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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Preferred abbreviations of 'versus' according to Anglophone country? [duplicate]

I am already aware that for example BE and AE have different opinions on using periods in abbreviations. Today, I am interested in variations among English speaking countries (specifically: UK, USA, ...
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Why use "can and may" both in a sentence?

I have seen a lot of questions about the difference between can and may and I am aware of them. In a legal(-ish) document (some policy) I have read a statement to the effect of a consequence can and ...
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Terms for aerial versus ground surface area

Are there accepted area terms that concisely distinguish aerial area (e.g., from a Google Earth satellite photo) from ground surface area? (For sloped ground, the ground surface area is larger than ...
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What is the word used when you are aware of a wrong doing or crime, after the event but do nothing about it [closed]

Looking for a crime or misdoing that has been done and you are aware but chose to do nothing about it. Say in court how would a lawyer explain this
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A peculiar use of "shall" in North Carolina's constitution, Art. VI

Article VI of North Carolina's constitution from 1971 contains a provision whose constitutionality is being discussed over at law SE. Section 8 starts Sec. 8. Disqualifications for office.       The ...
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What is a word for "services not provided" or "Goods paid for not delivered"?

What is a word for "services not provided" or "Goods paid for not delivered"? For example: The "scam" is a word for a dishonest scheme. The word "fraud" is a ...
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Legalese: Place the preposition closer to the verb to make the text shorter?

In the dense legalese of a product license I found the following sentence: The subscriber shall not disclose to, or permit the use of, the Licensed Rights by any third party. I assume what is meant ...
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Meaning of 'Nothing herein shall require the Owner to disclose any of its information' in an agreement document?

What is the meaning of the sentence from an agreement document? Nothing herein shall require the Owner to disclose any of its information. The sentence previous to this sentence has some types of ...
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What does "the continuity of rights under French law" means?

A French student who wants to intern at our company gives us this document to sign, which includes this question: SOCIAL SECURITY PROVIDED BY THE HOST ORGANIZATION (within the framework of internship ...
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Constiution for vs of the state

I'm trying to find out what the reasons are that it says Constitution of the United States but e.g. the official translation of the German constitution is Basic Law for the Federal Republic of ...
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Collocations for litigation [closed]

In the sentence: The company's financing prospects worsened after entering litigation with several of its business partners. I found this to be a bit vague, and not placing the emphasis on the right ...
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Why the "wedded" in "wedded wife"?

Typical wedding vows, per e.g. this website, often have phrasing like this (emphasis mine): [Groom’s name], do you take [Bride’s name] to be your wedded wife, to live together in marriage? Do you ...
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Meaning of "against" [closed]

I have a question about the meaning of "against" in the following sentence: "These communications should be in writing and delivered against receipt." I don't understand why "...
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How did "bail" shift to signify "money deposited as a guarantee when released"?

I fail to understand this etymology for bail (n.1) after "captivity, custody" (late 14c.). "bond money, security given to obtain the release of a prisoner," late 15c., a sense ...
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Why does one "Plead Guilty" rather than "Found Guilty" or "Proven Guilty"? [closed]

I am not sure if this is a Language Question or Legal Question, but in instances of news on court case it is always reported that a "Defendant Pleaded Guilty" but this does not clarify if ...
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What does it mean: A utility hookup or work order dated within 60 days before registration? [duplicate]

Does it mean any day in a timeframe of 60 days max to the action, in other words: it could be 1 day or 59 days before?
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"Plaintiff" without an article

Garner's fourth edition reads we accord to plaintiff his due. Why is this nominal indirect object used without any article at all? OED: http://oed.com/oed2/00180661
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Indication of intent behind litter

In maritime contexts there is a specific difference between flotsam and jetsam i.e. both are drifting materials that have come from a ship but flotsam has been washed overboard while jetsam has been ...
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What's a "completion of comprise"?

I scanned this because I don't know how to format 2 columns here, or add color. I Googled "completion of comprise" and found just 4 results, and 2 were from this book. Stacie Strong. BA ...
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Without internal punctuation, weren't lists of a series of items and activities prone to ambiguity and debate?

I can't imagine how shunning internal punctuation would've assisted to construe "a series of items or activities". Even with internal punctuation now, and canons of interpretation, "...
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Why does "damages" mean "the sum of money claimed or adjudged to be paid in compensation for loss or injury sustained"?

Why did English lawyers pick "damages"? Why not recompense, reparation, requital, or even Latinate terms like "expiation" or "solatium"? These are clearer because you ...
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What is the word denoting the crime of taking advantage of person under one's authority, sexual or otherwise?

It's a common legal term that has just slipped my mind, and I can't seem to find a reference for it. Thank you.
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On official forms, does the present perfect imply that the situation is ongoing or has not yet concluded?

I have a question specifically about present perfect usage in legal and “bureaucratic” writing. On official forms (for example, application forms from US government agencies or IRS forms), I sometimes ...
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What's the difference between "subject to" and "subjected to" in contracts? [duplicate]

Applicants are subject to testing ... Applicants are subjected to testing ... When employers use "subject to" or "subjected to" in this way, does "subject to" imply they ...
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Can "would" be used in a conditional like this?

I know there's a multitude of similar questions, but I just can't find one that clearly applies to my problem. The sentence I'm struggling with deals with an obligation and sounds similar to this. ...
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Meaning of an And Phrase followed by an Or Phrase [closed]

A sentence begins like "If A and B or C then ..." does that mean that A must always be true and one of B or C must be true for the following to happen? Or can just C be true? In ...
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What does the sentence in a legal document mean, i have tried my best to understand, but I am unable

Hereinafter called the "FIRST PARTY/ DEVELOPER" (which expression unless there be anything inconsistent therewith in the context shall mean and include his legal representatives, executors ...
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Is there a word/phrase for doing something good to hide something bad you did for the same cause?

For instance a defendant in a court case where he is accused of domestic violence might tell the jury that he donated money to domestic abuse charities and helped sufferers, so it would seem unlikely ...
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Isn't "authorized designee" redundant?

I write and revise policy at work, and I often see the phrase "authorized designee," as in "The Chief Executive Officer or the authorized designee is responsible for ensuring . . ."...
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Is "in obeyance" a typo in reportage of recent Supreme court proceedings? [closed]

The term "in obeyance" seemed strange in the story reported via online outlets. Was this mis-reported, or did they mean "in abeyance", or is this an example of American English ...
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Is the second "there" a typo in "that there was there insufficient evidence"?

A lawyer has filed a court document listing issues to be determined in an upcoming trial. He has phrased one issue as follows: Did Judge <X> err in not accepting the "new evidence" ...
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Inflict an injury on someone [closed]

AGGRIEVE: to inflict an actionable injury on somebody Microsoft® Encarta® 2009 What does inflict an injury mean in this definition?
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Why are compulsory law associations called an "integrated" bar?

Why are compulsory law associations called an "integrated" bar? I have two guesses: It has something to do with the fact that the power to mandate membership (which brings dues and a code ...
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Grammatical? omission-cum, action-sans

I came across this on Quora, but no answer there. I know cum in this sense is "combined" or "with" (from the Latin for "with"). sans is French word for ‘without’ in ...
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Term for"getting out of a business deal"

Is there a legal/business term for "getting out of a [business] deal"? The context is say somebody has done everything he/she was supposed to do, and handed over all his/her responsibilities ...
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Meaning and Usage of "comma" and "claimed"

Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the State Commission shall have jurisdiction— (a) to entertain— (i) complaints where the value of the goods or services and compensation, if any, claimed ...
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Does the term "criminal" imply conviction?

Note: I am writing this in England. Assume the legalese to have a British bias. Does the term "Criminal" (def: 'a person who has committed a crime') imply that this person has been convicted of a ...
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'Due shortly' collocation

I would like to ask a question whether provided below sentence is correct or not: 'As the deadline for registration is due shortly,(...)'. Main issue here is the phrase: "...is due shortly". I am ...
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Are English judges using "linguistics" wrongly, not "language" as adjective?

In quotes below, I don't feel English judges are using "linguistic" correctly, because they're not doing linguistics! They're referring just English language! "language" is more correct right? ...
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In shipping, why does 'lift subjects' mean that all conditions are fulfilled?

Until today in a shipping context, I've never heard the verb 'lift' to signify satisfying contractual conditions. This diction feels kooky. What semantic notions underlie 'lift' with its meaning in ...
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Does the whole always "comprise" the parts of something, and not the other way around? [closed]

The verb "comprise" comes to me naturally to use in certain situations, at odds with a legalistic sense of correctness. It's a word often used in patents, or patent applicaitons, where some invention ...
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1 vote
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Formal/ legal term for "enforcer"

What is a more formal way to refer to someone acting as an "enforcer"? A landlord has a tenant who acts as his unofficial "enforcer" towards other tenants (and often times for no good reason). He ...
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What does the phrase "offers no provision" mean?

The Wikipedia page for Hart Island says that The only access to Hart Island is by ferryboat. Hart Island and the pier on Fordham Street on City Island are restricted areas under the jurisdiction of ...
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“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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"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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"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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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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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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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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