Do you find "legalise" confusing? Maybe it's meant to be

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MemberSince99
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Do you find "legalise" confusing? Maybe it's meant to be

Postby MemberSince99 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:02 am

I happened to talk with someone who had worked at a major credit card company known for their subprime cards which never grow with you as their first job out of college yesterday. They told me as we made cracks about the company how the legal department there in drafting the terms of the cardmember agreement deliberately tried to make it as confusing as possible for the "target" group they aimed at, elderly hispanics. I was like well your first mistake was assuming people even read those damn things most don't. But we both agreed that was pretty shoddy and that's what prompted the "I gotta get out of here" response. I guess all is well that ends well there, but anyway if you find that legalise confusing, it may be because it's MEANT to be confusing.


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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:47 am

We prefer "legalese," thank you very much.
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MemberSince99
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Postby MemberSince99 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:50 am

djrez4 wrote:We prefer "legalese," thank you very much.


You are absolutely correct, I botched that one.

The story is true however. I'm sure you aren't surprised.

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djrez4
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Postby djrez4 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:38 am

I don't doubt that there are situations in which a lawyer would write specifically to confuse the reader.

However, there is a reason legal writing is a bit more obtuse than normal conversational language. Our words have bigger consequences which makes it more important for us to use the correct word and structure sentences correctly. There are US Supreme Court cases that hinge on the placement of a single comma.
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Postby DoingHomework » Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:09 pm

Obviously legal writing must be unambiguous and very technical. But I agree that sometimes documents are written specifically to confuse. That is exactly why some states have adopted "plain language" statutes.that require contracts to be written so that they can be understood by nonlawyers. In some situations courts will not enforce contracts if they are not easily understood by the parties. So if the target group is uneducated poor people sometimes a contract won't be enforced if it is written above, say, the 5th grade level. Unfortunately not all jurisdictions require that.



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