Questions about the strange language of legalese.

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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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1answer
31 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
54 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
28 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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2answers
77 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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1answer
50 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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3answers
107 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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1answer
42 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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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
41 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
46 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
88 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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2answers
92 views

Notarial Deed Translation from Canadian English

I have to translate an English document from Quebec into Polish language. However, there is one sentence that I cannot understand: As the whole now subsists with all its rights members and ...
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2answers
97 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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3answers
174 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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4answers
17k 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
20 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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4answers
441 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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3answers
254 views

“right of say” — legal term? poor translation?

I'm looking at a political document where Country A is saying Country B has no right of say over Area C. A cursory search did not turn up a legal term but I do not have an adequate legal dictionary ...
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19answers
9k 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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1answer
249 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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4answers
18k views

Does 'should' imply an unquestionable command?

My question is prompted by a question on the programmers.stackexchange: This may be a duplicate of another question here on english.stackechange, but the answers given to that question did not ...
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2answers
78 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
67 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
60 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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9answers
6k views

What is the word for something that is punishable by law, but is not a crime?

What is the legal term in English for something that is punishable by law, but is not a crime (i.e. does not affect your criminal record)? I mean all the lesser (than crime) violations of the law, ...
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5answers
10k views

“Shall” and “will” in legal requirements

What is the implication of using shall versus will in writing a specification document? For instance, lets say I have the paragraph, "upon by all parties involved." All information between ...
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1answer
15k views

What does 'back-stopping' mean?

We have a tender document, and it lists how the offer should be proposed. Basically this is split into 3 sections: Rationale Strategy Details of Proposal Under section 2., there is this clause: ...
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2answers
13k views

“In” or “At” sole discretion

We're drafting some legal stuff, and our lawyer used this phrasing... ...whether any particular enhancement is to be categorized as such shall be made in the sole reasonable discretion of ...
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3answers
386 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
113 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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4answers
5k views

Your signature vs your mark

Is there a difference between your 'signature' and your 'mark'? One of the comments on this post on Bruce Schneier's blog claims there is: This might be out of date in these days of 100% literacy ...
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0answers
62 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
100 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
425 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
104 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
2k 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
69 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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2answers
3k views

What's the term/word for a legal case without merit?

What's the term/word for a legal case without merit? There's something more technical than "fraudulent" or "groundless"... can't pinpoint it.
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6answers
658 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 ...
11
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4answers
348 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
76 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 ...
1
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1answer
351 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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6answers
951 views

Why does legal English sometimes repeat the antecedent noun after “which”?

Here's a standard English sentence: The folder which is missing from the principal's office contained the answers to today's exam. (Separate question, discussed elsewhere I'm sure, whether it ...
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2answers
437 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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1answer
69 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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2answers
145 views

“In cases where” vs. “in the event”

In cases where either party is unable to perform the contracted obligation... In the event either party is unable to perform the contracted obligation... Which phrase is preferable and ...
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2answers
44 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, ...