91

Because every attempt to change it makes the law more complex and more expensive. The archaic terms, like 'plaintiff' and 'writ' had clear definitions, partly because they had been hammered out over generations. A well-intentioned attempt to make it easier for the layman to understand (which every new Government tries to bring in) replacing them with '...


74

To distinguish between the legitimate document and the one that was altered to be deceptive, you could refer to the falsified document as doctored. Merriam-Webster provides the definition under doctor as a transitive verb: 2.b. to alter deceptively The OED provides a more detailed definition: 3. fig. To treat so as to alter the appearance, flavour, ...


47

According to Merriam-Webster: implicate: (3a) to bring into intimate or incriminating connection evidence that implicates him in the bombing So I would write this: Lucy realized she found the proof that implicated Robert in the murders. You can omit "in the murders" if it is implied by context.


31

Traditionally, the word for both the faked document and the act of faking the document would be forgery. From Merriam-Webster: : something forged : an act of forging; especially : the crime of falsely and fraudulently making or altering a document (such as a check) Your document has been fraudulently altered, so in your example This contract ...


31

I think you're looking for a loaded question. For example, Have you stopped beating your wife? is a loaded question and is designed to make the answerer look bad. Whether they say "Yes, I've stopped beating my wife" or "No, I haven't stopped beating my wife," the answerer is assumed to have, at one point, beaten their wife on a regular basis.


27

The document has been falsified to change something, such as a document, in order to deceive people Falsify Falsifying documents is a type of white collar crime ....... etc Falsifying Documents


26

You already have the most common phrase: the evidence to prove [ or that would prove] Robert guilty. If the word proof is important, simply the proof that Robert was guilty would work well.


25

The biggest difference between the two words is that fraud has a long history in English and a well-established status in English and U.S. law, whereas scam goes back—according to Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003)—only to 1963, is of unknown origin, and clearly entered the language as a slang word, meaning that it was initially ill-...


23

The word is redacted. Generally speaking, when gov't documents are released to the public, they are heavily redacted. re·dact riˈdakt (verb) 1. edit (text) for publication. 2. censor or obscure (part of a text) for legal or security purposes. Via https://www.google.com/#q=redacted


22

I would go with Administrator. From your examples: "Joe will have administrative access to the files." "Joe will have access to the files in an administrative capacity." "Joe will have access to the files as an administrator." "Joe can access the files administratively."


21

Convict is the correct word here. It's the strongest and most succinct, though legally speaking, Lucy would not do the convicting: that would be filled by the role of judge, jury, or relevant prosecuting attorney for the government. Indict and implicate are too weak: especially in modern, western legal systems, the accused benefits from the presumption of ...


21

Patent lawyer here. I wouldn't call the language you cited either "archaic" or "intentionally obtuse." "Pedantic" or "hyperliteral" may be better adjectives. The language you cited came from Claim 1 of US Pat. No. 6888460 Language in the claims section of the patent are considered the "metes and bounds" of the intellectual property right. That is, the ...


21

In a legal setting you might mean: Leading the witness or a leading question. It has a legal definition (from US Legal): Leading the witness is the method of questioning a witness by which s/he is directed to answer them in the way expected by the attorney. The query suggests to the witness how it is to be answered or puts words into the mouth of the ...


21

The word archivist is a good choice. [Merriam-Webster] : a person who has the job of collecting and storing the materials in an archive So: Joe is an archivist. Joe will have archival access to the files. This follows from archive: 1 : a place in which public records or historical materials (such as documents) are preserved // an archive of ...


21

When the law for a situation is not established, it is a lacuna or gap. Gabriel Hallevy in A Modern Treatise on the Principle of Legality in Criminal Law (2010) gives a summary of how an absence of law can be perceived. The two interchangeable terms are gap and lacuna: [It can be regarded as a negative opinion of the law, or] it can be regarded as a ...


20

If these people have responsibility for the records in some sense, then the term stewardship comes to mind. Joe will have stewardship over the files. See Merriam-Webster: stewardship noun 2 : the conducting, supervising, or managing of something especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care


18

Lucy realized she finally had enough evidence to indict Robert on the charge of murder. Indict in·dict /inˈdīt/ verb, North American –Google past tense: indicted; past participle: indicted formally accuse of or charge with a serious crime. Because of double jeopardy, one had best be sure you have all your ducks in a row before you indict a suspect. ...


17

So, to be clear, this isn't so much a question about English as it is about legal jargon. English is spoken in a wide variety of places with varying legal systems and the exact terms vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, as do the details of how they're different. Now that I've established that, commonly, there are 3 rough "levels" of law violations. ...


17

This, like much legal language, is archaic. This particular case is a Non-Restrictive Relative Clause, which in ordinary English would just be The folder, which is missing from the principal's office, ... As Tim says, it's the extra folder that's the unnecessary padding, not the which. Which is utterly standard for non-restrictive relatives. In this case,...


17

I agree that the verb convict pretty much means found someone is guilty of a crime. The proving part is the prosecution process itself. If you are looking for a more direct way to apply the proof in your sample sentence, I would use committed: Lucy realized she had proof that Robert committed the murders.


15

As TimLymington and others have pointed out, the old, archaic words have strictly-defined meanings that a "more common" word does not have. I'd like to also point out that legal documents must be unambiguous to an extent not required of most writing. Suppose in a novel the author writes, "Bob dropped by the office where his wife was waiting with her boss. ...


14

In the U.S., the distinction is made between civil and criminal offenses or infractions. An explanation can be found here, and states The differences between a civil offense and a criminal offense are usually defined by the nature of the offense and the punishment assessed. ... Civil offenses involve violations of administrative matters. ... ...


13

The technical term for this construction is Pied-Piping.   (I don't make up these names, honest; this one, like many others, is due to Haj Ross) Here's how it works: Relative clauses modify nouns; these nouns are called antecedents (because they "go before"). Every relative clause contains an anaphor of its antecedent, which becomes a relative pronoun,...


13

They are synonyms but have a subtle difference. A scam almost always involves money or transactions that involve monetary loss to the victim. But on the other hand, fraud is a broader term which might involve money or other gains or even bringing disrepute to a person. According to this source, Fraud is a broader category of wrongdoing than a scam. Scams ...


12

I am tempted to propose the following: Lucy realized she had the proof to establish Robert's guilt. Per Merriam-Webster: establish verb : to cause (someone or something) to be widely known and accepted : to put (someone or something) in a position, role, etc., that will last for a long time : to begin or create (something that is ...


12

The law has its own language for just about everything, so it's no surprise that it has its own terms for documents, which often are critical to judicial decisions. The following may prove useful: Copy, a transcript of the writing of an original. Copies are unacceptable as evidence unless they can be certified as accurate by testimony or official act (e.g....


11

This is a late reply, but I happen to be looking into the difference between shall, will and must right now. What I find is the following, according to plain English: Will in a contract should reflect only the future tense (not create obligations to perform). Shall does not refer to the future. It can be paraphrased as "has the duty to" and refers only to ...


11

Does the word “and” always mean a logical (boolean) operation? Certainly not, a quick glance at the dictionary demonstrates that the use of and is not limited to a boolean operation: conjunction 1.0 Used to connect words of the same part of speech, clauses, or sentences, that are to be taken jointly: bread and butter they can read and write a ...


10

The way modern English formulates questions by using "do" as an auxiliary is rather recent in the story of English (~1400-1500). It is termed "periphrastic do" and a growing number of linguists actually ascribe this evolution to the influence of Celtic languages. The Germanic word order instead is termed V2 syntax (which means that the verb is always in ...


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