Questions tagged [legalese]

Questions about the strange language of legalese. Consider asking on law.stackexchange.com if your question focuses on the legal interpretation of some term or phrase.

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14answers
5k views

Someone who is granted access to information but not expected to read it

I'm looking for word for a person who handles records, but isn't expected to read them. I'm creating a list of positions within an organization who should have access to certain records. Alongside ...
1
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0answers
22 views

How did 'consideration' shift to signify grounds and the act of deliberation, then inducer of a grant or promise?

Frederick Pollock. Principles Of Contract. (1902) p. 170. p. 220/400 here.         The name of Consideration appears only about the beginning of the sixteenth century, and we do ...
0
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1answer
29 views

How do you refer to a signatory before they've signed a document?

Pretty much the title. I have a contract with some people who have to sign it to make it official. By what descriptive noun do I refer to these people? "Presumptive signatory"?
0
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2answers
39 views

Use of “Term of Office” and “Term of Employment” when translating internal rules and regulations of a university (in Japan)

I am checking the English translation of rules and regulations of Japanese university (Public). There seem too much use of "Term of Office" in the texts. Some of them must be altered to "Term of ...
0
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1answer
37 views

Standard (legal?) phrase for a clear mind

Is there a standard (possibly legal) phrase to denote that a person has a clear mind and is capable of doing things well and understanding the consequences of their actions (as opposed to being e.g. ...
1
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1answer
21 views

What does `attested to` mean in a legal document? [closed]

What does attested to mean in a legal context? "...are reviewed on a quarterly basis and attested to by <authority-figure>"
-1
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0answers
20 views

What does Designate mean in a legal document?

When I read this in a legal document I believe it means "whom ever the authority figure designates" but I'm a little unsure of that. It keeps coming up in the thing that I'm reading, and that's why I'...
2
votes
1answer
401 views

Word for being out at night during curfew

In the 13th century a night watch was founded in London to enforce curfew. Nobody (except people of a certain social standing) was permitted to be out on the streets during the curfew. Is there a ...
1
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1answer
34 views

How did 'damages' semantically shift to mean 'money awards which respond to wrongs'?

Etymonline and OED don't expatiate what semantic notions underlie the ordinary meaning of 'damage' to this legal one. I quoted p. 800 Contract Law: Text, Cases, and Materials (2018 8 ed) in this ...
3
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1answer
36 views

How did 'receiver' semantically shift to mean an appointee to manage a company's assets?

What semantic notions underlie 1. with c in the OED? According to c, receivers manages or administers assets. So what exactly do they "receive"? Paul Davies. JC Smith's The Law of Contract (2018 2 ...
0
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0answers
46 views

“by whom the sums were paid” vs “who paid the sums”

O'Sullivan & Hilliard's The Law of Contract (2018 8 ed). p. 350. I don't understand the syntax of the relative clause underlined in red. I've removed that paragraph's adjuncts to ...
1
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1answer
61 views

Trying to understand but getting mixed opinions [closed]

Here is the sentence I'm trying to understand: "Your contract and verbal agreement are hereby terminated sixty days after service upon you of this notice or as of November 26th, 2017, whichever is ...
1
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0answers
33 views

What does 'jealous' mean in 'the Courts are bound to be jealous, lest they should turn contracts of service into contracts of slavery'?

Paul Davies. JC Smith's The Law of Contract (2018 2 ed). p. 454. As this case was published in 1890, I don't know if Fry LJ were using an older meaning of 'jealous', let alone try to guess which ...
0
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1answer
18 views

What is “first modify” in the following piece from a license text?

"You may redistribute the source code of this program subject to the condition that you do not first modify it in any way"
6
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2answers
118 views

What's the etymology of sound' in 'sound in damages, tort, contract'?

OED: 6. to sound in damages: in legal use, to be concerned only with damages. Also to sound in tort, to sound in contract, etc. 1780 M. Madan Thelyphthora II. 153 There is not one [...
3
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3answers
110 views

Does “shooting for effect” have contradictory meanings in different areas?

I only know one meaning for "shooting for effect". It's the sort of thing a SWAT team commander might say to indicate that no one is terribly interested in interrogating the subjects. Basically, it ...
0
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1answer
18 views

Interpretation “has been entered”

I am having a hard time interpreting a specific phrase. The phrase is "A judgement has been entered." If a judgement was previously entered, and it was then removed. Would the "has been entered," be ...
1
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0answers
15 views

when we talk about settlement in litigation, can we use the word “price”?

When we talk about settlement in litigation, can we use the word "price"? I feel "amount" is commonly use when we talk about the amount of money one side has to pay to the other. Can we also use "...
0
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1answer
52 views

Use of 'an hire' in legal writing [duplicate]

I received legal documents pertaining to hiring in which every use of the word 'hire' was proceded by the indefinite article 'an'. Example: An hire takes place once... Is this correct or ...
0
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2answers
56 views

Is the grammar in this article of this student constitution correct?

I am currently disputing my eligibility to run for president of my college's Student Government. The grounds on which my opponents are seeking to exclude me from the ballot fall upon the following ...
-1
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2answers
218 views

Is there a gender-neutral alternative to workmanlike suitable for use in legal context?

The word "workmanlike" and phrase "workmanlike manner" appear frequently in contract terms, but are obviously gendered. For example: The services will be performed in a professional and workmanlike ...
1
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2answers
50 views

Appropriate word for “something that will kick in if something bad happens”

I'm drafting a somewhat official document, and I can't quite think of the right word here: All employees are covered under an occupational hazard insurance, which would cover any liabilities arising ...
2
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2answers
206 views

Term for the neglect of a child or animal

I am looking for a term describing the neglect of a living being under one's responsibility, such as a child or animal. Spontaneously I thought of court procedures, with the sad cases of children ...
3
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2answers
115 views

Word for breach of privacy [closed]

I am currently working on a fictitious legal system and am now looking for a single word describing a breach of privacy, in the sense of a home invasion but also, if possible, indecent exposure (as in ...
3
votes
3answers
274 views

Word for property damage

I am currently working on a fictitious legal system and am looking for a single word for property damage. I could not find a legal term that fits, though you may know of better resources than I. It ...
0
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1answer
35 views

Using before the fact in multiple contexts

The terms "before the fact" and "after the fact" are usually used in a legal sense, as in, accessory before the fact, (and similarly, accessory after the fact), to indicate a person aiding or abetting ...
2
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2answers
48 views

Repeat/repeated offender

In legal talk, specifically regarding criminals, it is standard usage to call someone who has broken the law several times a "repeat offender." However, I don't understand why such a person wouldn't ...
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1answer
101 views

“Deemed and understood” in a contract [closed]

I have been asked to translate a contract, where the parties are defined accordingly: "X with its principal place of business at Y, (hereinafter called "Seller") specifically deemed and understood in ...
15
votes
7answers
3k views

What do you call a question that is meant to make you look bad? [closed]

What is it called when you are asked a question that has nothing to do with the subject at hand and is sometimes meant to make you look bad? I think it is a legal term used in a court setting.
0
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3answers
191 views

Does using “and”, “or” or “and/or” change the meaning of these sentences?

Consider these sentences... 1)... No unreasonable limitations and regulations will be willingly obeyed. No unreasonable limitations or regulations will be willingly obeyed. No unreasonable ...
5
votes
3answers
112 views

Looking for a word meaning “attempt” or “bid” or “campaign” specifically in a legal context

If there is an exact outcome I am hoping for, in specifically a legal context, but where I'm not necessarily either suing or defending or appealing or prosecuting (but where I am devoting resources ...
0
votes
1answer
22 views

“authorized as incorporated”?

1 As a result of four two-for-one stock splits on the Common Stock effective October 20, 1989, May 15, 1992, August 22, 1997 and May 21, 2004, the number of shares of Series A ESOP Convertible ...
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1answer
717 views

Use of “now” and “therefore” in contract preambles

Here's an example from the Merriam-Webster dictionary of a typical use of the word whereas: Whereas you chose to participate in this stupid prank, you will be held responsible as well. (this is ...
2
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1answer
100 views

What does “waive as against” mean?

I am reading a license agreement and there is a strange combination of words for me as I am not a native English speaker. The direct quote is here: If you are a direct competitor, and you access or ...
3
votes
3answers
556 views

'Without prejudice to damages' meaning

I was reading the some contract termination terms, and came across a phrase that I could not derive the exact meaning of and it's still bothering me. Can somebody please explain 'without prejudice to ...
6
votes
3answers
684 views

Word to describe a company that pretends to do the right thing? [closed]

What word(s) would you use to describe a business or company that pretends to do the legal/right thing regarding employees, but in reality the company does not care. This issue pertains to legalities ...
0
votes
1answer
388 views

“Once each” or “once every” six months?

I'm formatting a bulleted list of benefits covered by a dental plan. I believe the text originally came from the insurance company's official "schedule of benefits" document, which is written in ...
4
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2answers
134 views

Meaning of “release” in the given context

Here is a sentence from an employment agreement: "In the case of any accident or any other event occurring during the period of employment, the worker releases any and all actions or expenses that ...
5
votes
2answers
274 views

How to best describe: all law, primary/secondary legislation, etc - with “laws”, “acts”, “statutes”, “ordinances”, etc? [closed]

I'm writing software that needs to have the following categories of law for a non-English speaking country: (a) all laws (b) primary country-wide legislation (passed by parliament) (c) secondary ...
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1answer
80 views

'present' used as a noun like 'presence'

I read this sentence in the full legal text of the CC0 license (emphasis mine): Affirmer offers the Work as-is and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the Work, express, ...
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1answer
115 views

Why was 'Golden' chosen to describe the 'Golden Rule'?

Source: Introduction to The Study of Law (8 edn, 2016), p. 99 Middle.   The golden rule is that the court must reach a conclusion that avoids absurdities. Why 'gold'? What semantic ...
1
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1answer
58 views

Legal term for a document of done job

What is the name of a document that parties sign when job by one party is done and second party agrees to accept it?
2
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4answers
60 views

Period during which one can step away from a contractual obligation?

Not a trial period. In germany - and many european countries - certain contracts have a period during which one of the signatory partners (mostly: private people) can decide that no, the contract was ...
0
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1answer
50 views

What is the English term used for legal representation power? [closed]

When someone assigns a lawyer to represent him or her, what do we call this document/certificate/letter/paper? Is it power of attorney? Procuration? Let me explain the context in the following ...
0
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1answer
39 views

How do 'suicide pacts' relate to the US Constitution?

Justice Jackson's dissent in Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 337 U.S. 1 (1949): This Court has gone far toward accepting the doctrine that civil liberty means the removal of all restraints from ...
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0answers
866 views

Meaning of: Have you ever been issued a passport […] for travel by another country of Ireland or Israel? [closed]

I have been asked the question below by the US Immigration Office. Have you ever been issued a passport or national identity card for travel by another country of IRELAND or ISRAEL I completely ...
1
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1answer
87 views

Can you explain the end of this long law sentence for me [closed]

This is the sentences. It's really long and complicated and I'm not native English speaker. The end is not clear for me and I don't understand the parts about foreign law and award and etc. Slade ...
20
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6answers
4k views

What do you call it when a scam artist modifies the contents of a document to deceive other people?

Some unscrupulous scam artist decided to modify a contract that had my signature on it, to make it appear that I had agreed to things I did not. Here is a simplified example: Bob agrees to pay Fred ...
0
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2answers
73 views

Word for Copyright holder

I'm writing an essay on Intellectual Property Rights in the Digital Age, and I have the following sentence: DRM is an instrument to protect Copyright, and therefore it should be implemented in such ...
0
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0answers
98 views

Crime instrument, is there a term or a common phrase?

As per the title. The problem is that I need to find articles relating to a specific artifact (Machine Learning algorithms) that can be used for crime. If that artifact was a gun, the search "gun ...