Tagged Questions

Questions about the strange language of legalese.

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Meaning of 'action' - 1884 UK

Source: p 115, The Law of Contract, 5 ed (2012), by O’Sullivan and Hilliard Lord Blackburn was even more troubled by the result [in Pinnel's Case (1602)], tantalisingly hinting that he had ...
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15 views

Archaic meaning of 'procure' - 1615 UK

Source: p 105, The Law of Contract, 5 ed (2012), by O’Sullivan and Hilliard It is encapsulated in the difficult seventeenth-century language of Lampleigh v Braithwait (1615): A mere ...
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1answer
31 views

Figurative meaning of 'suit' - 1615 UK?

Source: p 105, The Law of Contract, 5 ed (2012), by O’Sullivan and Hilliard It is encapsulated in the difficult seventeenth-century language of Lampleigh v Braithwait (1615): A mere ...
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0answers
21 views

How did 'hold' evolve into its more forceful legal meaning?

5.6. [with clause] (Of a judge or court) rule; decide When I first encountered this meaning, I thought that it only meant the connotations of 'to contain, grasp; retain; foster, cherish'. For ...
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4answers
165 views

Is the § character recognizable as an icon for legal matters in English speaking countries?

I need a symbol in my navigation to represent the legal portions of a web application (disclaimer, imprint, and so on). I thought that it would be appropriate to use the § character; my customer ...
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1answer
35 views

Term for organization being sponsored — “sponsee”?

I have seen a few sponsorship agreements and in one of them the term "sponsee" was used to define the organization being sponsored. Is this an actual word? If not, please provide me with ...
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41 views

Wedge between the related verbs?

At the beginning of 1807, based on information gathered from Burr’s correspondence allegedly showing that he had begun preparations for a large-scale military expedition, the former vice ...
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1answer
39 views

the correct translation of “attendu que”

does attendu que mean "given that" /"considering that"/ whereas. it appears at the beginning of every paragraph in a french legal document i'm working on and i'm not sure if all of the "attendu que"s ...
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2answers
42 views

manner in which duties were performed

From Criminal Justice Act Guidelines, on lawyer compensation: Determining Fair Compensation: After establishing that a case is extended or complex, the approving judicial officer should ...
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2answers
46 views

rephrase “as they are mutually understood”

I'm trying to translate an SLA ( Service Level Agreement ) from English to Dutch. But i can't wrap my head around the following sentence: This Agreement outlines the parameters of all IT services ...
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1answer
68 views

Showing possession when the noun is defined by a word in parentheses

Document Title: Plaintiff's Interrogatories to Defendant There are multiple plaintiffs. We typically define the plaintiff as, "Plaintiffs (Smith) want to object...etc." and this particular plaintiff ...
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2answers
54 views

“About which” in legal English

How can I say "about which" in legal English (using some word akin to "herein" and "therewith")? For example, I would like to say "John Smith was born on April 1, about which there was made a record," ...
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3answers
130 views

Why does the police use “K-9 Unit” instead of “dog”?

Throughout North America, I keep seeing police cars labeled "K-9 unit". I know "K-9" is a homophone of "canine", but why don't they just use "Police dog"?
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4answers
65 views

A person or entity that decides how an obligation should be fulfilled

Let's say that I caused some nasty accident and someone was hurt and a judge told me that I have an obligation to amend their damage somehow. However, some other person (or entity) will decide how ...
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1answer
33 views

use of distainer office, distrainment proceedings, etc

Is "distainer office, distrainment proceedings, distrain order, ..." correct? Even this spell checker highlights these words as incorrect. Some translations use execution office, executor's office, ...
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1answer
80 views

What does “further embodiment” mean?

I am reading a legal paper and I see this "further embodiment" a lot. I wonder what it means? Thank you
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111 views

What does “draw something within something” mean? [closed]

From page 228 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer: The law is presumed unconstitutional, but the state may rebut that presumption by satisfying a heavy burden of justification. ...
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1answer
93 views

What does “which” refer to in “in respect to which”? [closed]

From footnote 34 on page 216 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer:  . . . it is accepted that individuals have due-process rights to notice and hearing [//] with respect to ...
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3answers
97 views

How to parse these two long (subordinate) clauses connected with 'that'? [closed]

From footnote 8 on page 205 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer: Supplemented context: There are, of course, controversies about and challenges to these venerable distinctions as ...
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3answers
152 views

Similarities and differences: 'in + VERBing' vs 'VERBing' alone

Source: p 145, Frederick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer In being an empirical response to an empirical claim, this explanation engages Realism on its own terms, and so little can be said ...
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1answer
95 views

Why isn’t “him that is” instead “him who is” in this passage from the 1500s? [closed]

From page 123 of Frederick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: As long ago as the sixteenth century, Lord Selden observed that . . . Equity is according to the conscience of him that ...
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1answer
73 views

What’s the meaning of “purchase” in “the purchase for changing a rule”?

On page 118 of Thinking Like a Lawyer by Frederick Schauer, I found this passage: If the purchase for changing a rule[,] is a perception of what the optimal result would be in the absence of the ...
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1answer
100 views

What does “so” mean in “the analogy, so the skeptics insist, did not determine the result”? [closed]

From page 97 of Frederick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: Deciding the Skokie case involving the American Nazi Party in 1977, therefore, was simply a matter of applying the rule set forth in ...
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1answer
57 views

Is ”what there is a reason to do” a valid construct?

From page 76 of Frederick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: What there is a reason to do is different from what should be done, all things considered, just as what there is a right to do is ...
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2answers
113 views

“What about” vs. ”what of”

Example from page 75 of Frederick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: But what of mandatory authorities? Are they as “binding” as the traditional terminology suggests? The answer depends on what ...
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1answer
235 views

Use of brackets in legal writing

I see in legal writing the use of double brackets in a quote to indicate part of the quote is deleted, such as: "All work [] makes Johnny a very dull boy." I thought the correct way to do this quote ...
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2answers
119 views

Grammatical Voice Problem [closed]

"Can security be granted by an entity which is neither a borrower nor a guarantor? Yes, The third party may be granted if . . ..“ I don't understand what this sentence means. Who grants whom? To my ...
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3answers
102 views

What does “over” mean here?

"All assets could be pledged except for pledges over a going concern (gages sur fonds de commerce), Luxembourg law doesn't provide for an all assets security." Could someone explain this sentence? ...
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78 views

What’s the difference between “cite” and “cite to”? [closed]

From page 69 of Frederick Shauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: A New York state court may cite to a case decided in Vermont . . . The courts are not even required to cite to these “authorities,” let ...
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79 views

Which does “substantive'” mean? [closed]

From pages 63–64 of Fredirick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: I eat spinach because it is good for me. Judge Cardozo decided the way he did ... because he thought that outcome fairer and ...
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116 views

“Recover against” vs. “recover from” [closed]

From page 53 of Frederick Schauer’s Thinking Like a Lawyer: If Judge Cardozo had said, “We hold that in all cases involving a nonbusiness consumer and a manufacturer of goods, the consumer may ...
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1answer
41 views

Right meanings of 'form'?

When legal decision-makers like Justice Peckham, who are actually ... making a policy or political choice act as if there were no choice to be made—when they treat a policy choice as simply ...
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1answer
80 views

disputant vs disputer

Any differences in meaning? The dictionary doesn't explain. Google Ngrams This dispute between the king and the estate of William Bankes, owner of coastal land including Corfe Castle, concerned ...
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2answers
121 views

What does the term “nonrecourse deduction” mean?

What does the term: nonrecourse deduction(s) mean? In legal documents I have seen the term nonrecourse deduction(s) used as it pertains to taxation and other economic factors. It is not clear to me ...
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1answer
108 views

“Damage to the undercarriage; damage caused by water”

Does this phrase mean that damages to the undercarriage caused by water is not covered, OR does it mean damage to the undercarriage is not covered regardless of the cause, and that damage to the ...
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2answers
75 views

What kind of structure with a relative pronoun is this?

As Lord Esher once noted, ‘Any proposition the result of which would be to show that the common law of England is wholly unreasonable and unjust cannot be part of the common law of England.’ ...
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142 views

'The Constitution Is Not A Suicide Pact'

Would someone please explain why this means: that civil liberties only go so far, and at extremes, security must take precedence ? I tried to reference a suicide pact and more context here, ...
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2answers
79 views

Meaning of “cold finality”

In an American case in 1937, Justice Clarkson said this before delivering his dissent: In those after years when this case, elevated to high authority by the cold finality of the ...
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2answers
52 views

Meaning of 'duty' here [closed]

His case, though, was rejected by the Court of Appeal, which suggested that practical and policy reasons militated against allowing him to recover damages. Lord Justice Stuart-Smith said: ...
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1answer
175 views

Is this use of 'such as' correct?

Later in 1991, the Court of Appeal dismissed all the claims on the ground that, apart from rescuers, only parents and spouses could claim and that ‘a perception through the broadcast of ...
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2answers
78 views

Question on “subject to being disproved by the person accused” [closed]

The appeal court said that in criminal cases where it is necessary for the prosecution to prove intention, they must always do just that. Intention can never be presumed, subject to being ...
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60 views

'pray to someone' vs 'pray someone'

What are the similarities and differences? I had always believed in the first, that 'pray' admits only an indirect object. Yet Google Ngram refutes this. For example, does the following admit of ...
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2answers
35 views

Term for varies with jurisdiction

Is there a term for the concept of homo/heterogeneity of jurisdictions when it comes to legal status of a certain action? That is being illegal in all jurisdictions [limited to context] or being legal ...
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50 views

1607 writ by Edward Coke - Relative pronouns? [duplicate]

(Sir Edward) Coke further noted that legal disputes about such matters as inheritance of goods: are not to be decided by natural reason but by the artificial reason and judgment of ...
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2answers
94 views

Can I use “contend” without a preposition?

On the one hand, recent advances in the power of computers have been decried as the nemesis of whatever vestiges of our privacy still survive. On the other, the Internet is acclaimed as a Utopia. ...
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146 views

Meaning - 'the sword and the purse'

Because it lacks the legitimacy and accountability that come with election and the power that derives from the sword and the purse, the Supreme Court’s authority rests on public acceptance of its ...
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1answer
103 views

“vest” as a phrasal verb

Rather than memorising the definitions, how could I intuit and rationalise them: vest in somebody/something = to belong to somebody/something legally. vest something in somebody = to give somebody ...
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3answers
96 views

Placing the object of an infinitive before it instead of after it

At the beginning of 1807, based on information gathered from Burr’s correspondence allegedly showing that he had begun preparations for a large-scale military expedition, the former vice ...
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0answers
41 views

Meaning of grave in graver trusts [closed]

Any other rule of construction would abrogate the judicial character of this court, and make it the mere reflex of the popular opinion or passion of the day. This court was not created by the ...
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67 views

“issue” as an intransitive verb [closed]

The place of confinement would not be different, since in those days the dangerously insane in the District of Columbia were confined in the same jail as indicted criminals. (There was no ...