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Old 06-18-2008, 03:17 PM
 
51,988 posts, read 47,789,376 times
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One thing that has bothered me as far as contracts and legals forms are concerned is: Why do you want to use language that the common man wouldn't understand? Why put fine print in contracts? If one has to use fine print, then that person knows he/she is cheating or trying to do something underhanded because I know that if the common person were to see certain terms and conditions in plain view rather than fine print, then that person wouldn't enter into that contract. If you can't understand what the contract says specifically and not a blanket explanation of it, how do you know what you are entering? My 0.02.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,478 posts, read 52,818,840 times
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Legalese and fine print are part of the lawyers and accountants full employment plan. they also are used to cover sections that benefit the party providing the contract.
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Old 06-19-2008, 10:27 PM
 
Location: Southern California
15,085 posts, read 18,073,629 times
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Because the law often is not written in plain English...
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Old 06-21-2008, 09:23 AM
 
3,635 posts, read 7,862,330 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte View Post
One thing that has bothered me as far as contracts and legals forms are concerned is: Why do you want to use language that the common man wouldn't understand? Why put fine print in contracts? If one has to use fine print, then that person knows he/she is cheating or trying to do something underhanded because I know that if the common person were to see certain terms and conditions in plain view rather than fine print, then that person wouldn't enter into that contract. If you can't understand what the contract says specifically and not a blanket explanation of it, how do you know what you are entering? My 0.02.
Everyday, common speech is riddled with logical errors and flaws. They're so common, there's even a 10 minute daily podcast that breaks them down. How many times a day do you have to clarify something to someone because they heard perfectly clearly what you said, but thought you just meant something else?

"Legalese" is the lingua franca of logic. It allows those of us who are lawyers to compose contracts, to deal with one another and to protect our clients and even society because there is absolutely no doubt about what we are saying. From that language one cannot pick apart a verbal misphrasing and use THAT to sue, or to claim contract infringement, or to otherwise skew the purpose of what is supposed to be bartering in good faith. That "good faith" part is mostly supported by a language which itself does not have logical errors.

Secondly, most "legalese" is the sum accumulation of centuries' worth of legal precedent. We've agreed (for reasons listed above) that when I say this, I mean this and only this. When the contract reads this, it means this and only this, and I have three centuries (and more!) of legal precedent in every ruling, every current contract and every decision ever made to support the weight of intention in those words.

I suppose the last point to make is that most legal situations actually have code words that people, situations and events are set inside of... If that makes sense. When you deal with a legal situation, you become part of the fabric of a context, and there is literally a document preceding every contract and litigious event which refers to things like "Client: Mr. X, herein referred to as "client" or "party of the first""; "Excersize upon option: The time at which Mr. X may exercise his stock options at listed price further determined within this document...". You see where I'm going with this, I'm sure. It'd be mighty inconvenient if at every junction I had to write a paragraph describing an event when I can just specify it's definition in an index and use the code word to refer back
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Old 06-22-2008, 08:17 PM
 
Location: North Adams, MA
746 posts, read 3,231,368 times
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The legal terms are there to benefit the company that draws up the contract, and often traps unwary consumers down the road who do not take the trouble to read and understand them. I would venture to say that 95% of all fine print is never read, much less understood, by the person who so willingly signs them in order to get another credit card or sign up on line for something free.

They are fools, and often find themselves in trouble down the road for their lack of attention.

I do read user agreements and the like, and 90% of the time, I leave without buying the product. The agreements are not for my benefit, indeed often leave me with no recourse if something goes wrong.

Caveat emptor.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:57 AM
 
3,635 posts, read 7,862,330 times
Reputation: 2961
Quote:
Originally Posted by litlux View Post
The legal terms are there to benefit the company that draws up the contract, and often traps unwary consumers down the road who do not take the trouble to read and understand them. I would venture to say that 95% of all fine print is never read, much less understood, by the person who so willingly signs them in order to get another credit card or sign up on line for something free.

They are fools, and often find themselves in trouble down the road for their lack of attention.

I do read user agreements and the like, and 90% of the time, I leave without buying the product. The agreements are not for my benefit, indeed often leave me with no recourse if something goes wrong.

Caveat emptor.
If you say 95%, you'd be both right and wrong. The law does not and never has held citizens to the same standards it holds corporations-- there's case after case which supports consumers in situations where they didn't read fine print. Because the courts of this nation do not expect citizens to be able to, or to have to, understand the shrink-wrapped terms.

So if you're not buying that product, I have to call into question a severe issue on your behalf.
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