Questions about the strange language of legalese.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

8
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the equivalent phrase in the UK for “I plead the fifth”?

In the United States, a person under examination on the witness stand may "plead the fifth" to avoid self-incrimination. In other words, a person asserts his or her Fifth Amendment right. Citizens of ...
1
vote
2answers
60 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? ...
-1
votes
0answers
41 views

What is subrogation? [on hold]

"A person that discharges the debt of another will be subrogated by operation of law to the claims of the creditor whose debt is discharged. These rights can be, and typically are, waived by the ...
-3
votes
0answers
42 views

To be or not to be? That's a question [on hold]

"There is potential personal liability for the directors if they continue to trade in a situation where they knew or ought to have known that there was no reasonable prospect of avoiding an insolvent ...
1
vote
1answer
46 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
90 views

Grammatical Voice Problem [on hold]

"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 ...
3
votes
0answers
56 views

'cite' vs 'cite to' [closed]

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 alone follow them. Why not simply cite? What are the ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

Which meaning of 'substantive'? [closed]

I eat spinach because it is good for me. Judge Cardozo decided the way he did ... because he thought that outcome fairer and more efficient than what had previously been the law. These ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

adjudge vs adjudicate [closed]

On their faces, their definitions ( adjudge, adjudicate ) are written differently, but they connote the same meanings. Thus, what are the similarities and differences? For example, wouldn't all of ...
0
votes
1answer
32 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

Which meaning of 'mode' ? [closed]

Yet although the characteristic modes of legal reasoning are all frequently found outside the law, it might still be that these forms of reasoning and decision-making are particularly ...
0
votes
0answers
48 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
67 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
45 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
56 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
84 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

how to say “etc” in a subject

I am translating some legal certificate and I need to indicate that a construction method and related factors are in accordance with a law. I am not sure what is the appropriate way to describe ...
0
votes
2answers
48 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.’ ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

'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 ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

Intuition - “to enjoin”

Would someone please explain the etymology or the intuition behind this verb? I'm aware of the etymological fallacy, but still want to intuit its definition.
1
vote
0answers
47 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
35 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
43 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
76 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
46 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
51 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
130 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
41 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: ...
1
vote
0answers
44 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
633 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
32 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
41 views

“the below-identified person”: Term for this style and any style guides regarding

Are there any technical terms to specifically describe the two styles (A and B) below? Also, are there any prescriptive style guides that say which is preferable? My own preference is for style B ...
6
votes
5answers
174 views

Word for biased interpretation of the law?

When a law is misinterpreted and enforced by a "power class" in a social hierarchy, and the stated justification has no basis even in the laws to which to the justification makes reference, is there a ...
10
votes
8answers
3k 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, ...
3
votes
2answers
51 views

Why is common law referred to as “at common law”?

While researching the differences between modern penal codes with common law I noticed that in many places it is written as at common law. An example is, "A crime at common law defined as unlawful ...
4
votes
4answers
231 views

What is the adjective for “supersedure” or “primacy”?

Is there an adjective that can express the concept of a law that supersedes other laws? I would prefer a single adjective that has legal connotations, although a present participle will suffice. The ...
-1
votes
3answers
87 views

Can I consider “mockingjay” a normal English word? [closed]

Because my team and I want to name an application we are developing in a school project "mockingjay", we were wondering if that word (which is the title of the last book of Suzanne Collins' Hunger ...
0
votes
4answers
77 views

Better alternative for “even after”?

I have the following sentence in a legal document: The terms shall remain in force even after the Warranty obligation, as specified in article 1, ends. Is there a better way of expressing "even ...
0
votes
3answers
572 views

Correct use of “hereby”

Does the following sentence make correct use of hereby? The total amount specified in "Appendix 3 Price Breakdown and Payment Plan" attached to hereby Sub-Contract. Should I say attached to ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Adjectives to describe a legal system that has a number of limitations

Im finding an adjective describing a judicial system that has many limitations like the system has lax regulations and sanctions are not harsh enough. Looking forward to your replies.
1
vote
2answers
45 views

“retain the title” in legal terms [closed]

Here is another question from me while making efforts to translate a wordy document. Please read the paragraph as follows: Mr. Justice Holmes stated in dissent: "If [the manufacturer] should make the ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

the first case … is the court's decision

As I have said many times, I'm translating some wordy document, and here is another sentence that need shedding some light on: Thus the first case cited by the Court in Schwinn for the proposition ...
0
votes
2answers
35 views

Differences between vertical restraints and vertical restrictions in Antitrust Law [closed]

I've read a lawsuit (link:https://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/c/US/433/433.US.36.76-15.html) that uses both "vertical restraints" and "vertical restrictions", I'm translating this document so I ...
2
votes
1answer
26 views

state the reach of something against something as doing something

I encountered this sentence while translating a lawsuit and now I'm quite confused about what it intends to say: Court stated the reach of the per se rule against tie-ins under 1 of the Sherman Act ...
6
votes
7answers
43k views

What is the proper usage of the phrase “due diligence”?

I have encountered the phrase "due diligence" in the business world. The usage examples I have seen (mostly emails) cannot exactly be considered grammatical canon. An internet search produces ...
2
votes
6answers
272 views

Is the “will” in “can and will” necessary?

Anyone who's ever seen much American film or television has heard some variation of the following sentences countless times: You have the right to remain silent. If you choose to give up that ...
1
vote
2answers
44 views

Capitalizing processes in a law suit

When writing about a trial, should four-year Statute of Limitations have the four-year spelled out or as 4 year Statute of Limitations? Also, should Preliminary Hearing, Mediation, Discovery, ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Is there a grammar rule that defines the properties of a legally accepted word [closed]

I would like to know if there is a grammar rule(s) that defines whether a word is gramatically legal or not. I understand a word is given meaning by a human and anyone can give meaning to anything. ...
2
votes
2answers
545 views

Reason for Subject-Verb Inversion: Only in cases where A is B, shall the Company do X [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sentences using: [something] + have + they subject-auxiliary inversions not associated with questions In the following, why does subject-verb inversion occur? Is it ...