Questions tagged [legal-writing]

For questions about legal drafting, and its interpretation.

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Why do lawyers write contracts with language that is more difficult to understand than other works?

The recent Ig Nobel Prize Winning work "Poor writing, not specialized concepts, drives processing difficulty in legal language" by Martínez, Mollica, and Gibson demonstrates that contracts ...
User65535's user avatar
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5 answers
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Why is the structure of the US Code so poor? (And would it even be legal to reorganize it?)

In the process of researching the legality of coil guns in Massachusetts (University engineering project), I stumbled across Cornell's Legal Information Institute, which offers what appears to be a ...
Derek Ehle's user avatar
38 votes
5 answers
9k views

Why don't laws have examples?

I've never seen examples listed under a law, but it'd make them a lot less ambiguous and easier to understand. For example, the 4th amendment (a law I'm familiar with) could've given a few examples ...
philn's user avatar
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2 answers
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Typo on Lease, Who is Responsible?

The lease agreement for my rental home clearly says that the landlord is responsible for paying for garbage services. However, after asking why I hadn't received our garbage bins yet, the leasing ...
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11 votes
2 answers
286 views

Origin/purpose of "Language" section in legal agreements

I've noticed a number of legal documents recently (FastMail's ToS, Apple's Developer Agreement, etc.) which include a "Language" section containing more or less the following: It is the express ...
nathan's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
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What is a Writ and who can issue one?

What is a Writ and who can issue it? Can a normal person issue a writ on some normal person or should be done on an institution? I'm asking this with respect to India. Is the meaning the same across ...
Newbie's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
617 views

Is the Supreme Court's in-house citation style manual publicly available?

SCOTUS uses a distinct in-house citation style which, although it has a lot in common with the Bluebook, is not the same (differing in key places) and is as far as I know unique. Is the citation style ...
ezgranet's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
438 views

How to parse 'notwithstanding ... forfeiture is avoided otherwise than by relief'?

[Source:] The landlord argued that the tenant must pay the administration costs based on the covenant[,] given by the tenant in the lease which read as follows: “To pay all expenses (including ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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What is the effect of saying "we reserve our (client's) rights" when writing to another party to a dispute?

In communication between parties to a dispute, the phrase we reserve our client's rights is often included. I've only ever seen this used by solicitors acting for a client in a matter, but I would ...
jimsug's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
520 views

Master Service Agreement templates in Japanese?

My company has started doing business with several Japanese clients and we are moving beyond a letter of intent to a master service agreement. We have a standard template we use for all of our clients;...
Charles Hoskinson's user avatar
3 votes
5 answers
2k views

How do you pronounce and hand-write the symbol §?

How do you pronounce and write by hand the symbol §, which is used extensively in legal writing? And what do you call the symbol? For example, "#" is called the number symbol or hash. "&" is ...
aparente001's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
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What is the purpose of including "without prejudice" in communications between parties?

In communication between parties in legal matters, the phrase without prejudice is often included. I've also seen it used in the phrase without prejudice, save as to costs. What is the purpose and ...
jimsug's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
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How to parse this clause?

I am having difficulty interpreting a clause relating to a referral rewards program, which entitles an existing client to an incentive for each additional client they refer to a company. The confusion ...
Satellite's user avatar
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2 votes
4 answers
394 views

What wording should I use to include non-binary pronouns in a contract?

I'm working off of a template for a Terms of Service agreement for an app, and I would like to modify it to use non-binary pronouns (they/their/them) instead of gender-specific pronouns (he/she his/...
Valkyrie's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
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In a contract/an agreement, is there a difference between clause, article and section?

In contracts and agreements, I have seen clause, article, and section used for what seems to be the same thing, namely the (often numbered) sections into which the contract/agreement is divided. Now I'...
Helen's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
155 views

If you must include all of the natural language prose in a legal document, or if it can be abstracted out

Most legal documents I've seen are multiple pages of large blocks of text, with just a few fill-in-the-blanks here and there, and a signature at the end. If all of the text that is shared between ...
Lance's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is the formalism "I put you on notice" important, in UK law, or can a less formal wording be equivalent?

Example case: a high value car specialist/expert sold me a car with a serious defect they should have known of and disclosed (such as past accident history) while warranting the condition was good/...
Stilez's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
84 views

Can you use definitions for adverbs instead of nouns and personal nouns in a legal context?

Legal definitions where nouns and persons are defined are common place reality of legal writing. We also see often times events and conduct be subject to definitions, and be referred to by a shortened ...
kisspuska's user avatar
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1 vote
2 answers
2k views

What are the different kinds of rules/procedures that describe what counts-as/constitutes a rule change and what kinds of problems can they cause?

This is a question about legislation, including constitutive rules and administrative law To give some context, I am interested in legal reasoning (as in a logic of law), but I am not a legal-expert. ...
Dr. Thomas C. King's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
83 views

If legal code numbers ever get revised

Wondering if code numbers such as 31 U.S. Code § 5330 ever get revised. So one day it is like this: Title 31 › Subtitle IV › Chapter 53 › Subchapter II › § 5330 › (a) › 1 And the next day it ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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What are the formal steps that a legislator follows when enacting positive law? [closed]

Someone has a problem or unmet need. That person approaches a legislator with the problem or unmet need. The legislator follows a process to reason. The legislator follows a process to verbally ...
DAN BHATT's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
42 views

The effect that listing permutations has on the power/legitimacy of a legal document

Many legal documents follow along the same lines as this one, saying: For purposes of this Agreement, “Confidential Information” means any data or information that is proprietary to the Disclosing ...
Lance's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
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Legal syntax question in the Canadian Copyright Act

I have a question about legal syntax. This is a segment from the canadian copyright act. It seems to me that a notice can be sent to a person described in (a and b) or to a person described in (a and ...
user9451452's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
286 views

Meaning of Florida statute history abbreviations

I'm trying to find out how to read the following abbreviations found in the short "history" section at the bottom of a Florida statute website. For example: "s. 54, ch. 88-1; s. 30, ch. 88-277; s. 36, ...
FalafelPita's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
172 views

Can an unwritten law be considered a law, with legal effect?

A question came up with a friend over dinner. In societies that have no written language, are their laws considered to have legal effect? Does a law have to be written down in order to be considered ...
huginn's user avatar
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0 votes
2 answers
151 views

Can an improperly drafted contract be invalidated?

Suppose that I hire a lawyer to draft a formal contract with another party. (I, the lawyer, and the other party all reside within the U.S.) The terms that I would like in the contract are well ...
SapereAude's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
205 views

Why are there quirky ASCII dividers in deposition transcripts?

I was reviewing a deposition and noticed the following characters used as cute little dividers in the transcript: ---oOo--- To see an example in action, look here, both on the directly linked page ...
ribs2spare's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
164 views

Can the term "code" be used as an all-encompassing legal term for law, statutes, bills, acts, constitutions, and other "legislation"?

I am trying to figure out what law, codes, statutes, bills, acts, constitutions, opinions, decisions, and legislation have in common, what the overarching entity is that these objects all are. I am ...
Lance's user avatar
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2 answers
359 views

How can issues be solved with the IRAC method? [closed]

Can anyone help me showing the steps in IRAC method how to solve a particular problem?
Luke Hinge's user avatar
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1 answer
35 views

Is it decorous to refer to mainstays (people recurring in a legal document) by abbreviations?

Presume that these mainstays (even if their names are short) can all be named publicly. I fancy referring to them only with my abbreviations that I introduce on the first page, to save space and ...
user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
3k views

In contracts, is there a difference between "entered into by", "entered into between" and "entered into by and between"?

In contracts and agreements, there is generally a sentence at the beginning stating who the contract/agreement applies to. I have found that this sentence may be phrased in three main ways: This ...
Helen's user avatar
  • 163
0 votes
1 answer
55 views

Is there a good standard for turning Laws into diagrams and flowcharts for ease of comprehension, study, and testing?

I'm a brick-and-mortar engineer who's forced by circumstance to study a lot of law, particularly Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, and EU Law. I find the procedures and control flows (if A is ...
 aarek-eng's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
84 views

"will" and "shall" legal contractual value

I need help to understand the legal value of this sentence from a contract: " Contractor will invoice CRO monthly" and "CRO shall send payment for services in X days". "Will" and "shall" have the same ...
FLA's user avatar
  • 3
0 votes
2 answers
93 views

Classification of laws from a perspective of consequences of action

I am looking for a classification of laws from a perspective of consequences of action. For example: "If you do this, something good will happen to you." "If you do this, something bad will happen ...
DAN BHATT's user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
1 answer
147 views

If legal documents need "fill in the blanks", or if you can do it in a more structured way

In legal documents you often find stuff like this: Lorem ipsum. I ______________ will do ______________ by the date __________________. Until then, ________________ will be the contact point for ...
Lance's user avatar
  • 769
0 votes
1 answer
326 views

What is the format of an affidavit of declaration for signing in the vernacular language of a deceased person?

A person has signed in her vernacular language in some official documents and she has passed away. In her identity document, her name is written in English. As a nominee, her son is asked to provide ...
Tapas Bose's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
216 views

The comparative degree and superlative degree: what to do when comparing uncertain number of things?

According to Do's, Don'ts, and Maybes: Legal Writing Grammar - Part II: Use the comparative degree to compare two persons or things. Use the superlative degree to compare more than two persons or ...
xuhdev's user avatar
  • 1,134
0 votes
3 answers
71 views

What is the standard or most frequently used citation style used in law journals?

For example, most major science journals tend to use APA citation style, whereas most major humanities journals utilize MLA (8th edition I believe is the most recent). What citation style do most law/...
mematusz's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
274 views

Is the use of the singular "they/their/them" in legal writing and legislative drafting recognized to be acceptable / appropriate?

Is use of the singular "they/their/them" in legal writing and/or legislative drafting recognized to be acceptable / appropriate?
Jen's user avatar
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-2 votes
1 answer
69 views

LawTech: How to systematically express Positivist-Law frameworks as control flow algorithm systems and automate statutary-construction analysis? [closed]

I'm a brick-and-mortar engineer with very cursory coding experience (pseudo-code algorithms, formal logic gates in printed circuits, and Matlab/Simulink), studying to be a Civil Servant in a Romance ...
 aarek-eng's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
129 views

Can An Unregulated Firm Without Any Solicitors Send Pre Action Protocol Letters?

As I understand it, in the UK: (a) The provision of legal advice or assistance in connection with the application of the law or with any form of resolution of legal disputes; (b) The provision of ...
user34875's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
47 views

How to include a large number exhibits

I have been struggling to find the best way to mention and list the enclosures for a complex complaint/dispute letter to my financial institution. I have to include at least 45 documents. Should I ...
Melissa M's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
97 views

What means "that the claimant fails to meet the required standard for the prima facie case"?

Kindly see the emboldened sentence. What does it mean? Just because "facts fall under the general rule, but not the more nuanced cases" doesn't mean your facts don't relate to those cases. ...
user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
64 views

Legalistic reading of passport Law

https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/1543 Whoever willfully and knowingly uses, or attempts to use, or furnishes to another for use any such false, forged, counterfeited, mutilated, or altered ...
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