Many people accuse lawyers of using incomprehensible words and phrases not otherwise employed in the daily use of the English language. Herewiths and hereuntobefores are accordingly and justifiably frowned upon. Resolution has, therefore, worked hard to try to deliver for family lawyers precedents for courts orders and deeds that whilst unambiguous, remain clear and so far as possible are written in everyday English. That said even those precedents have struggled to rid themselves of useful catch-alls like wheresoever, howsoever and whatsoever.

The other evening I found myself in the right place at the wrong time and was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement as a result. I believe the person who handed it to me must have been from Mars or some other galactic species. Gone were the “howsoever wheresoevers” and yet I fully understood that never must word of what I had seen or heard be divulged when I read: “Forever anywhere in the Universe.” I wonder what the family courts would think if solicitors began to adopt that kind of terminology when drafting orders?


Legal jargon is just to smart for my taste. The laws needs to be dummyed down a little bit.
But Judith you have to admit, those of us who work in the legal profession are making huge strides in that area...
Anonymous said…
In the universe huh? That is funny to me because I have in the past year been exposed to more legalese than I care to admit. That however is not one that I have heard.
I do wish doctors and lawyers would talk plain English like the rest of us.
RolandA said…
If you are using lawyers there everyone loses. They'll charge you $80 to read an email with 3 sentences. They get paid for causing confusion and then resolving it. Lawyers have an incentive to make a small problem into a big problem. Use of legal jargon ensures the need for more lawyer help.
Judith said…
Sounds like you had a bad experience there Roland, which I am sorry to discern. In my experience family solicitors tend to be a pretty caring bunch who have denied themselves the rewards of their contemporaries specialising in commercial and other areas of law in order to have a fulfilling career and help people going through one of the most traumatic times in their lives. But maybe I'm biased.
I have to agree with Roland, when it comes to litigation no one wins but the lawyers.
@Roland - It's not the lawyer's fault. It's the adversarial process to blame

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