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82

Because every attempt to change it makes the law more complex and more expensive. The archaic terms, like 'plaintiff' and 'writ' had clear definitions, partly because they had been hammered out over generations. A well-intentioned attempt to make it easier for the layman to understand (which every new Government tries to bring in) replacing them with ...


56

I don't remember how I learned this, and I can't find a reference just now, but the peculiar custom of redundancy in our legal documents dates back to medieval England. The Norman conquest of 1066 put a French-speaking king and nobility in charge of an English-speaking people. The English courts at the time were extremely sensitive to detail and would throw ...


46

According to Merriam-Webster: implicate: (3a) to bring into intimate or incriminating connection evidence that implicates him in the bombing So I would write this: Lucy realized she found the proof that implicated Robert in the murders. You can omit "in the murders" if it is implied by context.


43

I consider "jail" to mean a temporary, local facility where suspects are held until and during trial. In general, you can get out of jail by paying a bail bond. "Prison" is where convicted felons are sent to serve their sentence. Thus, there aren't a lot of federal jails--there's not much point to the local and federal governments having two jails in the ...


32

Curious to learn more about Ms. Hess' answer, I undertook a little more research* today... The history begins, as with so many curiosities in the English language, with the Norman invasion in 1066. At that time, English was the language of the ordinary people, and the law. At first, William the Conqueror interfered little with use of English in official ...


31

In the United States, jails are operated by cities and counties (or equivalent). Prisons are operated by states and the federal government. Jails are generally thought of as for short-term incarceration, such as before or during trial, or for minor crimes that result in a sentence of incarceration, usually of less than one year. Prisons are for long-term ...


27

F'x's answer is completely correct with regards to the usage of the legal term "null and void": Both refer to the same meaning of invalidity. As best as I can tell, "void" is the most appropriate of the two to use if you want to trim your word count. For everything else, however, the terms do have different meanings. Null means "empty" or "insignificant" ...


25

You already have the most common phrase: the evidence to prove [ or that would prove] Robert guilty. If the word proof is important, simply the proof that Robert was guilty would work well.


21

In law, void and null both mean invalid; not legally binding. “Null and void”, though tautological, is an established expression meaning the same as null or void.


19

Convict is the correct word here. It's the strongest and most succinct, though legally speaking, Lucy would not do the convicting: that would be filled by the role of judge, jury, or relevant prosecuting attorney for the government. Indict and implicate are too weak: especially in modern, western legal systems, the accused benefits from the presumption of ...


18

The definition of infraction seems to fit: the violation of an administrative regulation, an ordinance, a municipal code, and, in some jurisdictions, a state or local traffic rule.


18

Lucy realized she finally had enough evidence to indict Robert on the charge of murder. Indict in·dict /inˈdīt/ verb, North American –Google past tense: indicted; past participle: indicted formally accuse of or charge with a serious crime. Because of double jeopardy, one had best be sure you have all your ducks in a row before you indict a ...


18

I agree that the verb convict pretty much means found someone is guilty of a crime. The proving part is the prosecution process itself. If you are looking for a more direct way to apply the proof in your sample sentence, I would use committed: Lucy realized she had proof that Robert committed the murders.


16

Since it appears that you're referring to requirements analysis or contracts specifications, the governing body or contracting agency should specify what the language requirements will be. In some instances I've been involved with, anything not specifically using shall (which would include should) is not considered to be a true requirement (that is, failure ...


16

This, like much legal language, is archaic. This particular case is a Non-Restrictive Relative Clause, which in ordinary English would just be The folder, which is missing from the principal's office, ... As Tim says, it's the extra folder that's the unnecessary padding, not the which. Which is utterly standard for non-restrictive relatives. In this ...


15

Hoo boy. The amount of nonrecourse debt in excess of the FMV of the property subject to the nonrecourse debt to the extent nonrecourse debt in excess of the FMV of the property subject to the debt is forgiven. Some substitutions: X = nonrecourse debt X' = debt Y = the FMV of the property Z = Y subject to the X Z' = Y subject to the X' This gives ...


14

So, to be clear, this isn't so much a question about English as it is about legal jargon. English is spoken in a wide variety of places with varying legal systems and the exact terms vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, as do the details of how they're different. Now that I've established that, commonly, there are 3 rough "levels" of law violations. ...


13

Jail is a municipal level, prison is on a state/federal/provincial/territory level. You will not serve life in a jail, but you will in a prison, which is more for serious crimes.


13

As TimLymington and others have pointed out, the old, archaic words have strictly-defined meanings that a "more common" word does not have. I'd like to also point out that legal documents must be unambiguous to an extent not required of most writing. Suppose in a novel the author writes, "Bob dropped by the office where his wife was waiting with her boss. ...


11

Wikipedia describes it in some detail: Copyright are exclusive statutory rights to exercise control over copying and other exploitation of the works for a specific period of time. The copyright owner is given two sets of rights: an exclusive, positive right to copy and exploit the copyrighted work, or license others to do so, and a negative right to ...


11

I am tempted to propose the following: Lucy realized she had the proof to establish Robert's guilt. Per Merriam-Webster: establish verb : to cause (someone or something) to be widely known and accepted : to put (someone or something) in a position, role, etc., that will last for a long time : to begin or create (something that is ...


10

Having found the publication you referenced, I noticed two words that you left out that clear up the sentence a bit. Liabilities include: • The amount of nonrecourse debt in excess of the FMV of the property subject to the nonrecourse debt to the extent nonrecourse debt in excess of the FMV of the property subject to the debt is forgiven. ...


10

In the U.S., the distinction is made between civil and criminal offenses or infractions. An explanation can be found here, and states The differences between a civil offense and a criminal offense are usually defined by the nature of the offense and the punishment assessed. ... Civil offenses involve violations of administrative matters. ... ...


10

This is so called "legalese". A dialect used only in contracts, law documents and other court and law related sources. Not only it's valid English, it's written in such a way as to not leave any ambiguities, or room for interpretation, using phrases that don't occur in everyday English, but have specific properties of describing places, moments, locations ...


10

It's grammatical. Subject-verb inversion is required when preposing a negative adverbial of time, place, or circumstance. At no time did he say that. ~ *At no time he said that. Under no circumstances may she enter. ~ *Under no circumstances she may enter. It is not allowed, however, when preposing other adverbials. *With no hesitation did he speak ...


10

Does the word “and” always mean a logical (boolean) operation? Certainly not, a quick glance at the dictionary demonstrates that the use of and is not limited to a boolean operation: conjunction 1.0 Used to connect words of the same part of speech, clauses, or sentences, that are to be taken jointly: bread and butter they can read and write ...


9

In the UK, one is unlawfully at large.  5. Unlawfully at large from prison 5.1. A prisoner is unlawfully at large when absent from prison, young offenders institute or remand centre as a result of: * escaping or absconding from the prison establishment; * failing to return to the prison establishment after a period of ...


9

Here in the UK: "weak, frivolous and unmeritorious cases"; "totally without merit" (TWM): What is the test the Court should apply in deciding whether an application is ‘totally without merit’? The question is prompted by the Lord Chancellor’s announcement on 23 April 2013 that he will press ahead with plans to reform judicial review procedure to target ...


9

The expression that comes to mind is Possession is nine-tenths of the law. From the Free Dictionary: possession is nine-tenths of the law: Custody presumes ownership. The basis of this legal maxim that comes down from the 17th-century is the commonsense observation that if you have control of something, chances are better than average that ...


8

Its done to make any tempering with the document difficult. Maybe one can change the number in one place but it wont be easy reflecting the change in the other representation



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