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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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What did Tolkien apparently have against commas?

While reading his books in English for the first time a while back, I was shocked by how ultra-concise the language was in the original language. Perhaps the most frustrating part was his extremely ...
Gollum Nicehobbit's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
350 views

Do the words 'Where' and 'Wherever' mean the same in this sentence?

I'm reading a sentence of Intellectual Property law and I've found this: [Where] other Acts related to intellectual property are enacted or amended, they shall satisfy the objectives and basic ...
Subin Kim's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
61 views

Exciting vs Inciting

The Indian Penal Code made in 1860 by the British made sedition an offence. Sedition was defined as exciting disaffection towards the Government. The old law is being replaced by a new one which ...
Ramkay's user avatar
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-3 votes
1 answer
56 views

Common usage of "be tried for one's life"

(From The Wrecker by Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne, Chapter XXII, published 1892); Passage 348: The public house and tea garden called the Currency Lass represented a moderate fortune ...
philphil's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
166 views

The use of 'law offices' to refer to a single office

In the United States, lawyers often name their businesses The Law Offices of So-and-so, in the plural, even when they are solo practitioners, working out of what would be regarded as just a single ...
jsw29's user avatar
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0 answers
85 views

Is "such" ever used instead of "this/that" or "the said" in legal English?

"Such" has many meanings, one of them being to refer to something of a particular kind/type (see "of this or that kind"). However, in many legal documents and laws in Malta, "...
Al-cameleer's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
82 views

Grammatical explanation: having a NOUN after another NOUN to describe a characteristic of the preceding noun

Section 2(b) is concerned with legal interests created by a disposition of land the title to which is registered Can someone explain how this type of sentences can be understood, and what this ...
charlotte choi's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
128 views

Is "Fair Witness" an adequate alternative term for "whistle blower" in academia?

It was suggested to me to use the term "fair witness" instead of "whistle blower" (when proposing to design a university course about such topic, and potentially an academic study ...
J..y B..y's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
49 views

Is the usage of the word 'entitled' appropriate in the following extract from a city council meeting?

Is the usage of the word 'entitled' appropriate in the following extract from a city council meeting? An ordinance of the City Commission ... , relating to updating … Chapter 18 ... by: Amending ...
Michael Owen Sartin's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
118 views

What denotational or connotational differences distinguish ‘thence’ from ‘therefrom’? [closed]

Thence vs. Therefrom When is it better to use each of these two words, thence and therefrom? Are they completely identical, or do they differ in denotations or connotations? If so, how? I’ve looked up ...
TylerDurden's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
101 views

What do we call the target of an appositive?

From Wikipedia (emphasis mine): Apposition is a grammatical construction in which two elements, normally noun phrases, are placed side by side so one element identifies the other in a different way. ...
Andrew Parsons's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
262 views

"within five business days of month end" [duplicate]

Does "within five business days of month end" mean something that is done within 5 business days after the month has ended, or does it mean the last 5 business days of the month? EDIT: In ...
George Cavazos's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

The history of “to see say” better known as “voir dire”

Fans of the American TV show, Law & Order, may be familiar with the procedure called voir dire, whereby lawyers interrogate would-be-members of the jury in order to select jurors who will be ...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
31 views

How to precisely phrase finding the next eligible person in by-laws

I am to formulate sections about successorship in by-laws. It's a bilingual document. The non-english version is crisp and clear, however, despite having decent knowledge of the English language it's ...
aker's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
95 views

Usage of "which + noun" clause after a noun [duplicate]

In my native language, we can follow a noun with a "which + noun" clause to provide more information about the said noun. For example, if we want to say that a certain man owns a "house&...
Al-cameleer's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
41 views

"It is notified for general information that" usage

I've seen this phrase used in Government Gazettes of different countries. I have a feeling that it's a formal and old-fashioned expression used in legal writing, which is not in use anymore and never ...
Al-cameleer's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
145 views

A term that captures translate and rotate

From this question, transform (or linear transform) was the consensus. Say I have a broad phrase like: Travel of the fluid urges a _____ of a partially-submerged bob. Forgiving the lack of context, ...
Drakes's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
289 views

What is the meaning of the phrase 'for the purpose of' in legal context?

I've come across this phrase many times in contracts and other legal instruments of similar nature, and can't seem to understand what its actual meaning is. For example, For the purpose of this ...
Musgihomn's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
623 views

Getting "poured out" in legal terminology

A common expression in Texas legal circles is, We got poured out down at the courthouse. The clear meaning is that their team lost a lawsuit. I’ve been unable to find a source, first use, nor an ...
Scott Shirley's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
36 views

Word for when someone intentionally ignores someone's valid excuse from a punishment and then enforces that punishment anyway?

Is there a word (or legal term) for when someone (usually an authority figure) intentionally does not acknowledge a person's justification from an adverse action, then enforces that adverse action ...
Fatima's user avatar
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-4 votes
1 answer
68 views

What is the proper number formatting for a legal document from the Supreme court? [closed]

Do federally-issued legal documents in the USA require numbers spelt out, or in number form? I took a look at this site concerning Citation, Grammar and Style Guides from Loyola School of Law, but it ...
Cascabel_StandWithUkraine_'s user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
24 views

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, ...
Hagen von Eitzen's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
230 views

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 ...
niak's user avatar
  • 135
0 votes
2 answers
41 views

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 ...
personal_cloud's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
243 views

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
M coll's user avatar
  • 17
3 votes
2 answers
212 views

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 ...
Peter - Reinstate Monica's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
244 views

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 ...
mark gonza's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
54 views

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 ...
Martin's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
0 answers
253 views

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 ...
Shem 15's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
136 views

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 ...
auzn's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
0 answers
48 views

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 ...
Arash Howaida's user avatar
27 votes
5 answers
8k views

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 ...
Mark Amery's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
232 views

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 "...
user330039's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
110 views

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 ...
user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
99 views

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 ...
Flood Gravemind's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
647 views

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?
carlos's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
0 answers
131 views

"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
GJC's user avatar
  • 2,509
1 vote
3 answers
101 views

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 ...
Steve Barnes's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
76 views

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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
4 answers
214 views

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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
698 views

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.
Jack's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
1 answer
54 views

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 ...
Rai's user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
0 answers
40 views

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 ...
Joe's user avatar
  • 1
-1 votes
3 answers
58 views

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. ...
aed's user avatar
  • 13
0 votes
1 answer
27 views

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 ...
Knox's user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
2 answers
89 views

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 ...
User27854's user avatar
  • 125
0 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
FD1998's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
131 views

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 . . ."...
Ozeki's user avatar
  • 1
3 votes
2 answers
230 views

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 ...
MikeRoger's user avatar
  • 3,781
2 votes
1 answer
89 views

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" ...
Greendrake's user avatar

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