The Party of the First Part / Weblog zur englischen Rechtssprache

Isabella Massardo at Taccuino di traduzione has unearthed the Party of the First Part website and weblog, by Alan Freedman.
The sites are advertising a book of the same name that has not yet been published. Unfortunately, William Safire has given his approval.

What does it mean?
Witnesseth? Aforesaid? Quash that subpoena ab initio? Ask POFP for a translation of your favorite drivel and/or check out our A – Z glossary of legal terms already defined by our panel of distinguished experts.

In addition to the glossary, there is a competition for the Golden Gobbledygook Award for bad legalese and a Hall of Shame.

I think the earlier entries – a few a year from 2002 on – were originally syndicated in newspapers.

Time will tell how useful this blog is, but it certainly has a lot of useful legal English in it.

19 thoughts on “The Party of the First Part / Weblog zur englischen Rechtssprache

  1. It’s completely different, isn’t it? Thanks: it looks quite nice but I don’t think I would find it ‘useful’ because

    1) no German! I don’t translate into Chinese, Farsi, Russian etc. (I don’t translate into German, but I sometimes discuss translations in that direction)

    2) it gives simple definitions and example sentences of the English terms (I looked up lien into Spanish) but it’s for Canadian law, not English law.

    I have translated things that went to Canada before now, but I would need a German > Canadian English glossary with precise Canadian definitions. Fortunately there are other ways of finding those.

    The value of the legalese website is for German speakers who need to understand complex legal English. I’ve added an entry and a link on the Vancouver glossary.

  2. Unfortunately, the Adventures in Legalese on the Party of the First Part weblog falls flat on its face if the ballooned comments are to be believed: ‘.. you can have an assault without a battery, but not a battery without an assault’. Patently, the (US?) cartoonist hasn’t read the English/Canadian/US Criminal Law textbooks properly. A thump out-of-the-blue from behind or a prankster’s bucket of water coming crashing down from the roof – without seeing the assailant and being threatened – is a prime example of the latter.

  3. They are all in what used to be East Berlin. The last one is near the renamed Hackescher Markt, previously Karl-Marx-Platz, between the Nikolai-Viertel and the site of the demolished Palasthotel. I think Victor has taken different bearings. Whether the first-floor Haus des Meeres restaurant is still visible from the statue, I know not. In Vienna, the Haus des Meeres is a flack bunker turned into an aquarium.

  4. I didn’t read that particular part, but I agree it seems rather casual and unreliable. It has also now announced ‘the book is out’, so must be regarded as a website largely driven by the intention to sell a book, unlike websites which are so successful that a book comes out of them.

  5. That is the Palast der Republik – is it known as the Haus des Meeres? That is a new one to me.
    I have more memories of this area *before* the Nikolai-Viertel and found the atmosphere well created in Das Leben der Anderen. Hackescher Markt, which I don’t think I’ve been to, is a little way off. I obnly had 90 minutes and I walked from Gendarmenmarkt to Alexanderplatz.

  6. No, Haus des Meeres must be elsewhere (probably across the road to the north somewhere). I think AMM is describing Karl’s statue on a north-south axis, and I saw it walking east to west (about 10 days ago).
    Palast der Republik (or “Volkspalast”) is known colloquially as “Palazzo Protzo” or “Erichs Lampenladen”. But now you can only see the rusting girder frame, the exterior facade is completely gone.
    And I still can’t place photo 2, even with your itinerary clue.

  7. I’ve added a couple of pictures of the Palast der Republik in the next entry to prove the point.
    Photo 2 – I can’t say exactly where it was, since when I took it I neither had a GPS facility, nor did I expect the Spanish Inquisition, but if you walk up Unter den Linden towards Alexanderplatz, it is on the right, probably slightly further than a statue or fountain of some kind in the centre and could be near Komische Oper, Guggenheim or the Alte Bibliothek. Google Maps may be some help.

  8. Na dann werde ich mal:

    Bild1: Gendarmenmarkt mit Blick auf Konzerthaus und Dom
    Bild2: Juridicum am Bebelplatz mit Blick auf Staatsoper
    Bild3: Marx-Engels-Forum vor Palast der Republik

    Berlin ist schon sch

  9. PS Haus des Meeres is, or used to be in GDR times, a fish restaurant and, as Victor says, on the axis road north of Marx-Engels Forum. Palast der Republik is behind the statue. Sadly, the ex-flack tower in Vienna with the same name has no catering facilities, unless the surviving sharks are fished out of the aquarium to make a strong soup.

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