not be related (Quintilian III.10.1). In addition to the simple and complex causes, Quintilian identifies “comparative” causes. His example is a case which determines who has a better claim to an inheritance (Quintilian III.10.3). A fourth pattern he calls “mutual accusation,” a reciprocal suit, in which both parties are accusing the other (Quintilian III.10.4). “When the nature of the cause has been determined, we shall then have to consider whether the fact, which is made a charge by the accuser against the defendant, is to be denied, to be justified, to be called by another name, or to be excluded from that particular sort of process” (Quintilian III.10.5).
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