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Seriatim (Latin for "in series") is a legal term typically used to indicate that a court is addressing multiple issues in a certain order, such as the order that the issues were originally presented to the court.
A seriatim opinion describes an opinion delivered by a court with multiple judges, in which each judge reads his or her own opinion rather than a single judge writing an opinion on behalf of the entire court. This is a practice generally used when a case does not have a majority opinion.
Most frequently used in modern times (when used at all) pleadings as a shorthand for "one by one in sequence". For example, in English civil cases, defence statements generally used to conclude with the phrase "save as expressly admitted herein, each allegation of the plaintiffs is denied as if set out in full and traversed herein seriatim." This formulation is now discouraged under the English Civil Procedure Rules, especially rule 16.5 (3)-(5).
Also sometimes seen in older deeds and contracts as a more traditional way of incorporating terms of reference. For example "the railway by-laws shall apply to the contract as if set out herein seriatim."
Use of the word (and other Latin phrases) has become less frequent in legal discourse as a result of, among other factors, efforts by groups such as the Plain Language Movement to promote the use of "plain English" in legal discourse.
It is sometimes found as part of the longer phrase brevatim et seriatim, meaning "briefly and in series".
The term is also used when replying to a communication that contains a number of points, issues or questions to denote that the responses are in the in the same order in which they were raised in the original document: "To deal with your queries seriatim..."
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