20/05/16 BASIS

e-legal lesson

Basis is sometimes wrongly used for reason. E.g., “The court, after a full review of the authorities, concluded that there was now no sound basis

[read reason] why the value of life insurance coverage, as well as the cash surrender value, might not be considered in a property division between parties to a divorce action.”

This word may also do mischief in adverbial constructions (on a … basis), where a simple adverb would serve better. “The commission was set up on a provisional basis [read provisionally].”/ “Those issues must be determined on a case-by-case basis [read determined case by case].”/ “The attorney represented his clients on a contingent-fee basis [read for a contingent fee].”