Questions about the strange language of legalese.

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Meaning of “upon 90 days”

In a license contract we have, this legalenglish quote: LICENSEE reserves the right to terminate this License Agreement with or without cause upon 90 days written notice for LICENSOR beyond the ...
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1answer
28 views

Etymology of 'examination-in-chief' : What does 'in-chief' mean?

[ ODO: ] examination-in-chief [mass noun] {Law} The questioning of a witness by the party which has called that witness to give evidence, in support of the case being made. Compare with ...
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4answers
916 views

Is there a specific word describing black boxes covering confidential data on papers being prepared for public access?

Is there a specific word in English describing black boxes covering confidential data on papers being prepared for public access? Here is an example of such a paper
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1answer
92 views

What is the act of breaking a pen nib after signing a death sentence called?

I have noticed that every time a judge sentences someone to death sentence, he breaks his pen’s nib after signing his order. So what is this act called? I mean any specific term or single word for ...
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2answers
85 views

What's the opposite of “in X's favor”? [closed]

If you argued your case well, the judge may rule "in your favor". What's the opposite expression? (I don't mean "dismiss your claim" or "reject your suit" etc. - I'm looking for the exact opposite ...
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1answer
30 views

What is the difference between prospective, contingent and tentative offer?

What is the difference between prospective, contingent and tentative offer? Can you make some sentences using the word prospective for better understanding?
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3answers
1k views

Using “Acts of God” in legal term

I wonder why on a lot of legal term in English country using "Acts of God" as an events outside human control? As an Indonesian, I think everything that happens in this world is an act of God. And it ...
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1answer
96 views

Difference between the words resulting and resultant

Can anyone suggest situations where resultant would be preferable to resulting, or vice-versa? Dictionary definitions, noted down as a result of a telephone conversation but should be correct: ...
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2answers
72 views

Is the following a well-known idiom? “The legal team buried them in paper” [closed]

Slang Legal Terms I have heard the expression in movies but it is not represented as an idiom in computer searches. I want to use it in a legal case in which I am involved A similar question occurs ...
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1answer
64 views

What is a 7-2 ruling in legal context?

"Although his court challenge (Eldred vs. Attorney General John Ashcroft) was turned down by a United States circuit court, many believed that the lower court's decision had a very good chance of ...
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2answers
118 views

What do you call a spoken disclaimer on a radio/TV commercial?

The other day I was listening to the radio, and a very lengthy disclosure came on after a commercial. I know that in printed legal documents, and even on websites, the colloquialism for legal ...
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2answers
41 views

Difference between Trade-off and Balance?

What is the difference between "Balance" and "Trade-off" ? For instance at these two sentences: Legal balance between rights and interests And Trade-offs between rights and interests
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1answer
123 views

Legal document witness affiant declarations - how are declarations grammatically correct?

I was looking at a proof of loss form, and below my signature there is a section for another affiant's signature which reads: Declared severally before me at ______________________ From ...
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3answers
122 views

“The office of the President” or “the office of President”?

I know this one by heart: it is Section 1 of the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It sounds perfectly natural to me. I don't know why, though. Here: Section 1. No person shall be elected ...
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0answers
25 views

What are words like henceforth. nevertheless, hereupon? [duplicate]

what are these words? I think they are legal words and I wanna know more.
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1answer
50 views

What does “entrust a character” mean in the Supreme Court's gay marriage judgment?

I'm translating the Obergefell v. Hodges judgment into another language. As a non-native speaker, I really struggled with this sentence: The nature of injustice is that we may not always see it in ...
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3answers
50 views

What are Fowler's guidelines for comma usage for this phrase?

I don't need to set off "at times" in commas here, do I? "It is an at times fraught debate... " The alternative is as follows: "It is an, at times, fraught debate... " And, a second ...
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1answer
91 views

What's the meaning of “designs” in the clause below?

The undersigned agree that this Fee Protection is assignable and transferable to the beneficiaries, designs, heirs and assigns upon written notice of all parties, and shall not be amended without ...
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3answers
109 views

What does 'measuring cast' mean? (1660, UK)

Source: 'Things Necessary to be Continually had in Remembrance', by Sir Matthew Hale (1609-1676) If in criminals it be a measuring cast, to incline to mercy and acquittal. How do you ...
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3answers
199 views

Term for law that is not practiced in reality

I am looking for a (legal) term that describes the following concept: A law that should describe the reality of a situation, but in practice, since the law is not enforced, reality is not so. One ...
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1answer
22 views

Is this passive voice?

I am not sure if the below sentence is actually passive voice. Count I alleges negligence in Park Rangers’ removal of the signs. If so - suggestions on rewording it without making the sentence ...
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2answers
285 views

Admeasuring vs. measuring [closed]

I often find lawyers describing an area as “admeasuring xx square feet”. How is admeasuring any different from just plain measuring, or do admeasuring and measuring mean the same thing?
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4answers
490 views

A Specific Word for a Replacement of a Lost Document?

I'm looking for a specific (legal) term to refer to a replica document that's issued by the relevant officials as a replacement for a legal document that one has lost. I assume that replica is not ...
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2answers
181 views

what does “to which it is a party” mean in this setence?

I have a statement here and I dont get the meaning exactly "Each of the Members agrees to make an annual report to the International Labour Office on the measures which it has taken to give effect to ...
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2answers
90 views

Term for a structure of nested holding companies

An example would be a corporation A, that holds a controlling interest (say 51%) in company B, which holds a controlling interest (51% again) in company C, and now company A has a controlling interest ...
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1answer
492 views

Does a woman who has never been married have a maiden name?

I watched a movie recently in which one of the characters states that his mother doesn't have a maiden name. It really struck me as something odd (I am not a native English speaker), I would have ...
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2answers
86 views

legal expression for “going insane” [closed]

in a company bylaws document, I'm trying to describe situations in which a the term of a company director can be ended. These include death, as well as "going insane" or "losing his mind" - but I'm ...
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1answer
86 views

Pluralizing Numbered Items

In US legal practice, we often refer to numbered items: Interrogatory No. 1, Request for Admission No. 3, U.S. Patent No. 5,555,555. What part of the item should be pluralized? That is, should one ...
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1answer
63 views

Ambiguity in this sentence?

Is this sentence ambiguous: Licensor grants licensee one license to install and use this software on as many computers owned and operated by employees of your company That is, who owns the ...
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19answers
10k views

A verb that means “to prove someone is guilty of a crime”

Preface: I don't think there is a single-word (verb) that expresses the concept I am asking for, in which case I'd settle for the least ambiguous and most common phrase or idiom that describes the ...
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3answers
394 views

Expression for the advantage of being in possession of disputed goods in a civil suite?

Some time (years?) ago I saw (In fact it might have been in a comic, possibly Zits.) an expression/proverb that basically said that being in possession of a disputed goods meant that a civil law ...
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3answers
117 views

A word for evidence used to tell if someone has been in your room

I know there's an actual word for this. I used to know the word, but I've lost it. The word describes a category of methods that someone uses to detect if someone has been in a room, or opened a ...
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2answers
34 views

This contract clause […] that I have this-and-that right

This contract clause [...] that I have this-and-that right. which of the following can I use instead of the [...]? "says"? "stipulates"? "dictates"? "mandates"? something else?
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66 views

What is special about Anglo-French legal usage of [the] infinitive as a noun?

I was reading the etymology of attainder (n.), when I saw its reference to: use of French infinitives as nouns, especially in legal language, see waiver. waiver (n.) [<--] [...] Other ...
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2answers
111 views

A change of wording is needed (Solved) [closed]

In a legal document I am having to edit certain specific phrases, though I have managed to do most I am stuck on a way to change the wording of the phrase "[Company Name] hereby appoints" and ...
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2answers
548 views

What do you call a document whereby someone promises to pay back borrowed money?

I am translating a legal document from Persian into English. It is a loan certification thereby the borrower promises to return the borrowed money in specified period of time. It has two paragraphs in ...
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0answers
32 views

Etymology of 'to distrain'

[ODO:] {verb} [with object] {Law} 1. Seize (someone’s property) in order to obtain payment of rent or other money owed [Etymology:] Middle English: from Old French destreindre, from Latin ...
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1answer
169 views

Usage of “scienter” [closed]

"Scienter" is most commonly used as a noun in the following contexts: "Whether the corporation acted with scienter in defrauding investors." (In this case, it appears to be the object of the ...
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3answers
3k views

Formal alternative to the phrase 'Not taken seriously' [closed]

I'm writing a legal essay and the sentence is For example, a young person’s reluctance to seek redress, and that youth are often not taken seriously, their words often not repeated in court rooms. ...
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1answer
91 views

Verb to speak about legal right [closed]

I have been thinking about it and I was wondering if there is single verb (or maybe a phrase) in English which can describe the attribution of legal rights to someone. Is there a specific verb used to ...
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6answers
718 views

A suitable word for seizing a property

When a court orders for taking control of a property or real estate by the government in exchange of money, what is the best word for the court action? For example: The court maintains that his ...
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4answers
379 views

Does the word “and” always mean a logical (boolean) operation?

For a simple phrase like "macaroni and cheese" it's clear you want both macaroni and cheese, not one or the other. But as more and more words are added, I've noticed a tendency to begin to read "and" ...
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2answers
83 views

Usage of word “withheld” [closed]

I'm reading this one website insurance of employees and got confused. The employee's portion of the insurance contribution is withheld from the employee's pay So does it mean, the employee's ...
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1answer
580 views

Which synonyms for “stated” can I use in a legal context? [closed]

In our law essays we are often required to quote different judges. It becomes really monotonous to use the word "stated" all the time. I have also used "advocated" and "declared". Are there any other ...
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2answers
798 views

“Licensed” vs. “registered” [closed]

I found these terms while doing some research about insurance: Agents must usually be licensed in the province or territory in which they do business. Brokers must usually be registered in ...
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2answers
45 views

How to parse 'of whom any one of you the aforesaid A, B, C, D, etc. we will shall be one'?

In the block quote below, I bolded everything excerpted from Etymonline for 'quorum {noun}'. Everything else (ie the annotations) originates from: p 469 , The Justice of the Peace and Parish Officer, ...
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1answer
1k views

(if any) meaning in legal context

What does 'if any' mean in the legal context below? When the Registrar receives under subsection 33(1), 34(1) or 35(1) or (2) an application or notice (as the case may be) from the payee or payer of ...
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1answer
168 views

Do “ensure” and “assure” invoke legal obligations?

Not sure where else to put this as I did not see a StackExchange for legal questions. Will gladly remove if someone can suggest a more appropriate place. We are submitting a proposal in response to ...
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0answers
188 views

How to rationalise the legal definition of 'to procure'?

How can I resolve the contradictions below? What's the right derivation? I already understand and so ask NOT about the definition, below which I want to burrow. I heed the Etymological Fallacy. ...
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4answers
1k views

What do you call a document that doesn't need a signature?

Is there a term describing a document that doesn't need to be signed in order to be valid? Edit after several answers and comments: An electronic banking system can generate documents for a user to ...