Questions about the strange language of legalese.

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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
23 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
4k 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 One of the comments on this post on Bruce Schneier's blog claims there is: This might be out of date in these days of 100% literacy ...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
39 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
71 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
202 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
29 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
55 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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4answers
195 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
37 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 ...
3
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2answers
1k 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
485 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
275 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
61 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
96 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 ...
10
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6answers
846 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
85 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
68 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
50 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
31 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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0answers
25 views

We have also assigned you, and every two or more of you

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, ...
2
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1answer
84 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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3answers
18k views

What's the word Copyright and `(C)' mean?

In the lines: Copyright (C) 1994 Tom Copyright (C) 1995, 1996 Cruise Copyright (C) 1997, 1998 Louis Here, what's the original meaning of "Copyright"? And why the mark "(C)"? And, what is ...
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1answer
56 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
60 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
275 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 ...
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1answer
35 views

What a pronoun should one use: “you” or “yours”? [duplicate]

This document sets out the rights and responsibilities of [you || yours], the Company, and the concerned third parties. If "the Client's rights" can be rephrased to "the rights of Client", then, ...
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3answers
137 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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1answer
124 views

Is there the term “majour fource” in English? [closed]

A person from the legal department replaced "major force" with "majour fource" in a document. I wanna know if this spelling has any background in the English language or is a typo.
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4answers
16k 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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4answers
96 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," ...
2
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3answers
121 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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2answers
392 views

Meaning of Without Prejudice [closed]

What does the term "without prejudice" mean in a legal sense (ie near your signature or credentials on a document or contract - binding or not) as opposed to the non-legal meaning? EDIT: Just ...
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1answer
415 views

What does “Payment with return”?

I'm just working on translating document from English to Polish. The document is called "Account Transcript" and it is from US Internal Revenue Service. Transactions table at the bottom contain ...
29
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12answers
8k views

Do the words “jail” and “prison” refer to different things?

In everyday speech, the terms jail and prison are used interchangeably in many situations. However, my understanding is that, at least in the US, they actually refer to slightly different things. For ...
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1answer
44 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 ...
2
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2answers
164 views

Etymology of legal meaning of 'dispositive'

Since Prof. Eugene Volokh has observed its counterintuitiveness, what's an intuitive derivation? Prof. Eugene Volokh: One way of remembering this is by looking at the stem, which turns out to be ...
2
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1answer
90 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
105 views

Term for organization being sponsored — “sponsee”? [duplicate]

I have seen a few sponsorship agreements and in one of them the term "sponsee" was used to define the organization being sponsored. The context was a company who sponsors a local team. The agreement ...
2
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2answers
182 views

Help in demystifying the meaning of 2 sentences from an academic journal article!

1.) This is basically an english translation of a section of a Hittite Law code: "If someone wounds a man and makes him ill, he shall nurse him. He shall give a man in his place who will work in his ...
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6answers
94 views

A general term for standards, legislation, handbooks, etc.?

What is a general word or phrase that could encompass the class of documents called standards (i.e. ISO, ANSI, BS, etc.), legislation, laws, handbooks, style guides, manuals, etc.? Basically, all ...
0
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1answer
114 views

Who is a “person who makes notary action”?

A notary is a person who certifies documents. Who is "a person who makes notary action"? Is that the notary or the customer who asked for his documents to be certified? I got this phrase from a local ...
2
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2answers
163 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 ...
3
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1answer
201 views

This long sentence is ambiguous, and difficult for me to understand [closed]

I got this sentence Property value litigation is no different than any other type of litigation where experts are used in that expert opinions are fair game for attack by the opposing side in ...
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1answer
96 views

What does commute/commutation mean in this context?

I am trying to understand the following sentence from a legal document. Can anyone explain me what 'commutation' means? Immovable property presently sold is free and clear of all seigniorial ...
2
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2answers
69 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 ...
1
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1answer
32 views

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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1answer
220 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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1answer
132 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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4answers
5k 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 ...