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A Guide to Understanding Legalese

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posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 04:14 PM
The info on this thread is for informational purposes only, if you find yourself in a situation that you need legal help or have questions about a contract you are about to enter into or any other situations that would require a lawyer, please consult a professional attorney. The information in this thread is only meant to help understand the language used by lawyers, referred to as "legalese", none of the content in this thread is to be taken as legal advice. This thread is meant to be a reference to help members and readers understand what is contained in the bills being passed by politicians in the United States of America's government.

Okay now that we got that out of the way, with all these bills going through Congress I thought it would be beneficial to list some resources that would help all of us understand the content of the bills. As we know the bills are written in what people refer to as "legalese".

To many of us it is a foreign language and trying to decipher what is actually contained in the bills actually leaves us more confused than we were before we read the bill. So I will reiterate that this thread is meant to only be a reference in help understanding the bills written and passed by congress, and is not to be taken as legal advice, if you find yourself in a situation where legal advice is needed, you need to consult a professional attorney.

If you find more references to help us all feel free to add them. Hopefully this will make it a little easier for us all to Deny Ignorance, because I know I sometimes get lost and wrong when trying to decipher what these bills say. A reference to look up legal terms.

Legal dictionary Another reference to look up legal terms.

The Mississippi Bar Association - Guide to legalese

Duhaime's Legal Dictionary

'Lectric Law Library

Websters Dictionary of Legal, Lawful, & Propaganda Terms

I'll mention again, if you find any others please fell free to post them.

[edit on 22-7-2009 by Hastobemoretolife]

posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 04:35 PM
reply to post by Hastobemoretolife

I understood this quote without any help at all!

“To sanction disregard for the Constitution in the name of protecting society from law breakers is to make the government itself lawless and to subvert those values upon which our ultimate freedom and liberty depend.” Judge (U.S.A.) Brennan

posted on Jul, 22 2009 @ 04:49 PM
reply to post by Hazelnut

For sure, I like that one. It's good to know that some people have gotten it and still get it.

If you find anymore sites go ahead and post them.

posted on Jul, 26 2009 @ 05:37 AM
I'd suggest Bouvier's Law Dictionary and Black's Law Dictionary 1st + 2nd editions, all of which are available online as torrents. I'd be wary of online dictionaries not used by the legal industry or the newer editions of Black's. Looking at some definitions of legal terms from one edition to the next I see the Orwellian "NewSpeak" game being played.

Some people don't realize that the English language--and probably others, too--is tri-tiered with street slang at the bottom, proper English (presumably taught in school) at the middle, with the "King's English," i.e., the language of court & law, if you will, positioned at the top. In today's world where many of our activities are, albeit unknown to us, commercial in nature or least have commercial consequences, it behooves us to have a working command of the language's top tier.

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