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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4
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0answers
74 views

In lieu of (= in place of) vs instead of [migrated]

Garner reads Instead of will not always suffice instead of in lieu of —e.g.: “The two were sent to jail in lieu of $100,000 bond or $50,000 cash bail.” OED reads "in exchange or return for, as ...
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5answers
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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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2answers
54 views

Meaning of “against”

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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2answers
65 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 ...
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1answer
71 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 ...
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1answer
94 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?
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0answers
34 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
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3answers
66 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 ...
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2answers
46 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 ...
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2answers
37 views

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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4answers
130 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 ...
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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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1answer
38 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 ...
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23 views

Would it be correct to say “five 202ths”? [duplicate]

I am involved in the translation of a legal document according to which the buyer acquires 5 of 202 parking spaces in a garage. The garage as a whole is considered a functional unit, according to ...
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27 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 ...
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3answers
48 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. ...
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1answer
24 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 ...
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2answers
75 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 ...
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3answers
310 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 ...
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1answer
63 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 . . ."...
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2answers
81 views

attorney vs, counsel = counselor vs, lawyer

This NOT duplicate Attorney vs Lawyer because here you have to distinguish a 3rd term, COUNSEL = COUNSELOR. How COUNSEL differs from Attorney and Lawyer? Doesn't lawyer, anyone who practices law, ...
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2answers
99 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 ...
3
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1answer
54 views

“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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1answer
28 views

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?
3
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1answer
55 views

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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1answer
47 views

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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1answer
38 views

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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0answers
38 views

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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4answers
65 views

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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0answers
70 views

'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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0answers
47 views

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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1answer
868 views

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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2answers
123 views

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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1answer
76 views

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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3answers
1k views

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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1answer
87 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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1answer
165 views

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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1answer
56 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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2answers
89 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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1answer
47 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
86 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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1answer
149 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
209 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
2k 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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1answer
31 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
111 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
71 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
66 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
76 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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