Abstract: The legal style has undeniably undergone a long evolution and the art of pleading has been recognized since ancient times through the consecration of Demosthenes's speech Against Meidias or Cicero’s Speech for Aulus Licinius Archias, the Poet as a standard of modern legal discourse today. The purpose of the present article is to discover, through a historical-legal-literary analysis, whether and to what extent the pleading lawyer represents a scholar, a thoroughly knowledgeable figure of legal science, or whether he should also have rich general knowledge, be skilled in rhetoric, sociological matters and even acting. By referring to the current socio-normative context and to the types of cases, i.e. civil, criminal or those including members of the jury, we aim at identifying the best method that a lawyer should apply to his speech, the concise or exhaustive one. The incursion has, as a starting point, the establishment of the position that the plea occupies among legal discourses and if the doctrine consecrates a distinct category to it, or on the contrary, it finds a place in a subjacent category, that of the auxiliary discourses, respectively. Further on, we will focus our analysis on the structure of the plea by comparing the classical structure that it must contain with that of the analysis of a narrative text, by highlighting the common points and the elements of inspiration of the former category in the latter one. With the help of several pleas whose significance and inspiration are still present, we will identify and extract the stylistic elements used by the great lawyers in their final speech. The conclusions are reserved for ascertaining the possible techniques of adaptability of the plea, as well as for establishing its role regarding the final solution.
Keywords: plea; eloquence; legal speech; famous orators.