Lawyers’ costs compared/Anwaltskosten England und Deutschland

The Jackson Report on the reform of civil litigation costs in the UK was published in January 2010.

The final report and the two volumes of the preliminary report can be downloaded here.

Interestingly, at the end of the second volume of the preliminary report there are descriptions of the system in other countries, for instance Chapter 55: Germany, pp. 555 to 565.

1.1 The German rules of civil procedure contemplate cost shifting, albeit according to well-defined scales for recovery. The effect may be that a successful litigant is entitled to recover a smaller proportion of its actual fees than would be recoverable in England and Wales.
1.2 The German system permits the use of contingency fees only in limited circumstances, namely where a claimant does not have the means to retain lawyers for his case. Legal aid is available in certain civil cases.
1.3 In Germany, civil litigation is managed by the court so that it controls the proceedings and the evidence that is brought before it. One method by which the court does this is to appoint experts to assist the court on relevant factual issues, rather than leaving it to the parties to adduce their own expert evidence.

Useful footnotes too:

According to German Civil Procedure Code section 3(1), the value of the dispute is to be determined by the court in its “absolute discretion”. I am advised, however, by senior German judges that in practice no discretion is involved when the litigation concerns quantified or readily quantifiable claims.

Interesting reading and good for vocabulary too.

Returning to the UK, the shadow on the horizon is LPO – Legal Process Outsourcing, which will permit some work to be outsourced, for instance to India.

(Via the euleta list at Yahoo Groups).

Slow blogging/Viele Pausen

There’s probably no point in saying that blogging may be slow in the next few weeks, since it has also been slow in the last few weeks.

I have added a photo to the entry where you can buy the Pope for your train set, and another to the entry with the ad for a Fürth lawyer.

It seems to me that blogging is slowing down. Some German weblogs, meanwhile, seem to be mutating into food blogs when they weren’t before. This is not a food blog, so I won’t give the recipes for recent successes – sucking pig’s head before and after, and coconut pyramids:

British and US spelling rant/Britische und amerikanische Rechtschreibung

This rant developed out of my reply to a comment.

There are some spelling differences between BE and AE. This is not a secret, and I would think that every person educated enough to be using a bilingual law dictionary knows what they are or can check up somewhere else.

Nevertheless, I have seen a number of bilingual law dictionaries that give both spellings, even though space for legal content is limited. (I’m limiting this to DE>EN dictionaries, but the problem arises in the other direction too). For instance, in the latest Romain DE>EN, I find:

Entziehung einer Lizenz: revocation of a US license/GB licence

The old Romain just had revocation of a licence.

In Romain, the same abbreviations are used for spelling and law. Thus:

Gesellschaftssatzung f US (corporate) charter/GB memorandum and articles of association

The small dictionary by Karin Linhart uses AE and BE for spelling and US and Br for law.

zu Geld machen: to realize (AE), to realise (BE)

Nachlassverwalter bei gesetzlicher Erbfolge: ErbR administrator (US)

This is odd, because this is the UK term too (of course, one can’t always generalize for the whole of the UK or the US, but that is a separate question)

Even odder:

Tagebuch: diary (BE)

There may be some confusion with Kalender here.

Kalender: m calendar, diary; Terminkalender diary (BE), in den Kalender eintragen to diarize (AE), to diarise (BE), to calendar.

But as far as I am concerned the AE/BE spelling distinctions could be thrown out. Of course, this would leave situations where a purely US term, for instance ‘Your Honor’ (used in only one court in England and Wales – most common is ‘My Lord’) might be spelt in the US way and the rest in the British way, depending on the editor’s decision. This is illogical, but many things are illogical in dictionaries – complete consistency is not achievable because language and law are complex.

Similarly, the Langenscheidt Alpmann Fachwörterbuch Recht gives both spellings and uses AE and BE for both spelling and law:

Straftat f (CrLaw) criminal act; criminal offence (AE offense); crime

Erblasser m (BE) deceased; (AE) decedent; testator

The spelling differences are not given in Cornelson’s Wörterbuch Recht, only the law differences.

Dietl has:

Straftat criminal offence (offense); penal act (Verbrechen, Vergehen)

This at least doesn’t waste space telling us which spelling is which.

Lundmark’s Talking Law Dictionary has:

Lizenz: licence (-se)

This is also an improvement from the point of view of space.

Now two particular points that annoy me: ise/ize and judgment/judgement

The fact is that the –ize ending is quite common in BE, though not as common as –ise. I’ve mentioned this before, and here is some evidence.

I therefore wish dictionaries, and the EU English style guide, would not prescribe what is right and wrong here in BE. Above all, as said before, I think nearly all Germans believe that –ize is wrong in BE. Possibly it’s easier to remember: US is A, UK is B. If people think they can make such black-and-white distinctions between the USA and UK, they are much mistaken.

Pam Peters, in The Cambridge Guide to English Usage, prefers –ize (she’s Australian). She quotes OUP, which of course always uses –ize, and then says that contemporary British writers prefer –ise – but the gap is not very wide, see the British National Corpus:

realise 3898, realize 2234
recognise 3641, recognize 2104

There is an even greater preference for –ise in Australian spelling, possibly reinforced by the Australian government. And there are words that have to be written –ise anyway (advertise, advise, supervise, surprise and many more). But US dictionaries are allowing advertize, comprize and other forms, according to Peters.

Equally annoying is the belief of German bilingual law dictionaries that judgment is the AE spelling and judgement the BE spelling. In fact, judgement is commonly used in general BE texts, but UK lawyers tend to write judgment. I’ve been here before too

And even Garner makes the point (thanks, Tom!):

Judgment is the preferred form in AmE and seems to be preferred in British legal texts, even as far back as the 19th century. Judgement is prevalent in British nonlegal texts, and was thought by Fowler to be the better form. Glanville Williams states that, in BrE, ‘judgement should really be the preferred spelling.’

Albrecht Dürer’s grave/Johannesfriedhof Nürnberg

The first time I came here, it was winter.

Now at last I have worked out how to tell where the famous tombs are:

Fortunately Google books helps decipher this (translation from Albrecht Dürer. A Guide to Research, by Jane Campbell Hutchison:

Hier ruhe Künstlerfürst
Du mehr als grosser Mann!
In Vielkunst hat es dir
noch keiner gleich getan.
Die Erd war ausgemalt
der Himmel dich jetzt hat;
du malest heilig nun
dort an der Gottestatt
Die Bau- Bild- und Malerkunst
Die nennen dich Patron
und setzen dir nun auf
im Tod die Lorbeerkron.

Rest here, oh artist prince
Thou more than worthy man!
In mastering all arts
None equalled thee.

Thy work on earth complete
In heaven is thy home;
Thou paintest, saintly now,
Beside God’s sacred throne,
The builders, sculptors, painters
Call thee Patron (saint)
In death they now award thee
The (artist’s) laurel crown.

Vixit Germaniae suae Decus
Artium Lumen, Sol Artificium
Urbis Patr. Nor. Ornamentum
Pictor, Chalcographus, Sculptor
Sine Exemplo, quia Omniscius
Dignus Inventus Exteris,
Quem imitandum censerent.
Magnes Magnatum, Cos ingeniorum
Post Sesqui Seculi Requiem
Qui Parem non habuit
Solus Heic cubae jubetur
Tu flores sparge Viator.
J. De S.

The glory of Germany is dead.
Light of the arts, Sun of the artists
Ornament of Noris, his native twn,
Painter, Graphic artist, Sculptor
Without precedent because ominiscient,
Found worthy by foreigners who
Recommend to imitate him.
Magnet of Magnates, grindstone for talents,
After one hundred fifty years
No one having been equal to him
He must repose here alone.
Traveller, strew flowers.
In the year of Salvation 1681

I didn’t strew any flowers because there were more than enough there anyway.

Here’s the text of this one, in case anyone is searching for it:

Ann Mary
Wife of Edward Dunscomb,
New York
Republic United States N.A.
12. Nov. 1842
16. Mar. 1851. Nürnberg Bayern.
Apalachicola Ann Mary Seon
Daughter Edward,
and Ann Mary Dunscomb
12. Apr. 1842. Brooklyn New York
20 Mar. 184. Halle an der Saale Preussen
Lucas 18, 16 (‘Let the litte children come to me’)

DE>EN>DE law dictionary/Karin Linhart, Wörterbuch Recht

I summarized a number of small German-English law dictionaries some time ago. Here’s another one, by Karin Linhart: Wörterbuch Recht, Beck Verlag.

Now a review of this dictionary, in German, by Christine Haselwarter, has appeared in the ADÜ Nord Infoblatt, 2/2010, available online as a PDF at

As I’ve said before, I don’t think these small dictionaries are so useful for translators, because there are bigger ones available and there is a limit to the number one wants to consult. But they are an ideal size to be carried in a bag, for instance by law students.

This seems to me – on a cursory inspection – a good and reliable dictionary from US legal English into German. It has a number of Infokästchen – boxes on a grey background with extra information – very popular with students and with the review too. For instance, on contingency fees (only US), punitive damages, zealous lawyer (seems to be a US term), jurisdiction (US only) and many more. There are frequent references to US terms that are not translated into German, but cited and explained. In the DE>EN direction, there are fewer boxes.

There is extra material at the end, for example ten rules on how German lawyers should behave ‘im englisch-sprachigen Ausland’. Here I note that Karin Linhart is familiar with US law and South African law, but I don’t know how far her rules apply to all common-law countries. For example, there is no need to use euphemisms when looking for the loo in the UK – in fact, it might be counter-productive. I have my doubts about South Africa too, but I’ve never been there (‘Fragen Sie niemals nach der “Toilet”!).

So without doing a proper full review, I would just like to say I think this dictionary should be seen in an American context, and I think that’s what very many German law students want in any case.

There is another book by Karin Linhart, Englische Rechtssprache – Ein Studien- und Arbeitsbuch. I really must say I have no idea why the book is so huge – A4 with thick paper. The paper may be because one’s supposed to write the answers on it. The nice thing about this book is that it really is full of exercises, with fairly short introductions. It has suggested solutions in the back. Many books on English for lawyers, at least those written for lawyers, have pages and pages of reading and only short exercises, if any. For those who want the terminology first and learn vocabulary in this way, this is an attractive volume. There are many English-German lists and comments on vocabulary too. The book is based on Karin Linhart’s work with students at Würzburg University. (Incidentally, there is a small section on Office Language, quite useful I think, with terms like paperclip, stapler, ring binder, hole punch – this EN>DE list possibly explains the presence of some of the terms the ADÜ dictionary reviewer found superfluous).

LATER NOTE: Richard Schreiber has an entry on this dictionary at the Übersetzerportal.

Essigbrätlein Nürnberg

Essigbrätlein, Weinmarkt 3, Nürnberg
Mittagsmenü, Samstag 20. März 2010


Teigröllchen gefüllt mit Rotkohlcreme, außen “unsere 5-Gewürz-Mischung” (wahrscheinlich Nelken, Kassia-Zimt, Fenchelsaat, Sternanis und Szechuanpfeffer, geröstet und gemahlen)

Pastry cigars with creamed red cabbage filling and the restaurant’s five-spice powder on the outside (probably cloves, cassia cinnamon, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan pepper, roasted and ground)

Paprika-Würfel – Paprikabrot getränkt in Paprikasaft, mit Parmaschinken umwickelt und frittiert

Red pepper cubes – red pepper bread with red pepper juice, wrapped in Parma ham, with paprika crust

Kleine Scheiben Kalbskopf mit Sauerkraut (Knoblauch und Fenchel)

Little slices of calves’ head with sauerkraut (garlic and fennel)

Brot (noch warm) mit Karotten und Oliven, Bohnenbutter

Bread (still warm) with carrots and olives, green bean butter


Kabeljau mit Koriander auf Tomatenessenz mit Zimtöl, Blumenkohlpüree und gehobeltem Blumenkohl

Cod with coriander on tomato essence with cinnamon oil, cauliflower puree and shaved slices of cauliflower

Kürbisquadrate, in der Mitte ausgehöhlt, mit Kürbissaft, Dill, Petersilie und Grapefruitzesten, auf Haselnusscreme, mit Orangenmarmelade

Pumpkin squares, hollowed out to hold pumpkin juice, dill, parsley and grapefruit zest, on hazelnut cream, with orange marmalade

Zweites Brot
Second bread

Rotwein La Fuissiere (Cote de Beaune, Maranges), Spätburgunder, Thomas Morey, 2007
Red wine 2007 Marange premier Cru La Fuissière, Pinot Noir, Thomas Morey, 2007


Zweierlei Lamm: einmal geschmort, einmal kurz gebraten, Kapern mit Birnenchutney, auf grünen Bohnen mit Spinatcreme, an Apfelessenz

Two kinds of lamb: one braised, the other briefly fried, capers with pear chutney, on green beans with creamed spinach, with apple essence


Rhabarber, Rahmeis, Estragon/Minze/Kerbel (mit Salz und Zucker), Brunnenkressepüree

Rhubarb, cream ice-cream, tarragon/mint/chervil (with salt and sugar), watercress puree



Schokolade: dunkel, mit Pistachiencreme, Vollmilch mit Trauben, Himbeeren, Karamell, kandierten Nüssen, weiß, mit Pfeffer

Chocolate: dark, with pistachio cream; milk with grapes, raspberries, caramel, candied nuts; white, with pepper

Comments: I don’t usually go to two-star restaurants, but have been here before.

The menu is very simple, not pretentious, so we spent the whole time writing down the details to see what we’d eaten!

Yes, I was full, but can’t imagine ordering just a single course, which is theoretically possible. My companion could have eaten ten times as much of the rhubarb.

The best things were the red pepper toasts, the fish course (cauliflower mash scrumptious, fish perfect, cinnamon oil in the tomato essence also wonderful) and the lamb (especially the slow-roasted bit slightly larger than a postage stamp). The only two bad things were the wine (I know 2007 wasn’t a good year – I didn’t take the chance of changing the choice after tasting it – it tasted like a Beaujolais Nouveau to me, not a Burgundy – and I didn’t know Spätburgunder was German for pinot noir, but never minded the grape before) and the very creamy ice-cream which tasted a bit UHT to me (a lot of German cream is heat-treated).

Yesterday, Cheese and Biscuits blogged a visit to the Fat Duck, which reminded me to post this.

LATER NOTE: menu outside

Collocation dictionaries/Kollokationswörterbücher

There is a new edition of the BBI Combinatory Dictionary of English available, 24 euros for the paperback. Here is a PDF workbook which gives a good impression of the contents.

According to the John Benjamins Book Gazette, the new edition has 20% more material. It looks to me as if it has much more information on BE/AmE differences.

I had meanwhile gone over to the Oxford Collocations Dictionary. (amazon lets you look inside). That seems larger, and it has some pages summarizing differences which might be useful for foreign learners. In the middle, it also has some workbook pages it describes as ‘photocopiable’, which I suppose means free to use in class without copyright considerations.

Since I only use these books occasionally to get an idea for a verb combination, I appreciate the fact that I have found them both reliable and full.

The first edition used to be available online, but if anyone is looking for an online collocations dictionary (the search words that most frequently bring people to this site), Mark Davies’ page at Brigham Young University is the way to go.

As for German collocations, if you search for a word in DWDS, it will show you some collocations too.

Thermal baths/Therme-Schwimmbad

Diese Krücken stammen von Gästen, welche durch das besonders wirksame Heil-Thermalwasser gesund wurden.

Gerne nehmen wir auch Ihre guten Erfahrungen entgegen.

Sie baden in einer eigens niedergebrachten fluoridhaltigen Natrium-Calzium-Sulfat-Chlorid-Therme in staatlich anerkanntem Heilwasser!

Apologies for infrequent posting. Sometimes my time is taken up with considerations of my health. Mind you, I have not got any crutches to give them. I could offer my Nordic walking poles, but I’m not sure what kind of message that would send.

(Btw, this is not Fürthermare)

Street cleaning week/Kehrwoche

You can do a course on how to do your bit in street cleaning week in the Ostfildern Volkshochschule (I associate this with Baden-Württemberg):

Samstag, 17. April

10:00 Uhr, VHS an der Halle, Nellingen, Esslingerstr. 26
Kehrwoche for beginners A1
Veranstalter: Volkshochschule Ostfildern

This course is designed for people from abroad who have recently arrived in Suabia or have been here for a while, but are not yet familiar with the Swabian tradition of the cleaning week (“Kehrwoche”). This could lead to cultural misunderstandings. Your landlord/-lady might have give you negative feedback on the way you do your Kehrwoche, for example, and you just don’t understand why, and because he speaks in dialect you don’t understand him, either. We will deal with the following aspects: – historical aspects: the origin of the Kehrwoche – tools and equipment (“Kutterschaufel und Kehrwisch”) – rules and standards (what to clean, best time to do the cleaning week, “big” and “small” cleaning week) – vocab and definitions (Kandel etc.) – how to become a Kehrwoche specialist/insider’s knowledge (e.g. how to make as much noise as possible so everybody notices you’re doing it) If you want to, you can bring your own equipment. The trainer will then tell you if it’s adequate. The course will be held in English and German.