Stephen M. Rice


This article explores the logical fallacy named the Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle and demonstrates how it can be a powerful tool for those engaged in the discipline of solving legal problems and evaluating legal arguments. First, it will explain what formal logic is, how it is different from informal conventions of logic, and describe the important role formal logic plays in skillful advocacy. Second, it will explain the Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle and why arguments falling into this fallacious pattern of reasoning are logically invalid. Third, it will examine the courts’ contemporary recognition of this formal logical fallacy as a basis for rejecting legal arguments. Last, it will explain how to identify the Fallacy of the Undistributed Middle in legal arguments and how to unmask and disarm these logically invalid arguments from a litigator’s perspective.