‘Pled’ prevails over ‘pleaded’ in survey
12:42 pm, January 22nd, 2013
A majority of participants in the Daily Report’s online survey said “pled” is the proper past tense of the word, “plead,” granting a win to King & Spalding partner John Chandler. He squared off last week with Alston & Bird associate Brian Boone in a co-written column in which each lawyer laid out their arguments for their preferred version.
Chandler wrote that “‘pleaded may seem fine on paper, but lawyers chuck the word when they get to court.’”
Boone cited the U.S. Supreme Court, which used “pleaded” in more than 3,000 opinions, with “pled” appearing in only 26.
But 77 participants in the online survey, or 58 percent, said they preferred “pled.” Just 53, or 40 percent, voted for “pleaded.”
Three voted for “plead” (pronounced like the past tense of read), a form Chandler and Boone dislike.
Commenting on his victory, Chandler said he solicited no votes, noting that his wife, K&S partner Beth Tanis, agreed with Boone.
His win “is a reflection that the grammar of trial lawyers is way ahead of the academics, who are likely to catch up some day,” added Chandler.