venerdì 30 novembre 2007
From ILE text book:
p. 143 Listening 2: Buying a house in Spain ex 24-26
p. 144 Reference email
pp. 146-147 Language Focus ex. 146-147
Language notes to buying a house in Italy
red tape = nastro rosso; burocrazia pedanteria burocratica lungaggine burocratica
C18: so named because of the red or pink tape used to bind official documents.
from the red tape formerly used to bind legal documents in England
GAZUMPING = VENDENDO UNA CASA AL MAGGIOR OFFERENTE. IMBROGLIANDO. DELUDENDO
The verb "gazump" means to refuse to formalise a sale agreement at the last minute in order to accept a higher offer. The word is thought to have come from the Yiddish word gazumph meaning to swindle or overcharge, which became gangster slang in the 1920s.
With buoyant property prices in the British residential property market of the late 1980s and early 1990s, gazumping became commonplace in England and Wales because a buyer's offer is not legally binding even after acceptance of the offer by the vendor.
When the owner accepts the offer on a property, the buyer will usually not yet have commissioned a building survey nor will the buyer have yet had the opportunity to perform recommended legal checks. The offer to purchase is made "subject to contract" and thus, until written contracts are exchanged either party can pull out at any time. It can take as long as 10-12 weeks for formalities to be completed, and if the seller is tempted by a higher offer during this period it leaves the buyer disappointed and out-of-pocket.
Cog = tecn. (tooth) dente m. (di ingranaggio); (wheel) ruota f. dentata, rotella f.; a (tiny) cog in the machine fig. una (semplice) rotella nell'ingranaggio. “the cogs of the bureaucratic machine”
Loophole = 1 arch. feritoia f. 2 fig. to close o plug a loophole rimediare a una lacuna; to find a loophole trovare una scappatoia o via d'uscita.
Levy = v. imporre; riscuotere, esigere; (Mil) arruolare, reclutare, chiamare alle armi; muovere, fare; (Dir) agire esecutivamente su
an irrrevocable purchase agreement = a Proposta irrevocabile d'acquisto
The preliminary contract = (Compromesso) commits both parties to the sale. This contract establishes the terms and conditions of the final contract (Rogito) and details price, date for completion, the nature of the property and guarantees from the seller. It may also include any other relevant legal details.
Deposit = (Caparra) You will be expected to pay a deposit at this stage which is usually 1/3 of the purchase price. It is important to note that if you withdraw from the sale after signing the Compromesso, you lose your deposit. However, if the seller withdraws, he must pay you double your deposit.
Rogito = This is the final stage of the process and transfers ownership of the property from the seller to the buyer (usually 1-3 months after the Compromesso). The document is drawn up by the Notary (Notaio), who represents both parties. The buyer, seller and estate agent are all required to be present for the signing of the contract at the Notary's office. You can sign the Rogito in person or we may be able to appoint a Power of Attorney in your absence
Surveyor fee = – This fee is also payable at the signing of the final contract. Some Notaries liaise with a Geometra directly and you will only pay one fee directly to the Notary. The geometra will check all the documents for the house are up-to-date and legal, that buildings have fully registered title and that the house complies with planning regulations.
Purchase tax = – which is either 3% (replaced by 4% VAT if buying from a building company) if the buyer purchases the property as his first residential home in Italy and applies for residency in the local area, or 10% if the foreign buyer already owns property in Italy or does not wish to apply for residency. Please note that the tax is calculated on the declared value of the property and not the purchase price ie. on the value stated in the building registry. The declared value of land is extremely low, unless it is valuable land such as olive groves or building land;
From ILE text book
pp. 137-138 A law firm's practice areas: Reading and comprehension
most used tense: present perfect
- our firm has dealt with a wide range of natural resource matters
- our lawyers have handled a broad array of real property/real estates
pp. 139-141 Reading 3 Understanding a lease or tenancy agreement ex. 15-20
- statutory conditions = conditions imposed by the law
giovedì 29 novembre 2007
- From ILE text book pp 142 Reading "Case review" ex. 21-22
domenica 25 novembre 2007
From ILE text book:
pp. 137-138 Reading 2 A law firm’s practice areas ex 12, 13
See Lesson 15 for some extra vocabulary work
From Grammar book:
contrasting Present Perfece simple and Present Perfect continuous
p. 31 ex. 2-4
sabato 24 novembre 2007
From ILE text book:
pp. 134-136 Introduction to property law ex. 1-4
- Contrasting ideas
- Language use: classification
Listening1 : Easements
Translate in Italian the terms in bold below:
fee tail = n. an old feudal expression for a title to real property which can only be passed to one's heirs "of his body" or certain heirs who are blood relatives. If the blood line ran out (no children) then the title would revert to the descendants of the lord who originally gave the land to the title-holding family. Thus, it could not be transferred to anyone outside the family. The intention was to keep lands within a family line and not subdivided. In 16th century England, trusts were established to get around this "restraint on alienation" so the land could be held in trust for another person to use.
(Fee tail nowadays is of historic and academic interest only)
fee simple = n. absolute title to land, free of any other claims against the title, which one can sell or pass to another by will or inheritance. This is a redundant form of "fee," but is used to show the fee (absolute title) is not a "conditional fee," or "determinable fee," or "fee tail." Like "fee" it is often used in deeds transferring title, as in "Harry Hadit grants to Robert Gotit title in fee simple…" or similar words.
real estate = n. land, improvements and buildings thereon, including attached items and growing things. It is virtually the same as "real property," except real property includes interests which are not physical such as a right to acquire the property in the future.
real property = n. 1) all land, structures, firmly attached and integrated equipment (such as light fixtures or a well pump), anything growing on the land, and all "interests" in the property, which may include the right to future ownership (remainder), right to occupy for a period of time (tenancy or life estate), the right to drill for oil, the right to get the property back (a reversion) if it is no longer used for its current purpose (such as use for a hospital, school or city hall), use of airspace (condominium) or an easement across another's property. Real property should be thought of as a group of rights like a bundle of sticks which can be divided. It is distinguished from personal property which is made up of movable items. 2) one of the principal areas of law like contracts, negligence, probate, family law and criminal law.
freehold = n. any interest in real property which is a life estate or of uncertain or undetermined duration (having no stated end), as distinguished from a leasehold which may have declining value toward the end of a long-term lease (such as the 99-year variety).
leasehold = n. the real estate which is the subject of a lease (a written rental agreement for an extended period of time). The term is commonly used to describe improvements on real property when the improvements are built on land owned by one party which is leased for a long term (such as 99 years) to the owner of the building. For example, the Pacific Land Company owns a lot and leases it for 99 years to the Highrise Development Corporation, which builds a 20-story apartment building and sells each apartment to individual owners as condominiums. At the end of the 99 years the building has to be moved (impossible), torn down, sold to Pacific (which need not pay much since the building is old and Highrise has no choice), or a new lease negotiated. Obviously, toward the end of the 99 years the individual condominiums will go down in value, partly from fear of lessened resale potential. This is generally theoretical (except to lending companies because the security does not include the land) since there are few buildings with less than 50 or 60 years to go on the leases or their expected lifetimes, although there are some commercial buildings which are within 20 years of termination of such leases. In most cases the buildings are obsolete by the end of the leasehold.
foreclosure = is the equitable proceeding in which a bank or other secured creditor sells or repossesses a parcel of real property (immovable property) due to the owner's failure to comply with an agreement between the lender and borrower called a "mortgage" or "deed of trust." Commonly, the violation of the mortgage is a default in payment of a promissory note, secured by a lien on the property. When the process is complete, it is typically said that "the lender has foreclosed its mortgage or lien."
Allodial title = is a concept in some systems of property law. It describes a situation where real property (land, buildings and fixtures) is owned free and clear of any encumbrances, including liens, mortgages and tax obligations. Allodial title is inalienable, in that it cannot be taken by any operation of law for any reason whatsoever.
In common legal use, allodial title is used to distinguish absolute ownership of land by individuals from feudal ownership, where property ownership is dependent on relationship to a lord or the sovereign. Webster's first dictionary (1825 ed) says allodium is "land which is absolute property of the owner, real estate held in absolute independence, without being subject to any rent, service, or acknowledgement to a superior. It is thus opposed to feud.
A restraint on alienation, in the law of real property, is a clause used in the conveyance of real property that seeks to prohibit the recipient from selling or otherwise transferring his interest in the property. Under the common law such restraints are void as against the public policy of allowing landowners to freely dispose of their property. Perhaps the ultimate restraint on alienation was the fee tail, a form of ownership which required that property be passed down in the same family from generation to generation, which has also been widely abolished.
However, certain reasonable restraints will be given effect in most jurisdictions. These traditionally include:
- A prohibition against partition of property for a limited time.
- The right of first refusal - for example, if Joey sells property to Rachel, he may require that if Rachel later decides to sell the property, she must first give Joey the opportunity to buy it back.
- The establishment of public parks and gardens, as was the case for The Royal Parks of London in the UK. These public spaces were created under such terms by the Crown Estate; which meant that these parks were held in perpetuity for the public to use.
Easement = An easement is the right to do something or the right to prevent something over the real property of another. At common law, an easement came to be treated as a property right in itself and is still treated as a kind of property by most jurisdictions. In some jurisdictions, another term for easement is equitable servitude, although easements do not have their origin in equity.
The right is often described as the right to use the land of another for a special purpose. Unlike a lease, an easement does not give the holder a right of "possession" of the property, only a right of use. It is distinguished from a licence that only gives one a personal privilege to do something on the land of another.
The statute of frauds = refers to the requirement that certain kinds of contracts be made in writing and signed.
Traditionally, the statute of frauds requires a writing signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought in the following circumstances:
Contracts in consideration of marriage.
Contracts which cannot be performed within one year.
Contracts for the transfer of an interest in land.
Contracts by the executor of a will to pay a debt of the estate with their own money.
Contracts for the sale of goods above a certain value.
Contracts in which one party becomes a surety (acts as guarantor) for another party's debt or other obligation.
Law students often remember these circumstances by the mnemonic "MYLEGS" (marriage, year, land, executor, goods, surety).
It is important to note that in the United States, each State; in Canada, each province; and in Australia each State has its own variation on the statute of frauds, which may differ significantly from the traditional list.
The term statute of frauds comes from an English statutory law (29 Car. II c. 3) passed in 1677 and more properly called the Statute of Frauds and Perjuries.  Many common law jurisdictions have such a statute (i.e., statutory law) or provision in a statute, while a number of civil law jurisdictions have similar requirements in their civil codes
mercoledì 21 novembre 2007
22/11/07 Lesson 14
From ILE text book:
- pp. 120-121 Introduction to sale of goods legislation ex. 2, 3
- pp. 122-123 Terms and conditions of sale. P. 11 ex. 11
warranty of fitness
warranty of title
disclaimer of warranty
breach of warranty
warranty of merchantability
Standard terms and conditions of sale
Retention of title
Prices and payments
Claims and credit
Indemnification of vendor
Changes or cancellation
Peril of loss : risk of loss refer tot situation in whih goods are damages or lost during transportation or through use
Mortgage vs charge
A charge is similar to a mortgage: both are security for the payment of a debt. A charge is security for the payment of a debt orother obligation that does not pass ‘property’ or any right to possession to the person to whom the charge is given. A mortgage is security for the payment of a debtor other obligation that passes ‘property’ but noright to possession to the person to whom themortgage is given. A charge must be registered with Companies House to be effective http://www.companieshouse.gov.uk/about/gbhtml/gba8.shtml
Mortgage by demise vs mortgage by charge
- pp.127- 129 Reading Retention of title clause created a trust, not a charge ex 20, 22, 23, 24
Book debts are money owed to a company by its customers
Secured creditors are creditors who have a charge over the assets of a debtor
Proceeds sale = A transaction in which funds received from selling a security are immediately reinvested in another security.
lunedì 19 novembre 2007
From ILE text book:
pp. 120-121 Introduction to sale of goods legislation ex. 2, 3
pp. 122-123 Terms and conditions of sale. P. 11 ex. 11
pp.127- 129 Reading Retention of title clause created a trust, not a charge ex 20-24
20/11/07 Lesson 13
From ILE text book:
- Check homework : reading comprehension "unfair dismissal"
- Vocabulary revision
To hear a case (an appeal, an argument, a complaint, a claim, a witness)
To waive rights (a rule, a benefit, immunity, fees, a notice period)
To plead a case (ignorance, insanity, guilty or not guilty)
To apply a law (a rule, a precedent, a procedure, a method)
To appeal a case (an award, a decision, a ruling, a conviction, an acquittal, a penalty)
To challenge a case (an award, a decision, an allegation, the legitimacy of sth)
- Language Focus pp. 118-119 ex. 1-5pp.
- p.p. 120-121 Introduction to sale of goods legislation ex. 2, 3
Language notes to reading 1
Movable property or tangible chattels = anything with a physical appearance
Chattel = n C spesso al pl (= belonging, form o obsol) goods which can be moved, (in contrast to real property) bene mobile; chattel mortgage ipoteca mobiliare; chattel mortgage bonds obbligazioni garantite da ipoteca mobiliare; chattels personal beni mobili, beni personali; chattels real beni immobili
Reclaim the goods =
Secure payment =
Set forth =
Disclaimers of warranties =
Warranty = C/U garanzia; 1 warranty deed atto di garanzia; warranty of fitness garanzia di idoneità; to be under warranty essere in garanzia, essere coperto da garanzia; our warranty does not cover labour costs la nostra garanzia non include i costi di manodopera; 2 U (form) giustificazione, autorità, diritto;3 C/U promessa (contenuta in un contratto); 4 U [+for] fondamento, base, giustificazione.
If something fosters the development of international trade, it supports and promotes it.
To purchase means the same as “to buy!, but tends to be used in business contexts. In business, purchasing is the process of finding suppliers, placing orders and arranging delivery.
Procurement typically refers to obtaining supplies for an army or an organisation. Often it is not necessary to pay for goods at the time of buying: many shops offer “buy now, pay later” deals.
If a business deals in a particular item, it regularly buys and sells that item, without actually producing anything. For example, a shop might deal in antiques.
Offering something for sale refers to a specific item, and naturally takes place before selling.
To vend has several meanings : it could refer to selling ( e.g. soft drinks) in a vending machine, or by a street vendor ( e.g. selling hamburgers from a cart): But in legal contexts, it can simply mean selling, typically involving a vendor selling a house or piece of land.
To peddle means to sell small items by travelling from place to place, or to sell illegal drugs.
A consumer is the final user of a product, who may not be the same person as the buyer.
A purchaser is typically buying for his / her company. The traditional distinction between a customer, who buys goods, and a client, who buys a service, is often blurred. The buyer is the most neutral of these terms, but generally avoided in preference for one of the more specific terms.
In general English, a merchant is a person or company that buys or sells in large quantities. In legal and financial English, a merchant is a person or company that buys or sells in large quantities. In legal and financial English, a merchant buys goods at wholesale prices and sells them at retail prices. The everyday term for this is a retailer, which typically refers to a shop or other outlet selling goods to members of the public. A wholesaler does not sell to the public, but to other businesses . A supplier is usually a company that sells goods or services to another company on a regular basis. A vendor can be either a seller of a property ( in legal English ) or a person who sells small items on the street. A trader buys and sells goods, without necessarily
A commodity is an article of trade or commerce . It is typically an agricultural product or mining product, traded in commodities markets. Chattel, described on page 142, is a very rare and formal word used mainly in legal English. Merchandise and wares are described on page 122 of the SB. Note that wares and goods are always plural in British English, merchandise is uncountable and chattel is countable.
17/11/07 Lesson 12
From ILE text book:
pp. Introduction to employment law ex. 2, 3, 4
pp. 108-109 EU directives on employment ex. 8, 9
Language notes to Reading 1
Trade unions =
Redundancy dismissal =
Unfair dismissal =
Collective bargaining =
Render a decision =
Holiday entitlement =
Language notes to Reading 2
To outlaw =
Domestic legislation =
On the grounds of =
To envisage =
To enshrine = vt [V+D(+in+IN)] spec passivo conservare gelosamente, custodire, racchiudere, serbare; the right to work is enshrined in the constitution il diritto al lavoro è racchiuso nella costituzione.
Hurdles = ostacolo, intralcio, difficoltà He will face many hurdles before reaching his goal
So much legislation in the pipeline=
Language notes to reading 3
Discriminatory culture= when discrimination is present throughout the firm. It is an environment in which certain people or groups are favoured over others.
A senior equity partner is one of the partners, in a partnership such as a law firm, who has the largest ownership interests
Aggravated damages = are special damages awarded by a court to a malicious conduct, such as attempting to humiliate a plaintiff.
to allege to claim = asserire, dichiarare, affermare, supporre; accusare (senza prove) he alleges that I embezzled the company funds = Mi accusa di essermi appropriato dei fondi della società;
a landmark case = generally deals with an important issue and marks a stage in the development of the law in a specific area.
Language notes to reading 4
Cross examination = is the process where each party’s witnesses questions.
Arbitration and conciliation = are both types of alternative dispute resolution.
Conciliation is less formal and is a form of mediation: it simply involves bringing the two disputing sides together to try to resolve their differences. The two sides agree a legally binding conciliation agreement.
Arbitration is more closely associated with claims such as unfair dismissal and the decision (the arbitral award, which is also legally binding) is made by an arbitrator rather than by the parties themselves. For full details, see http://www.acas.org.uk/services/disputes_individual_employer.html.
to uphold = pt e pp upheld vt [V+D] 1 (= to abandon) difendere, sostenere, appoggiare, sorreggere; to uphold the law difendere la legge, fare rispettare la legge; to uphold sb’s rights difendere i diritti di qn; to uphold a system of government appoggiare un sistema di governo; they promised to uphold the principles of the association promisero di sostenere i principi dell’associazione; (+ to reverse/to change, leg) confermare, ribadire; her sentence was upheld on appeal a sua condanna fu confermata in appello.
Reinstatement = n U (form) 1 reintegrazione, riassunzione, reinserimento. The reinstatement of sacked workers la reintegrazione di lavoratori licenziati; 2 ripristinamento, ripristino; the reinstatement of a tax il ripristino di un’imposta; 3 (assic) reintegrazione, riadeguamento.
Reinstatement vs re-engagement = the first involves re-employing an employee in their previous position, while the second means simply re-employing them, perhaps in a different position.
Inquisitorial vs adversial = the first is used in civil law, it involves many questions and the aim is to reach the truth; the second is used in common law. It puts the two parties in competition with each other. It can often seem that the aim is to beat the other party by using better techniques rather than reach the truth.
mercoledì 14 novembre 2007
From grammar text book: pp. 110-111 vbs followed by ing form or to infinitive
- extra practice
From ILE text book:
pp. 92-93 Introduction to contract assignation
Key terms: contracts ex. 2, 3
pp. 94 Language use: nouns ending in -0r and –ee
- extra practice
damages claim= richiesta di risarcimento;
damages for breach of contract = risarcimento per inadempimento contrattuale; to award damagees= decretare il risarcimento dei danni;
to be liable for damages = essere responsabile dei danni;
to pay £ 1.000.000 in damages = pagare un risarcimento di ..
damage survey= perizia dei danni
non-monetary relief = "risarcimento" non monetario
remedy that is not money, but rather something else such as an injunction, a declaratory judgement, specific performance or modification of a cotnract.
In a legal action for descrimination the individual shall be provided with all non-monetary equitable remedies and back pay. Mitigation of damages may be taken into account where appropriate.
"With respect to employees, the Department shall provide all appropriate non-monetary relief, including placement into new position, cancellation of unwarranted personnel action, expungement of adverse materials from Department records, and full restoration of employee benefits the individual would have received absent discrimination."
Here are some more examples of non-monetary relief
mercoledì 7 novembre 2007
martedì 6 novembre 2007
From grammar text book: pp.312-325 conditional phrases
Conditional vs subjunctive
practice conditionals :
From ILE text book:
pp.64-65 Discuss Reading 1 + Key terms
Damages= refers to the amount of money that a plaintiff may be awarded in a lawsuit.
Parol evidence= is a rule that a contract is a complete document, and that therefore no other documents that contradict it may be used as evidence in a lawsuit. The best way to ensure this is to include an entire agreement clause (or a merger clause)
Severability= means that somebody can sever (cut) something. In other words, if a contract is severable, it means that a breach of one part of the contract does not necessary entail a breach of the whole contract. The part that was breached can be ‘severed’ or separated.
Ancillary=documents /supporting documents
p.66 reinforce vocabulary: types of clauses
pp.67-68 Reading a covenant
Language notes :
Par. A Capitalised terms are those which are consistently written with a capital letter (e.g. Covenant, Shareholder, Purchaser, Seller, Purchase Agreement, Business, Closing and Agreement)
Par. F Precedent = preceding or before (the Covenant must be completed before the Purchase Agreement can be closed)
Par. F execute = sign
Par. 1 controlling ownership interest (of record or beneficial). A shareholder of record is the person named on the share certificate , but in fact the beneficial owner may be somebody else. (i.e. a child. Usually this happens for tax reasons)
Par. 2.a lessee = a person who leases (rents) something, typically a property
Par. 2.b subject to = in accordance with
Par. 3 wire transfer = electronic transfer of funds
Par. 5 provision = here means clause
Par. 5 stricken = hit (past participle is struck) or delete (past participle is stricken)
venerdì 2 novembre 2007
From ILE text book:
pp. 64-65 Introduction to contract formation + Key terms ex. 2-3
Language notes Reading 1:
assignment: involves transferring the rights of the contract to another person.
Information on USA’s Uniform Commercial Code Act is available online at http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/ucc.table.html
Information on the Uk’s Sale of Goods Acts see http://www.dti.gov.uk/ccp/topic1/facts/salegoodsact.htm
The conduct of the parties is the way they behave.
An instrument is a written legal document, such as a contract or a will.
There is a statute of frauds in most common law jurisdictions stating which types of contract must be in writing. This includes not only property, but also marriage http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statute_of_frauds
Further information on contract information
- There is a clear overview of contracts at http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/index.php/contracts
- For a guide to contract formation in a range of European countries, including both common law and civil law jurisdictions, see http://www.kclc.or.jp/english/sympo/EUDialogue/lando.htm. See also http://www.jus.uio.no/lm/eu.contract.principles.part1.1995/doc for EU’s Principles of European Contract Law
2. Compare contract clauses in English and Italian in the context of a “letter of appointment”
From grammar text book pp. 268-281 Prepositions;
pp. 298-307 Reported speech
From ILE text book
pp.48-49 Introduction to changes in companies: liquidation, constitutional amendments, consolidation and merger, alteration of capital structure, voluntary liquidation, compulsory winding up
pp. 56-57 Reading + Reporting verbs + collocation
pp. 60 -61 Language Focus
pp. pp. 64-65 Introduction to contract formation
mercoledì 31 ottobre 2007
visto che la proposta glossario non ha avuto il response che mi aspettavo :-(
How about starting with one word or phrase that you particularly find interesting...
Provision: 1. U. fornitura, provvista :provision of government services; no provvision has been made for car parking in this area
2. U. ammontare, quantità: increase the provision of nursery facilities
3. C. clausola, disposizione, dettato: under the provisions (clausola) of the treaty they cannot buy or sell weapons; There are provisions in the treaty to safeguard ethnic minorities; the provision (dettato) of the law; with the provision that.. (condizione che)
potete pubblicare il vs lavoro qui di seguito..
lunedì 29 ottobre 2007
From ILE text book
1. translate these terms in Italian
- Articles of Association= Statuto sociale
- Memorandum of Association = Atto costitutivo
- board of directors= consiglio di amministrazione
- authorised share capital
- issued share capital
- ordinary share
- pre-emption rights
- preference share
- rights issue
2. p. 40 Common collocation verb + noun ex. 11, 13
3. p. 43 Archaic words ex. 20, 21
4. pp. 46-47 Language Focus ex. 1-4
From Grammar text book: vbs + prepositions pp.106-107;
Practice: extra exercise from text book “English for Lawyers”
p. 31. ex. 26 Text analysis: a letter of advice
pp. 32-33 Language Focus
pp. 34-35 Introduction to company capitalization + Key terms: Share
- Samples of a share certificate, memorandum of association and article of association
- Samples of agreement shareholders’ agreements
mercoledì 24 ottobre 2007
From Grammar text: phrasal verbs pp. 96-97; pp.108-109
Practice: Phrasal verbs in legal English
pp. 22-24 Company formation: Ex 4-6
Reading: memorandum of association + ex. 8, 9
Practice: thereto, thereof
Grammar focus on shall
p. 25 Forming a Business in the UK + ex. 11,12,13
venerdì 19 ottobre 2007
1. Look up on internet for Italian companies, choose one of them and describe it (in English) giving information about liability, capital contributions and management. Include which documents are needed to complete the formation process. Prepare a table similar to that shown on p.23 in the ILE text book. (includi un “small glossary” e la fonte del tuo lavoro)
e.g. società in nome collettivo
- capital contributions:
- documents required for the formation:
2. From grammar book: pp. 292-295 use of passive
18/10/07 Lesson 4
From text book ILE
- Check homework: cv and practice areas
Language notes for Listening 4 p.18
A litigator= is a lawyer who specializes in litigation (=lawsuits)
Provides advocacy for her clients= she represents them in court and in similar adversarial situations.
Copyright infringement suits= involve any alleged illegal use of copyrighted material.
Clearances of trademarks = involve checking that planned trademarks are not already owned by another party, and are not going to result in litigation.
A retainer agreement (contratto d’ingaggio)= is a written agreement between a client and a lawyer, setting out the details of their long-term relationship.
A cartel = is a group of organizations which work together to fix prices in the industry they control. In most countries, they are illegal, as they exploit consumers and distort free trade. E.g. OPEC which tries to manipulate the international price of oil.
Attorney= avvocato, procuratore
Attorney general = Uk Procuratore Generale US Ministro della Giustizia
Foreclosure (vendita forzata di beni ipotecati) = when the property owner fails to keep up with regular mortgage repayments, the lender has the right to recover the money loaned by forcing the sale of the property.
Types of legal firms:
Solo practice, global firm, small law firm (boutique), mid-size law firm, large law firm
Introduction to Company formation and management
Concept of liability = legal responsibility in case sth goes wrong
Discussion: differences between a company and partnership, documents requested to form a company and people involved in the management.
Company: can be liable, owners are insulated from this threat
Partnership: cannot be liable while its owners are responsible for their actions
Ex.1 Reading & comprehension
Questions to reinforce vocabulary
Extension exercise 2.1_ collocations
Ex 2-3: Vocabulary practice
Listening 1+ transcript
Company formation_practice: Ex 4-9
Reading: memorandum of association
Vocabulary (e.g. thereto, thereof)
Grammar focus on shall
mercoledì 17 ottobre 2007
- p.16 n.16 Read the cv of a young British lawyer and answer the questions
- Read the audio transcript "Listening 4" on p. 262 and answer the questions on p. 18 n. 31
Completa il lavoro richiesto dalle precedenti lezioni
1. to draft: an answer, a brief, a complaint, a motion, a pleading
2. to issue: an injunction, a notice, a writ
3. to file (with): an affidavit, an answer, a brief, a complaint, a motion, a notice, a pleading
4. to serve (on someone): a complaint, an injunction, a notice, a pleading, a writ
5. to submit: an affidavit, an answer, a brief, a complaint, a motion, a notice, a pleading, a writ
Ex. 2 Match vbs with noun phrases
a. legal advice, b. research, c. a case, d. companies on legal affairs
1. to plead
2. to win
3. to argue
4. to advise so. on sth
5. to do
6. to give
From grammar book: Use of modal verbs
Modal verbs in Legal English_practice
Organization of Justice in England & Wales Organigramma
Organization of Justice in England and Wales_ Description
Organization of Justice in Italy
From ILE text book:
- Person in courts ( plaintiff the person who files the complaint, the defendant the person who…)
- Documents in court (affidavit, answer, brief, complaint, injunction, motion, notice, pleading, writ)
- Latin language (pronunciation insert extension exercise on the web log
- Extra exercise_Latin language
Part II A Career in the law
- Ex.20 – discussion & listening
Vocabulary: lawyer, solicitor, barrister, attorney, notary, notary public (US), corporate counsel
- Ex. 22: vocabulary practice
- Ex. 23: vocabulary practice
- Ex. 24: discussion: formal instruction + practical experience + final exams
- Ex 25 : reading and comprehension
Shall, will, must, may and can/cannot
1) I _____ probably call in at the office tomorrow.
2) The parties _____ not assign the benefit of this agreement.
3) Unfortunately this firm does not carry out that type of work. Therefore, we _____ help you.
4) The goods _____ be delivered on the agreed date.
5) _____ I have a word with you in private please?
6) The parties _____ in their discretion use an approved expert to carry out the tasks.
7) It is clear that the company _____ carry out this type of work to high standards.
8) That contract _____ be on my desk by 5pm today.
9) Our senior partner has indicated that we _____ in our discretion take further work from that organisation.
10) Someone ought to go to the bank today _____ I go or _____ you be going?
Ex. 2 Expressing obligation, possibility, necessity and duty
Choose the word or phrase from the list below which best completes each of the following sentences. The phrase in square brackets [...] will help you to decide. Choose from:
(1) shall be (2) cannot be (3) ought to (4) is entitled to (5) may (6) are bound to (7) have to be (8) need not be (9) are binding on (10) may be required (11) are not entitled to
Example: Husbands and wives ___may _____ now sue each other in contract or tort.
[It is possible] Answer: (5)
a) By the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 the parties to a contract _________always to limit their liability under the contract. [They do not always have the right]
b) Article 4 of the EEC Treaty provides that the functions of the Community ________ carried out by the Assembly, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Justice. [They must be]
c) In English law a valid contract _________ reduced to writing. [It is not necessary]
d) Under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 husband and wife __________ give evidence against each other in criminal cases where necessary. [They must give evidence]
e) The government __________ protect British subjects from criminals. [It has a duty]
f) A woman who stops work in order to have a baby __________ maternity pay for a period of up to 18 weeks. [She has a right to maternity pay]
g) Under English law transfers of land __________made by deed. [They must be made by deed]
h) Ec regulations are directly applicable laws which ____________ all Members States. [They must be applicable and respected]
i) A person who commits murder below the age of 18 years __________ sentenced to life imprisonment. [Its is not possible]
j) A breath test ________________when a police officer stops a car and smells alcohol on the driver’s breath [the police officer can demand it]
Keys ex. 2
are not always entitled
need not be
are bound to
is entitled to
have to be
are binding on
may be required
venerdì 12 ottobre 2007
1. Cerca un esempio di questi documenti usati in tribunale:
- affidavit, answer, brief, complaint, injunction, motion, notice, pleading, writ)
- trascrivi la fonte + la definizione in English
- crea un mini-glossario (min. 10 parole)
2. Definisci in English “persons in court”(v. ILE p. 11) e aggiungi la traduzione in italiano
Esempio: Judge = (giudice) public official who has the authority to hear and decide cases
From Grammar text: Modal verbs 128-151
From Grammar book: check Simple Past vs Present Perfect
T. shows students’ work on projector: types of Italian courts
From ILE: pp.8-13
Bodies of Law & types of Law (statutes, codes, ordinances, regulations, directives, acts of Parliament)
types of courts (most jurisdictions tend to have lower courts, appeals courts and high courts/supreme courts).
Clarify distinction between crown courts and magistrates’ courts (common in UK).
Person in courts ( plaintiff the person who files the complaint, the defendant
Documents in court (affidavit, answer, brief, complaint, injunction, motion, notice, pleading, writ)
Latin language (pronunciation and definition)
mercoledì 10 ottobre 2007
1. Dal testo di grammatica: Simple past vs Present perfect pp. 18-23, pp. 48-51, pp. 66-67
2. Complete extra exercise on the use of Latin in Legal English
3. Trova informazioni su un tipo di tribunale italiano e inserisci l’informazione in inglese (possibilmente breve). Pubblica il lavoro nel commento a questo post.
Visita http://www.giustizia.it/sito_trad_inglese/en_index.htm o cerca in altre fonti
Esempio di lavoro
Supreme Court (corte suprema): hears appeals both in civil and criminal matters against decisions reached by lower courts but only on points of law (assessment of legitimacy). It is thus concerned to ensure that the Court dealing with the merits of the case has correctly applied and interpreted the law in reaching its decision. It is a collegiate body dealing with ordinary jurisdiction.
Put a Latin word or phrase listed below into each space.
ad hoc, de facto, e.g., et al., etc., i.e., inter alia, ipso facto,
per annum, per se, pro forma, pro rata, quorum, sic, sui juris,
ultra vires, v., viz
1 Employees may be required to participate in strategy teams, either by assignment or on an ___________ ____________ basis.
2 For tax purposes, taxable individual who hold their shares as a capital asset should treat each Special Distribution as if the company had purchased, on a __________ ___________ basis, a percentage of the shares held by each individual.
3 In affirming, the State Court of Appeals held,____________ _____________ ,that the statute was not unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.
4 It is my recommendation that you obtain affidavits from potential witnesses,____________ your former colleagues,__________ .
5 Over the past five years, the value of shares in the corporation has risen by an average of 12% ____________ ____________ .
6 Relying primarily on Harris___________ Victor Finance___________ ___________, the Federal District Court concluded that the plaintiff had indeed violated the agreement.
7 She is not a lawyer____________ ___________ , but she does deal with all legal matters for her company, and is extremely well informed.
8 The following documents shall be considered and interpreted as constituting an integral part of this agreement,___________,: a) this contract form; b)the Special Conditions; c)…
9 The forthcoming election is widely seen as a _____________ ___________ referendum on the country’s continued membership of the EU.
10 The motion was not passed because a ____________ of members was not present at the meeting.
11 The plaintiff argued that the defendant had already submitted his resignation and thus he was,_____________ __________ , ineligible to be considered for promotion.
12 The plaintiff claim that the ordnance ( ____________ ) covering all such data is erroneous. Only the data which are in a form in which access or processing is practicable, ___________ print and electronic, are protected.
13 The rules governing conflict of interest do not prevent a lawyer from arbitrating or settling a dispute between two or more clients who are _________ __________ and who wish to submit the dispute to the lawyer.
14 The shareholders claimed that the directors had acted __________ _________ in
obtaining the loan, and that the shareholders were therefore not liable for its repayment.
15 The supplier sent____________ - ____________ invoices with all consignments on sale or return, and then issued a full invoice at the end of each month to take account of the units actually sold.
domenica 7 ottobre 2007
- Features of Legal English language
- Grammar revision: present simple vs present continuous
- Present continuous vs will
- Will vs present simple
- Passive – simple
Presentazione commenti inviati al post homework Lesson 1
From ILE: pp.8-13
Bodies of Law & types of Law (statutes, codes, ordinances, regulations, directives, acts of Parliament),
types of courts (most jurisdictions tend to have lower courts, appeals courts and high courts/supreme courts).
Clarify distinction between crown courts and magistrates’ courts (common in UK).
Person in courts (plaintiff the person who files the complaint, the defendant
Documents in court (affidavit, answer, brief, complaint, injunction, motion, notice, pleading, writ)
Latin language (practice on pronunciation)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_legal_Latin_terms#Y Latin terms currently used in Legal English
venerdì 5 ottobre 2007
1. Dal testo di grammatica pp.10-11, pp.14-15, pp.40-41, pp.42-43, p.92 (a tua discrezione il numero di esercizi espletati Errata corridge: p. 292, introduzione uso del passivo not p.92)
2. Da leggere “civil law vs common law”, anche in italiano da http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_law o da altre fonti
3. Cerca su internet un esempio di “legal document” in inglese e pubblica il lavoro nel commento a questo post.
- riporta il link del documento
- aggiungi informazioni sul tipo di documento
- individua ca. dieci parole interessanti e riportale sotto sezione glossario.
Contratto per noleggio macchina
- Hereinafter: (adv): da qui in seguito
- Owner: proprietario
- Mileage: kilometraggio
- In sound and safe conditions: in ottime condizioni
- Rental period: periodo di affitto
- Renter: noleggiante (conducente)
Pubblica il lavoro nel commento a questo post
Questi sono solo alcuni degli esempi di documenti da cercare, ai quali si possono aggiungere: injunction, motion, affidavit
Power of Attorney/proxy is a legal document which gives someone authority to act on your behalf
Last Will or Testament: is a document by which a person (the testator) regulates the rights of others over his property or family after death.
Lease agreement : creates a commercial tenancy between the landlord and the tenant
Warranty Deed: A general warranty deed is a type of deed where the grantor (seller) guarantees that he or she holds clear title to a piece of real estate and has a right to sell it to the grantee (buyer).
Bill of sale or a purchase of agreement: seller and purchaser(a document that transfers ownership of an asset from a seller to the buyer, a basic agreement for sale of goods. The bill of sale can be used for any items of value ( Vehicles Equipment Watercraft Aircraft Furniture Animals Property ie possessions)
Loan Agreement: An individual or a corporation is borrowing money from another individual or corporation or lending to
Shareholder agreement: Create an agreement among shareholders that says how the corporation will be managed, how disputes will be resolved, what will happen on the death of a shareholder, and to prevent shareholders from competing with the corporation.
Partnership agreement: A partnership is a form of business organization in which two or more individuals manage and operate the business with a view to making a profit. Each partner shares a fixed proportion of the partnership profits and losses.
Employment Contract: set outs duties and rights between employer and employee
Prenuptial agreement: setting out each party's assets, debts, and property rights before the marriage, settling issues of division of property and of spousal support in the event of marriage breakdown, ensuring your estate is distributed according to your wishes upon your death and protecting it from additional claims by your spouse, protecting the interests of children from a previous marriage.
Scienze Giuridiche e laurea Magistrale in Giurisprudenza di Taranto
Benvenuto al supporto on line
della prima lezione del tuo corso di inglese
Qui troverai un diario delle lezioni con risorse disponibili o link dove scaricare il materiale che sarà aggiornato continuamente.
Diventa parte attiva di questo weblog! partecipa ai lavori attraverso la sezione commenti.
06/10/07 Lesson 1
- presentazione del corso
- presentazione delle risorse:
1. Testo di inglese legale:Krois-Lindner, International legal English, CUP, 2006, pp1-147 ; 2. Testo di grammatica : M. Vince, G. Cerulli, Inside Grammar, Macmillan, 2005 (+ fascicoletto con soluzioni); 3. - weblog – materiale on line; 4. Uso di You Tube ; 5. link utili
- Progetto glossario
Vedi link utili sul weblog
Università di Bologna – centro linguistico. Il corso è stato ideato per studenti iscritti alla facoltà di giurisprudenza ma in particolare al corso di laurea in Operatore Giuridico di Impresa. Da qui la scelta di focalizzare sulle procedure di apertura di un’attività di impresa ed i conseguenti problemi che risultano da essa.
Con una sezione task on line che presenta casi concreti sugli argomenti presentati nel testo “International Legal English” coursebook published by Cambridge University Press.
Con una vasta gamma di esercizi ( lessico e grammatica ) e problematiche affrontate nell’ambito del diritto commerciale internazionale. Ottimo anche per attività di ascolto grazie alla presenza di alcune lezioni registrate in podcast e facilmente scaricabili.
Parte 2 Risorse da scaricare:
lunedì 17 settembre 2007
Read the article and leave your comments:
Microsoft loses anti-trust appeal
Microsoft has lost its appeal against a record 497m euro (£343m; $690m) fine imposed by the European Commission in a long-running competition dispute.
The European Court of First Instance upheld the ruling that Microsoft had abused its dominant market position.
A probe concluded in 2004 that Microsoft was guilty of freezing out rivals in server software and products such as media players.
Microsoft has two months to appeal at the European Court of Justice.
"The Court of First Instance essentially upholds the Commission's decision finding that Microsoft abused its dominant position," the court's statement said.
Microsoft's top lawyer said it was important now for the company to comply with EU competition law, but that it had not yet decided on its next legal steps.
It threw out just one small part of the European Commission's ruling, which had established an independent monitoring trustee to supervise Microsoft's behaviour.
"The Court criticises, in particular, the obligation imposed on Microsoft to allow the monitoring trustee, independently of the Commission, access to its information, documents, premises and employees and also to the source code of its relevant products," it said.
Microsoft has now been ordered to pay 80% of the Commission's legal costs, while the Commission has to carry a specific part of Microsoft's costs.
The Commission welcomed the verdict. It will give its competition commissioner Neelie Kroes a much needed boost, after her office lost several high-profile anti-trust cases.
The 2004 ruling ordered Microsoft to ensure its products could operate with other computer systems by sharing information with rival software companies.
It was also ordered to make a version of its Windows operating system available without Microsoft's Media Player software.
Monday's ruling upheld that order, saying it was "beyond dispute" that Microsoft obliged customers to buy its Media Player software along with the operating system.
Last year, Microsoft was told to pay daily fines adding up to 280.5 million euros over a six-month period, after it failed to adhere to the 2004 decision.
Michael Reynolds, of law firm Allen & Overy, said the important thing was "that these principles of the judgement will not just apply to the Microsoft case".
"They will apply to any dominant company that engages in the same behaviour. It's not just about Microsoft," said Mr Reynolds.
"It provides legal certainty now as to what you can and you can't do in relation to information you have to make available to companies who compete in your environment to enable them to be a viable competitor," he added.
"The court has upheld a landmark commission decision to give consumers more choice in software markets," Ms Kroes said in a statement.
"Microsoft must now comply fully with its legal obligations to desist from engaging in anti-competitive conduct."
1. Can a dispute between Microsoft and the EU be resolved?
Microsoft has lost its legal challenge to an EU ruling that it had abused its dominant market position. An investigation concluded in 2004 that the software giant was guilty of freezing out rivals in server software and products such as media players. It was ordered to change its business and fined 497m euros (£343m; $690m).
The company now has two months to appeal at the European Court of Justice.
2. What’s your reaction to the EU ruling? Has the right decision been made?
3. Will it affect how companies behave towards their rivals in the future?
sabato 25 agosto 2007
Per circorscrivere il campo di ricerca offerto dallo stesso portale, ho preferito scegliere da serie televisive che riguardano o hanno riguradato processi e colloqui con avvocati.
Ne ho individuate due: la prima riguarda clip estratti dalla serie televisiva inglese “Coronation Street”.
Il processo di Tracy Barlows offre esempi di procedure processuali e formule di rito tipiche di un’aula di tribunale.
Watch out for il giuramento dell’accusato quando viene chiamato a depositare
La seconda riguarda i clip estratti dalla serie televisiva americana, “Judge Judy”.
La trasmissione ruota intorno alla figura carismatica del Giudice Judy, una personalià unica, che gestisce i suoi casi con un tocco decisamente autoritario ed indisponente, ma che assicura il divertimento del pubblico americano.
Vi propongo due dei tanti episodi.. Look out for them.
1. Una coppia madre-figlia dichiara di essere stata truffata: dopo aver speso una bella somma per un’asta su e-bay convinte di aver comprato due cellulari, si vedono recapitare a casa la stampa di una foto del suddetto cellulare. L’accusata tenta una difesa d’ufficio sostenendo che la sua asta parlava di una foto, ma viene brutalmente messa in riga dal Giudice Judy.
2. Un gestore di un negozio di lubrificanti ha una storia con una ragazza di 16 anni dalla quale riceve diverse somme di denaro per ovviare a spese che lui dice di non poter coprire. La ragazza infatuata si presta ingenuamente al prestito convinta di avere presto i suoi soldi “back”. Quando l’uomo decide di tornare da sua moglie, la giovane ragazza lo cita in giudizio chiedendo la restituzione delle somme prestate e lo accusa di aver vandalizzato la sua macchina. Giudice Judy con tono deciso aiuta l’accusa a realizzare il tranello in cui si è cacciata da sola non risparmiando la difesa dal suo tagliente giudizio: “ a loser”.
I più volenterosi potrebbero provare a scrivere qualche dialogo...
martedì 21 agosto 2007
Premio maggiorazione si potrà ottenere anche risultando parte attiva nella pubblicazione di lavori sul blog – previa iscrizione o espletamento delle task assegnate.
Tale maggiorazione, aggiunta al punteggio raggiunto in seduta d’esame, agevolerà il candidato nel superamento della prova;
- Candidato/a non aderente al Progetto Glossario__ punteggio acquisito in seduta d’esame = 25 punti - esame non superato :-(
-Candidato/a aderente al Progetto Glossario_ punteggio acquisito in seduta d’esame = 25 punti + 10 punti ottenuti dal contributo progetto glossario - esame superato :-)
MODALITA’ DI ESPLETAMENTO
1. Il/la candidato/a dovrà scegliere una sezione da analizzare, dal libro di testo, concordando il numero di pagine con la docente (minimo n°6 pagine).
2. Nella sezione concordata il/la candidato/a dovrà estrapolare circa 15 voci che gli/le risultano sconosciute, nella fattispecie verbi, aggettivi, sostantivi, locuzioni avverbiali, espressioni latine, o definizioni di concetti come limited partnership o corporate veil. . Dovranno, in ogni modo, essere inserite solo voci che appartengono al linguaggio giuridico, eccetto per le locuzioni avverbiali, il cui utilizzo non si limita certo all’area legale.
3. Per ogni parola così selezionata il candidato dovrà:
A. Fornire la traduzione in italiano della voce
B. Spiegare la voce in inglese, facendosi aiutare da un buon dizionario monolingue o risorse on line, indicando la qualifica grammaticale e ricostruendo, laddove è possibile altre voci.
C. riportare almeno 3 esempi concreti dove la parola viene utilizzata
4. L’elaborato potrà essere pubblicato sotto forma di commento a questo post, il quale sarà monitorato dalla prof. M. Lombardi che provvederà altresì ad assegnare il punteggio ricevuto utile al calcolo del punteggio minimo per l’esame.
ESEMPIO DI LAVORO
embezzlement – (n.) appropriazione indebita The fraudulent appropriation by a person to his/her own use or benefit of property or money entrusted to him/her by another. –embezzle (v) –embezzler (the person)
1..“Elizabeth Ann Osborne, 52, who resigned in October after 31 years at the space agency, pleaded guilty of embezzling public money as part of an agreement made with the U.S. Attorney's Office on July 17, Local 6 News partner Florida Today reported.
2. “An owner-manager can loose a great deal of money before even suspecting that embezzlement might be going on.”
Writ - (n) mandato, ordine, ordinanza .It is a formal written order issued by a body with administrative or judicial jurisdiction, usually a court or a judge, directing a person or entity to perform certain act or abstain from doing certain acts till such pendency of the writ.
Writ of subpoena = mandato di comparizione
1 The clerk shall issue a writ of subpoena, signed but otherwise in blank, to a party requesting it, who shall complete it before service”.
2 NEFEJ filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court (SC) on Friday against the government's order to stop the broadcasting of the BBC Nepali Service on Radio Sagarmatha.
forfeiture – ( n) confisca The concept of forfeiture is used in a variety of settings in the legal system. The loss of money, property, rights, or privileges due to a breach of legal obligation.
forfeit (v. confiscare, rinunciare, perdere) – forfeitable (adj. soggetto a confisca, confiscabile)
1 his property was declared forfeit to the State
2 by so doing, he forfeited his right to stand for election così facendo, rinunciò al diritto di candidarsi alle elezioni.
3 Some critics of asset forfeiture want to end the practice altogether. Others agree with police that forfeiture is a useful law enforcement tool; their objection is to what they consider a police conflict of interest.
- Potrebbe scegliere di lavorare sulla unit 2 o sulla unit 5. Può cominciare dalle voci scelte dal vocabulary trainer http://cdextras.cambridge.org/VocabTrainer/intlegalenglish/, al quale magari aggiungerne altre che trova interessanti nella unit.
Si ricordi inoltre di trascrivere
- le voci in ordine alfabetico
- gli esempi numerati (consistente sempre con due esempi). Gli esempi devono rientrare nel contesto dell'area analizzata. Apprezzati esempi originali!!.
- attenzione alle scelte di stile: cercare di essere coerente.
- inserire la definizione in inglese solo laddove è necessaria. In caso di locuzioni avverbiali, potrebbe bastare anche solo la traduzione.
- inserire solo voci il cui significato è risultato difficile
sabato 11 agosto 2007
JUDGE: The charge here is theft of frozen chickens. Are you the defendant?
DEFENDANT: No, sir, I'm the guy who stole the chickens.
This rather funny interaction between a judge and a defendant shows how difficult legal language could be for the average person, let alone the complexity resulting from written texts.
For years and years the message coming from ordinary people has been and still is: clear communication. Since the ‘70s the plain English Movement born in America has been working to make government agencies, businesses, and professional organizations to revise their publications and to write in plain English.
Plain English Movement influenced legislation as well as education. Special laws came into effect to regulate the comprehensibility of consumer contracts. New York enacted America's first general plain language law in 1978, and several states have followed. Most states now require straightforward language in specific transactions, especially insurance policies.
Eg- subpoena is now a witness summons, an in camera hearing is now a private hearing, and a writ is now a claim form. Even the venerable term plaintiff has been replaced by claimant.
If you have an interest for the ways in which language and the law work together you can look up on the web
The Scottish Parliament have placed a great emphasis on drafting bills and legislation in plain English. They have in fact produced a booklet which deals with the issue in great details.
Reporting from the Scottish Parliamen website
Chapter 1 - what is plain language? - explains what plain language is and gives some historical context to its association with the law.
Chapter 2 - drafting legislation in plain language - makes some objective observations about the interaction between the desire to use plain language and the constraints placed on the legislative drafter.
Chapter 3 - international comparisons - describes steps which legislative drafters in other countries have taken to enhance the clarity and accessibility of legislation.
Chapter 4 - plain language techniques - gives some examples of techniques currently associated with plain language drafting.
There is also an interesting article "Progetto Chiaro and the Plain Language Movement" by Prof. Christopher Williams, published in Clarity, which illustrates the situation of plain language in Italy. He claims that it is the language of public administration in need of being revised rather than the proper legal Italian language.
Here are some advances on how to write in plain English, included in How to Write Good Legal Stuff by Eugene Volokh, and J. Alexander Tanford.
While we read what is considerd bad legal English cover the part related to good writers and try to guess how you could change the sentences in “good English
10. Using passive rather than active voice
Bad legal writers use passive voice
"the ruling was made by the judge" "the complaint was filed by the plaintiff" "it was held that..."
Good writers use the active voice
"the judge ruled""the plaintiff filed a complaint" "the court held..."
Exception. Passive voice should be used only when you do not know the actor, or when the result is important.
"the documents were mysteriously destroyed." (actor unknown)"bill clinton was elected anyway" (result important)
Bad legal writers turn verbs into nouns
"reached a conclusion""granted a continuance""involved in a collision" "take action"
Good writers just use the first verb
8. Fear of calling things by their names
Bad legal writers are afraid to call things by name
The plaintiff, the defendant, the day in question, the scene of the accident, her place of employment
Good writers give their characters names
Susan Jones, Michael fitzhugh, June 3rd, in the parking lot, pizza hut
Bad legal writers use run-on sentences containing numerous qualifying phrases
"the court in chester v. Morris, a case involving a similar traffic accident, held that a person riding a bicycle must adhere to the same standards as a person driving a car, although it limited its holding to the facts of that case, which included the fact that the bicyclist was intoxicated.
Good writers use several short sentences
chester v. Morris involved a similar traffic accident. The court held that a bicyclist must adhere to the same standards as a person driving a car. The opinion is limited to situations in which the bicyclist is intoxicated.
6. Qualifying phrases
Bad legal writers put qualifying phrases in the middle of sentences
"the court, although it limited its holding, held that a bicyclist must adhere to traffic rules" "the court has, although with limits, held that a bicyclist must adhere to traffic rules" "the court held, although with limits, that a bicyclist must adhere to traffic rules"
Good writers put qualifying phrases at the end of sentences or eliminate them altogether
"the court held that a bicyclist must adhere to traffic rules, although it limited its holding ..." "the court held that a bicyclist must adhere to traffic rules"
Bad legal writers list every known
"every town, city, or village""cease and desist" "give, devise and bequeath""null and void"
Good writers use a single word
"every municipality""stop""give" "void"
4. Meaningless adverbs used in a vain effort to make a weak point appear stronger
Bad legal writers use meaningless adverbs
Chester v. Morris clearly held that bicyclists must adhere to the rules of the road. The fact that he was drunk is extremely important the holding is very narrow. It is really important that he was not wearing a helmet. He was undoubtedly drunk. It is manifestly obvious that
Good writers diligently avoid useless adverbs
Chester v. Morris held that bicyclists must adhere to the rules of the road. The fact that he was drunk is important the holding is narrow. It is important that he was not wearing a helmet. He was drunk. It is obvious that drunken bicyclists are dangerous
3. Meaningless weasel words used because you're afraid to take a position
Bad legal writers have a fear of being wrong and use weasel words
Alleged, maybe, quite possibly, at best/at least, might be, seems to, appears to, perhaps, so-called, implicates, probably, tends to
2. Double negatives
Bad legal writer use double negatives
"not uncommon" "failed to show inability" "not insignificant" "not uncomplicated" "no small part" "not incapable" "not inappropriate"
Good writers use single positives
"common""showed ability""significant""complicated""large part""capable""appropriate"
1. Phrases with absolutely no meaning whatsoever
And the clearest sign of the bad legal writer is the use of totally meaningless (and usually pompous) phrases
"I would like to point out that chester v, morris was overruled" "I would argue that chester v. Morris is not applicable.""it should be noted that chester v. Morris was decided before the statute was amended.""evidence that the defendant was drunk does not operate to remove the issue of contributory negligence""despite the fact that the defendant was drunk, he operated his bicycle carefully." "in fact, he should be commended.""during the course of his ride, he never fell off his bicycle""it has been determined that he was wearing his helmet.""it is obvious that a drunken bicyclist is a danger on crowded streets." "it is clear that he had the right of way. He was clearly justified in crossing the street"
Good writers omit them
"chester v, morris was overruled""chester v. Morris is not applicable.""chester v. Morris was decided before the statute was amended.""evidence that the defendant was drunk does not remove the issue of contributory negligence""despite the defendant's drunkenness, he operated his bicycle carefully." "he should be commended.""during his ride, he never fell off his bicycle""he was wearing his helmet.""a drunken bicyclist is a danger on crowded streets." "he had the right of way. He was justified in crossing the street"
 Eugene Volokh, J. Alexander Tanford, How to Write Good Legal Stuff, Indiana Univ – Bloomington, 2001
Charter Of Fundamental Rights Of The European Union
The peoples of Europe, in creating [………….], are resolved to share a [….]
Conscious of its spiritual and moral heritage, the Union is founded on the indivisible, universal values of […………]
The Union contributes to […………………….]
To this end, it is necessary to […………………….]
This Charter reaffirms, with due regard for[…………………….]
CHAPTER I DIGNITY
Article 1 Human dignity
Human dignity is inviolable. It must be respected and protected.
Article 2 Right to life
1. Everyone has the right to life.
2. No one shall be condemned to the death penalty, or executed.
CHAPTER III EQUALITY
Article 22 Cultural, religious and linguistic diversity
The Union shall respect cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.
Article 24 The rights of the child
1. Children shall have the right to such protection and care as is necessary for their well-being.
CHAPTER V CITIZENS' RIGHTS
2. Members of the European Parliament shall be elected by direct universal suffrage in a free and secret ballot.
CHAPTER VI JUSTICE
Article 48 Presumption of innocence and right of defence
1. Everyone who has been charged shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.
CHAPTER VII GENERAL PROVISIONS
Article 54 Prohibition of abuse of rights
Nothing in this Charter shall be interpreted as implying any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms recognised in this Charter or at their limitation to a greater extent than is provided for herein.
Act Establishing the Coronation Oath, 1689 in Great Britain
Whereas by the law and ancient usage of this Realm, the Kings and Queens thereof have taken a solemn oath upon the Evangelists at their respective coronations, to maintain the statutes, laws, and customs of the said Realm, and all the people and inhabitants thereof, in their spiritual and civil rights and properties: but forasmuch as the oath itself on such occasion administered, hath heretofore been framed in doubtful words and expressions, with relation to ancient laws and constitutions at this time unknown: to the end therefore that one uniform oath may be in all times to come taken by the Kings and Queens of this Realm, and to them respectively administered at the times of their and every of their coronation: may it please your Majesties that it may be enacted: [……………..]
The Party TSOLUTIONS International Language Programmes TS (hereinafter called TSOLUTIONS), registered office is VIALE BERLINGUER 16 BERNALDA MT ITALY, organises and acts as LANGUAGE CONSULTANT for overseas bodies who offer and supply students and others with tuition and accommodation for language courses in the countries concerned, and may arrange insurance for students. TSOLUTIONS as LANGUAGE CONSULTANT effect all bookings and reservation for students unless notified to the contrary, and they may, at their discretion, intercede without charge on behalf of students who become in dispute with any persons or bodies in connection with any matters arising provided however TSOLUTIONS shall not therefore be liable or become liable in any way in connection with any such matter nor does it vouch for [….].
[….. ] All bookings are subject to the terms and conditions of the school, Travel Operator or other Principal and are their responsibility.
"The student" means a person or persons who have signed the application form for such a language course (or if under age a parent or person in loco parentis of such person or persons).
In consideration of the price agreed to be paid for its principal courses and accommodation as set out on the enrolment form the following terms and conditions shall apply as between the parties.
Article 1 This agreement
1. This agreement is legally binding when the enrolment form is completed and signed by the student and accepted by TSOLUTIONS or if effect by telephone when the registration form has been completed by TSOLUTIONS with the insertion of the student's passport details AND/OR after TSOLUTIONS have received the agreed deposit.
2. The specific written approval of TSOLUTIONS is required for any [..].
3. The Laws of Italy shall apply to this agreement.
Article 2 […………]
Language School Terms and Conditions
Students should contact their local Embassy, Consulate or High Commission to ensure they are allowed to enter and study in their chosen country.
For students wishing to study in the USA, Embassy CES is authorised under Federal Law to enrol nonimmigrant students. Proof of sufficient funds to meet tuition and living expenses must be sent with the Enrolment Form in order for us to issue the I-20 form:
A current bank statement or a letter from your bank
A letter guaranteeing support from your parent or employer or sponsor
A notarised affidavit of support
In the UK no visa support documentation will be provided until all fees have been received.
Last Will And Testament of Elvis Presley Recorded August 22, 1977
I, Elvis A. Presley, a resident and citizen of Shelby County, Tennessee, being of sound mind and disposing memory, do hereby make, publish and declare this instrument to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking any and all wills and codicils by me at any time heretofore made.
Item I Debts, Expenses and Taxes
I direct my Executor, hereinafter named, to pay all of my matured debts and my funeral expenses, as well as the costs and expenses of the administration of my estate, as soon after my death as practicable…
Item II Instruction Concerning Personal Property: Enjoyment in Specie
I hereby expressly authorize my Executor and my Trustee, respectively and successively, to permit any beneficiary of any and all trusts created hereunder to enjoy in specie the use or benefit of any household goods, chattels, or other tangible personal property (exclusive of choses in action, cash, stocks, bonds or other securities) which either my Executor or my Trustees may receive in kind, and my Executor and my Trustees shall not be liable for any consumption, damage, injury to or loss of any tangible property so used, nor shall the beneficiaries of any trusts hereunder or their executors of administrators be liable for any consumption, damage, injury to or loss of any tangible personal property so used.
Notice Of Appeal Of Plaintiff Paula Jones filed April 28, 1998.
PAULA JONES, Plaintiff, v. WILLIAM JEFFERSON CLINTON and DANNY FERGUSON, Defendants.
CIVIL ACTION NO. LR-C-94-290 Judge Susan Webber Wright
Notice is hereby given that Paula Jones, plaintiff in the above-named case, hereby appeals the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit from the Judgment and the Memorandum Opinion and Order signed and entered in this action on April 1, 1998, and from all interlocutory orders merged into that judgement, including, without being limited to, the following: the Memorandum Opinion and Order signed and entered in this action on August 22, 1997; the Order signed and entered in this action on September 9, 1997; the Order signed and entered in this action on November 24, 1997; and the Order signed and entered in this action on January 29, 1998.