Hand

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HAND. That part of the human body at the end of the arm.
     2. Formerly the hand was considered as the symbol of good faith, and some contracts derive their names from the fact that the hand was used in making them; as handsale, (q.v.) mandatum, (q.v.) which comes from a mandata. The hand is still used for various legal or forensic purposes. When a person is accused of a crime and he is arraigned, and he is asked to hold up his right hand; and when one is sworn as a witness, he is required to lay his right hand on the Bible, or to hold it up.
     3. Hand is also the name of a measure of length used in ascertaining the height of horses. It is four inches long. See Measure: Ell.
     4. In a figurative sense, by hand is understood a particular form of writing; as if B writes a good hand. Various kinds of hand have been used, as, the secretary hand, the Roman hand, the court hand, &c. Wills and contracts may be written in any of these, or any other which is intelligible.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
He soon found means to make his addresses, in express terms, to his mistress, from whom he received an answer in the proper form, viz.: the answer which was first made some thousands of years ago, and which hath been handed down by tradition from mother to daughter ever since.
It had been handed down from father to son; for the singular clause of the only will that had been found, had caused it to be regarded as a genuine relic, preserved in the family with superstitious veneration.
"The Spada family was one of the oldest and most powerful families of the fifteenth century; and in those times, when other opportunities for investment were wanting, such accumulations of gold and jewels were by no means rare; there are at this day Roman families perishing of hunger, though possessed of nearly a million in diamonds and jewels, handed down by entail, and which they cannot touch." Edmond thought he was in a dream -- he wavered between incredulity and joy.
The baby whose first draught of air had been tinctured with Doctor Haggage's brandy, was handed down among the generations of collegians, like the tradition of their common parent.
What is believed to be the biggest jury verdict ever against a trucking company was handed down last week by a Georgia state court.
A trial court had handed down death sentence to Muhammad Ikram and Ghulam Abbas on charges of killing Manzoor and Noor Hassan.
She was found guilty in a judgement handed down by Judge Liebenberg, and she subsequently stepped down from her position as minister.
She said the one who handed down the sentence had now himself admitted that Nawaz Sharif was wronged.
During the proceedings, the defence counsel questioned the sentence handed down to the appellant saying that ATC gave 18 years sentence without considering case facts.
The speakers questioned the sentence handed down by an ATC to Advocate Imran Munj in such a hasty manner without hearing the defence counsel.
Former Czech footballer Tomas Repka, who played for Fiorentina and West Ham, was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison for fraud.An appeals court added nine months to the 15-month sentence originally handed down in February against Repka, 45, for selling a Mercedes Benz car that he had leased.
ISLAMABAD -- The Supreme Court of Pakistan overturned 78% of death penalty verdicts handed down between 2010 and 2018, according to a study released by the Foundation for Fundamental Rights.