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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1answer
48 views

“Declare” or “report” income?

I’m writing about a feature that allows Russian freelancers who are registered as self-employed citizens to report their income made through our platform online to the tax authority. Should I use the ...
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How rewrite Longmore LJ in *Salt v Stratstone Specialist Ltd* (2015) without negator?

To improve English, I want try re-rewriting long sentences without negator because I understand "Don't you ever talk like that to me again", but not "Don't you never silence like that to me never". ...
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43 views

“The general principles of the constitution are with us the result of judicial decisions”

"are with us" just sounds wrong. Is it? I'm not familiar 1885 English. Anne Dennett. Public Law Directions (1 ed 2019). p. 149. Dicey set out his principles on the rule of law in 1885 (...
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27 views

“constitute EU law an independent and overriding source of domestic law”

This is wrong? Correct is "constitute EU law AS or INTO an independent and overriding source of domestic law"? Anne Dennett. Public Law Directions (1 ed 2019). p. 62. However, the court also ...
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0answers
59 views

Word describing a rule/law that is, in-effect, non-functioning or moot

I'm looking for an adjective that describes a rule or law that -- as written -- cannot be applied in any meaningful or functional way. Silly example: "The prerequisite for this course is college ...
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0answers
18 views

What is the relationship between verb “derogate” and adjective “derogatory”?

Disparagement in this ruling is defined as: We hold that a claim of disparagement requires a plaintiff to show a false or misleading statement that (1) specifically refers to the plaintiff‘s ...
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1answer
38 views

Is this a good and correct translation from 'LEGAL' into 'ENGLISH

UK Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 I am trying to understand what this particularly weasely-worded section actually means in plain English. There have been ...
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1answer
64 views

Why Justices abbreviated JJ?

What's reason for second J? Why not Js or J's? Acronyms and initialisms in legal writing - ICLR JJ – Justices (plural, after listing their surnames) Difference between: J, JJ, JJA, AJ... etc ? ...
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arbitrary and capricious

The fixed phrase arbitrary and capricious (sometimes arbitrary, capricious, and an abuse of discretion) is a cliché of US law; you're likely to find it in any litigation to undo an administrative act. ...
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1answer
135 views

Can “certiorari” be pronounced as three syllables in the US?

"Certiorari" has a different pronunciation in almost every dictionary I've checked. Almost all of them are five syllables. And according to a 2014 article in the American Bar Association Journal, in ...
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5answers
188 views

How re-write without negativity? 'may never directly prohibit private party actions, this does not mean that it cannot have horizontal direct effects'

I don't know EU or law. To improve English, I want try re-rewriting long sentences without negative words because I understand "Don't you ever talk like that to me again", but not "Don't you never ...
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5answers
6k views

Correct word for “it's not legally possible”

I'm thinking of an example where a law allows for certain things but not others. However, it's not that these things are prohibited, just that there is no law that allows them. In particular, at ...
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1answer
285 views

What is the legal meaning of “in dicta”?

(I realize I could post this at Law.SE, but the response rate there is quite hit or miss.) What does "in dicta" mean in legal writing? I checked the glossary of my paralegal textbook (by Statsky), ...
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27 views

How can I remove negators: potential shouldn't be so ‘fanciful or remote’ that the proferens can't be supposed to desire protection from it?

[1.] [T]he potential for non-negligence liability should not be so ‘fanciful or remote’ that the proferens cannot be supposed to desire protection from it. How can I rewrite 1 without any not, while ...
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2answers
98 views

One word for having the right to rule on a case before anyone else

I recall that there is a word used in law to refer to the right of a certain court to take up a case before a subordinate court can. For example, if only the Supreme Court has the right to rule on a ...
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1answer
66 views

usage of the term 'proof' as a noun

This claim for damages would result in a fruitless proof in the liquidation of the company. Can someone please tell me what 'proof' means in the sentence I quoted as above? The dictionary meaning ...
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1answer
48 views

auxiliary do-support: do murder

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 98, reads Auxiliary do was used more widely in earlier stages of the language, and in certain genres one comes across archaic uses that go ...
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2answers
64 views

defamation, slander, libel, …?

German law has three distinct terms in the context of insulting a person: § 185, Beleidigung -- Insulting a person. This covers e.g. flipping somebody off in traffic, calling somebody names etc. § ...
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1answer
101 views

Can the “Well regulated militia” part of the 2nd amendment be interpreted as a condition?

There are a couple other questions on this site about this sentence, most notably this one but none of them really focus on whether the second part of the amendment is conditional on the first part. ...
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4answers
12k views

Etymology of 'I take your question' meaning 'I don't know'

In former special council Mueller's testimony before Congress, Mueller used the response "I take your question" a few times when he could not answer. This response isn't heard often and as such news ...
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1answer
148 views

As per vs in accordance with

I am not a legal expert and English is not my first language. I have to make some changes in a draft of a legal document. I am not sure which sentence is correct. The situation is like "Mr. ABC ...
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5answers
755 views

Having decision making power over someone's assets

I am trying to translate the German word "verfügen" or "Verfügung" in its legal sense into English. In dictionaries, I only find the translation of "to dispose" or "disposition", as in the "power of ...
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14answers
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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 ...
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1answer
372 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 ...
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46 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"?
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3answers
70 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 ...
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1answer
41 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. ...
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1answer
38 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>"
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1answer
412 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 ...
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1answer
44 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 ...
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1answer
46 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 ...
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165 views

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

Richard and Damian Taylor. Contract Law Directions (2019 7 ed). pp 278-279. I don't understand the syntax of the relative clause underlined in red. I've removed that paragraph's adjuncts to focus ...
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1answer
66 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 ...
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0answers
72 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 ...
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1answer
19 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"
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2answers
198 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 [...
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3answers
127 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 ...
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1answer
34 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 ...
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0answers
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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 "...
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1answer
55 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 ...
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2answers
134 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 ...
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2answers
705 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 ...
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2answers
54 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 ...
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2answers
232 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 ...
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2answers
151 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 ...
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3answers
288 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 ...
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1answer
46 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 ...
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2answers
97 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
209 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 ...
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7answers
4k 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.

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