When I hear the phrase, “out of an abundance of caution,” I reach for my . . . decoder. Because it’s not always a lawyer who uses it. Actually, I know of only one legitimate use of the term. All the rest are illegitimate because they hide the truth.
The legitimate use is pedestrian and common, but technical and not well known. It means a mortgage where the lender requires extra collateral. It really is extra, since “a prudent lender would extend credit based on a borrower’s income and/or other collateral,” as the Federal Code states (12 CFR § 614.4240). Moreover, the additional collateral, “is not required by statute, regulation, or the institution’s policies.” By definition, it’s a caution in securing the loan that goes beyond prudence.
By extension we can allow, as also legitimate, any steps of extra safeguarding which a lawyer insists upon to protect the power or property of his client. Apparently, that was the original meaning of the phrase, in 17th law, ex abundante cautela, “by way of excessive caution.” …
Read more here: https://www.thecatholicthing.org/2020/03/17/an-abundance-of-caution/