venerdì 30 novembre 2007

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in particolare sull'iniziativa blog e il testo adottato "International Legal English"


Homowork Lesson 17

From ILE text book

Language Focus revision Unit 1 to Unit 10

Lesson 17

01/12/07 Lesson 17
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

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

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;

Lesson 16

28/12/07 Lesson 16

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

Homework Lesson 16

- Look up on internet for information regarding all the stages involved in the sale and purchase of realy property in Italy. In other words, what procedures and documents are required?

- From ILE text book pp 142 Reading "Case review" ex. 21-22

domenica 25 novembre 2007

Homework Lesson 15

Homework Lesson 15

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

Lesson 15

24/11/07 Lesson 15

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.

From Wikipedia:

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. [1] 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

Homework Lesson 14

Homework Lesson 14

pp. 130-131 Language Focus ex. 1-6

Lesson 14

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
    key terms:
    express warranty
    warranty of fitness
    implied warranty
    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
    Language notes
    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

    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
    Language notes:
    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

Homework Lesson 13

Homework Lesson 13

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

Lesson 13

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
producing anything.
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.

Homework Lesson 12

Homework Lesson 12

From ILE text book:
pp. 114-115 ex 26, 27, 28 see Language notes in Lesson 12

Lesson 12

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 =
Picketing =
Lockouts =
Strikes =
Render a decision =
Unlawful =
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.
Parental leave=
Artificial hurdles
Hurdles = ostacolo, intralcio, difficoltà He will face many hurdles before reaching his goal
So much legislation in the pipeline=
Claimant =

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

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

Homework Lesson 11

Homework Lesson 11

pp. 95 Reading: Understanding contract clauses ex. 6, 8
pp. 102-103 Reading Keeping informed ex. 29, 31
pp. 104-105 Language Focus ex. 1-6

Lesson 11

15/11/07 Lesson 11
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
pp. 97-98
- extra practice

Terms of the week

damages: al pl (leg) danni, risarcimento dei danni, indenizzo
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

Homework Lesson 10

8/11/07 Homework Lesson 10

From ILE text book
1- pp.88-89 Types of breach ex. 31
2- pp.90-91 Language Focus

Lesson 10

8/11/07 Lesson 10

Check homework together
pp 78-79 Introduction to contract remedies + key terms: Types of damages
pp.80-81 Reading 2: Liquidated damages ex. 7, 9

martedì 6 novembre 2007

Homework Lesson 9

7/11/07 Homework Lesson 9

pp. 72-75 Reading 3 E-contracts ex. 24, 28, 29, 30
pp.76-77 Language Focus
pp. 78-79 Introduction to contract remedies: Translate in Italian all the words in bold in the text. Publish your work here....

Lesson 9

7/11/07 Lesson 9

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
Language notes:
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

Homework Lesson 8

Homework Lesson 8

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
Information on the Uk’s Sale of Goods Acts see
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

Further information on contract information
- There is a clear overview of contracts at
- For a guide to contract formation in a range of European countries, including both common law and civil law jurisdictions, see See also for EU’s Principles of European Contract Law

2. Compare contract clauses in English and Italian in the context of a “letter of appointment”

Lesson 8

03/11/07 Lesson 8
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