Post hoc ergo propter hoc, along with being a mouthful, is Latin for “after this, therefore because of this.” In laymen’s terms, one thing happened after another, therefore it was caused by the prior. A rough example is;
We had a pile of Rags in the corner.
Pretty soon we noticed Rats hanging around the pile of Rags.
Rags begat Rats.
However, this argument is not always correct or legally persuasive. This was discussed in an episode of the West Wing. The clip below demonstrates.
Click and Click again. Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc
Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney and earned a Cum Laude score on the Nation Latin Exam in the eighth grade.
You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@wmtlawfirm.com.