Last Antecedent Rule Legal Meaning and Definition

Here is a simplified definition of the legal term Last Antecedent Rule.

Last Antecedent Rule (n): This is a legal principle used in interpreting statutes or legal documents. It states that when there is a list of terms in a sentence, any qualifying phrases or modifiers are applied only to the item directly before them, unless there is a clear indication that the modifier was meant to apply to all the terms in the list. This rule helps clarify the meaning of complex sentences in legal writing.

For example, if a rule states, "Teachers, parents with service dogs must enter through the main gate", the Last Antecedent Rule would interpret this to mean that only the 'parents' need to have service dogs, not the 'teachers'.