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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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 ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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2answers
79 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 ...
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0answers
99 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 ...
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1answer
231 views

What does the word 'greeting' mean in a writ?

A writ is a formal written order, originally of the English monarch but later of a common law court. Since 1999, the Civil Procedure Rules have provided for civil cases in England and Wales to be ...
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1answer
83 views

English Legal Case Shorthand: e.g. 13 & 14 Charles II c. 33 [closed]

I've been reading scholarship that details English court cases, and the cases in those reports are often referred to in quick shorthand, e.g.: 13 & 14 Charles II c. 33 4 William & Mary c. 4 ...
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1answer
99 views

Is there a name for the practice of dropping articles in legal writing?

I see this a lot in legal writing. "The defendant will be required to pay $1000 in restitution." vs. "Defendant will be required to pay $1000 in restitution." Or, Upon arrival, police ...
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1answer
8k views

Meaning of “within 30 days of [a certain date in the future]” in context?

I am required to submit a certain form "within 30 days of [a certain date in the future]". I suspect that the form's author actually meant to say something like "at least 30 days before [a certain ...
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1answer
28 views

What is the legal term for funds that are not fund-of-funds?

I am looking for the legally correct expression for funds that are not fund-of-funds. Those funds do not invest in other funds but to at least 90% directly in stocks or bonds. In German there is the ...
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1answer
3k views

What are the differences between “null”, “void” and “invalid”?

I am a German law student and I am writing a thesis about the Arbitration Act 1996. I was asking myself what is the difference between "null" "void" and "invalid". I already found some answers, like ...
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276 views

“to resolve that sth be done” or “to resolve that sth shall be done”?

The Board of Directors of the company has resolved that the capital be raised from 1,000,000 € to 9,000,000 €. The Board of Directors of the company has resolved that the capital shall be raised from ...
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64 views

Understanding The Proper Usage of “Contingency Fee Basis” vs. “Contingent Fee Basis”

I am writing for an law firm and am trying to understand what is the appropriate usage of "contingent fee basis" versus "contingency fee basis." I have always used the term "Contingency Fee Basis" ...
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5answers
692 views

What is it called when someone denies a crime despite not having been accused?

I heard the phrase a while ago, it was two words I believe. The instance was a woman was approached by police and before they said anything to her she said "I wasn't soliciting" denying a crime she ...
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1answer
1k views

What is the meaning of “previous 12 months ” in the clause below?

for two years after separation of your employment, you shall not solicit, entice away, offer employment, or employ directly or indirectly (as employees, contractors, consultants), any employee, ...
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Is the language used in patents archaic or intentionally obtuse? [closed]

Example: [f] moving said second cart to said proximate end of said scanning device so that said trays in said second cart be passed through said scanning device at said proximate end. Is the ...
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2answers
146 views

Publicly available but privately owned

I'm struggling to find correct terminology to refer to something which is freely available (as in, no monetary cost) but is likely not free from copyright. Everyone may use a newspaper article that is ...
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1answer
95 views

How to head off a legal reading of a term or phrase? [closed]

Terms like 'make whole', 'encumbered', etc have both non-financial/non-legal usages and financial/legal usages and, in some cases, explicit financial/legal definitions. To avoid technical ...
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3answers
4k views

Single words concerning contracts

I'm looking for one word terms that describe the concept of making legal contracts. I'm trying to write a paragraph incorporating the terms, and saying "the study of contracts" repeatedly gets ...
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1answer
72 views

And-Or Usage | Exclusion or Inclusion of Listed Items

During a debate the other night in the NM legislature there was a question as to whether the list in the paragraph pictured was exclusionary or inclusionary due to the use of "or" followed by an "and" ...
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2answers
188 views

Is << noun + “for” + gerund >> a valid noun phrase construction to indicate purpose of the head noun in a normal sentence (i.e. not in a title)?

The following two sentences are patentese (written in language used in a patent): A display apparatus includes a display device for displaying an image. The display apparatus may include an ...
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1answer
163 views

How can 'but' mean 'not'?

Primary Source: Benjamin N. Cardozo; Nature of the Judicial Process (1921). Secondary Source: Lief H. Carter, Thomas F. Burke; Reason in Law (9 ed 2016), p. vii (before the Table of Contents).  ...
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1answer
780 views

Said (as in aforementioned)

I was looking at a legal text which went something like this "if you do not wish to receive said advertising check the box below...". Is it correct to omit the definite article (the) before "said"? ...
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1answer
162 views

To “late file the form” vs to “file the form late”

I'm wondering about the differences between to: Late file the form and File the form late Specifically, how can the grammar of the form in A1 below be described? Is an adjective modifying a ...
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1answer
4k views

Legal term for not knowing details about the crime

I can't remember the legal term for hmm... not knowing details about the crime. I will explain on the example: Let's say that we suspect that our friend is going to rob a bank. And he asks us "do you ...
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2answers
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In legal citations, why are “see”, “see also”, etc., in italics?

In legal citations, why do people put "see", "see also", "e.g.", etc., in italics? Please don't just say, "because that's the custom." I'd like to know just enough about the evolution of this custom ...
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1answer
387 views

what does “The foregoing limitations …” mean [closed]

Most of the text below is the same as what I already posted in SE law; but I'm looking for what the language might mean, regardless of the various legal aspects (i.e., the Michigan Supreme Court has ...
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2answers
375 views

Respective Use of “Respective” in English of German Speakers

Can anyone familiar with English use by German speakers explain the use of "respective" as in the list of examples below? I see this frequently from German government bureaucrats and the like, and ...
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5answers
974 views

Term describing self-detriment for personal gain

What is a word that describes harming or reducing oneself in order to achieve financial or social gain? Examples A man purposely jumps in front of a relatively slow-moving car in order to eventually ...
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4answers
133 views

.. or .. which … - does the which apply to both options?

Hi I'm not sure of the exact meaning of this sentence: You may not engage in private practice or be connected with any outside business which would interfere with the performance of official duties. ...
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5answers
554 views

What alternate terminology would be most appropriate for loss of potential profit (versus loss of merchandise) excluding “theft” and “stealing”?

In a recent discussion on another SE forum a user (@JAB) complained that "theft" was an inappropriate descriptor for software piracy. His exact statement was: I've never found "stealing" to be an ...
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5answers
16k views

What's the difference between scam and fraud?

I hear a lot about Sim lim scam but not Sim Lim fraud, as in this story. (Sim Lim is a shopping centre in Singapore.) So basically a customer signed a very deceptive contract and lost a lot of money. ...
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2answers
132 views

Why does Mozilla Public License use “it” meaning “contributor”?

I'm used to "they" as a way to indicate a person resumptive (non-specific). Also, I'm used to the fact that "it" is used only for inanimate objects, when "contributor" is animate. My only assumption ...
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1answer
182 views

The verb “garnishee”

The word "garnishee" can be either a noun or a verb. garnishee: NOUN A third party who is served notice by a court to surrender money in settlement of a debt or claim: [AS MODIFIER]: a ...
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3answers
21k views

Terms and conditions apply meaning

I listen to an advertisement on Toronto News Talk radio, and often hear this expression Terms and conditions apply at the end of the ad. It is spoken quickly. What does it mean? In one article I ...
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2answers
1k views

Is there an equivalent to “née” (birth name) for an *ex*-spousal name?

When a woman marries she often is able to identify her former surname (aka maiden name) using the term née (men can use né though it is less common). If the woman later changes her name due to divorce ...
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1answer
1k views

Meaning of “upon 90 days”

In a license contract we have, this legalenglish quote: LICENSEE reserves the right to terminate this License Agreement with or without cause upon 90 days written notice for LICENSOR beyond the ...
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1answer
379 views

Etymology of 'examination-in-chief' : What does 'in-chief' mean?

[ ODO: ] examination-in-chief [mass noun] {Law} The questioning of a witness by the party which has called that witness to give evidence, in support of the case being made. Compare with cross-...
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4answers
3k views

Is there a specific word describing black boxes covering confidential data on papers being prepared for public access?

Is there a specific word in English describing black boxes covering confidential data on papers being prepared for public access? Here is an example of such a paper
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1answer
4k views

What is the act of breaking a pen nib after signing a death sentence called?

I have noticed that every time a judge sentences someone to death sentence, he breaks his pen’s nib after signing his order. So what is this act called? I mean any specific term or single word for ...
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2answers
4k views

What's the opposite of “in X's favor”? [closed]

If you argued your case well, the judge may rule "in your favor". What's the opposite expression? (I don't mean "dismiss your claim" or "reject your suit" etc. - I'm looking for the exact opposite ...
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1answer
980 views

What is the difference between prospective, contingent and tentative offer?

What is the difference between prospective, contingent and tentative offer? Can you make some sentences using the word prospective for better understanding?
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3answers
2k views

Using “Acts of God” in legal term

I wonder why on a lot of legal term in English country using "Acts of God" as an events outside human control? As an Indonesian, I think everything that happens in this world is an act of God. And it ...
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1answer
282 views

Difference between the words resulting and resultant

Can anyone suggest situations where resultant would be preferable to resulting, or vice-versa? Dictionary definitions, noted down as a result of a telephone conversation but should be correct: ...
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2answers
1k views

Is the following a well-known idiom? “The legal team buried them in paper” [closed]

Slang Legal Terms I have heard the expression in movies but it is not represented as an idiom in computer searches. I want to use it in a legal case in which I am involved A similar question occurs ...
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1answer
4k views

What is a 7-2 ruling in legal context?

"Although his court challenge (Eldred vs. Attorney General John Ashcroft) was turned down by a United States circuit court, many believed that the lower court's decision had a very good chance of ...
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2answers
641 views

What do you call a spoken disclaimer on a radio/TV commercial?

The other day I was listening to the radio, and a very lengthy disclosure came on after a commercial. I know that in printed legal documents, and even on websites, the colloquialism for legal ...
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2answers
779 views

Difference between Trade-off and Balance?

What is the difference between "Balance" and "Trade-off" ? For instance at these two sentences: Legal balance between rights and interests And Trade-offs between rights and interests
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1answer
2k views

Why do legal documents use “at” before names of cities?

I was looking at a proof of loss form, and below my signature there is a section for another affiant's signature which reads: Declared severally before me at ______________________ From examples ...
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3answers
4k views

“The office of the President” or “the office of President”?

I know this one by heart: it is Section 1 of the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It sounds perfectly natural to me. I don't know why, though. Here: Section 1. No person shall be elected ...
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129 views

What are words like henceforth. nevertheless, hereupon? [duplicate]

what are these words? I think they are legal words and I wanna know more.