Homework #2

(1)  Using the four samples of legal language in (2) the first homework assignment (the example and the three paragraphs that you had to paraphrase).  Pick out one feature of each paragraph that is characteristic of legal language as described in the Tiersma Legal Language and Plain English readings and exemplify that feature with data from the text.  For example, you might find lexical items specific to legal language or repetition or anything else described in the Tiersma papers as typical of legal language use.

Example: RCW 9A.16.090
No act committed by a person while in a state of voluntary intoxication shall be deemed less criminal by reason of his or her condition, but whenever the actual existence of any particular mental state is a necessary element to constitute a particular species or degree of crime, the fact of his or her intoxication may be taken into consideration in determining such mental state.
  1. If any part of this chapter is found to be in conflict with federal requirements which are a condition precedent to the allocation of federal funds to the state, the conflicting part of this chapter is inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict and with respect to the agencies directly affected, and such findings or determination shall not affect the operation of the remainder of this chapter in its application to the agencies concerned.  (RCW 34.05.040)

  2. A person commits robbery when he or she unlawfully takes personal property from the person of another or in his or her presence against his or her will by the use or threatened use of immediate force, violence, or fear of injury to that person or his or her property or the person or property of anyone. Such force or fear must be used to obtain or retain possession of the property, or to prevent or overcome resistance to the taking; in either of which cases the degree of force is immaterial. Such taking constitutes robbery whenever it appears that, although the taking was fully completed without the knowledge of the person from whom taken, such knowledge was prevented by the use of force or fear. (RCW 9A.56.190)

  3. Whoever, with intent that his or her act shall, or with reason to believe that it may, injure, interfere with, interrupt, supplant, nullify, impair, or obstruct the owner's or operator's management, operation, or control of any agricultural, stockraising, lumbering, mining, quarrying, fishing, manufacturing, transportation, mercantile, or building enterprise, or any other public or private business or commercial enterprise, wherein any person is employed for wage, shall willfully damage or destroy, or attempt or threaten to damage or destroy, any property whatsoever, or shall unlawfully take or retain, or attempt or threaten unlawfully to take or retain, possession or control of any property, instrumentality, machine, mechanism, or appliance used in such business or enterprise, shall be guilty of criminal sabotage.  (RCW 9.05.06o)  

(2) Discuss how well example (2b) meets the criteria for plain language given in the Connecticut plain language rules for consumer contracts (linked here).