Jelly brain mould used in court


A touch of the Hannibal Lectors in this presentation. This jelly (Jell-O) model of a brain used a mould from the Anatomical Chart Company.

Bruce Stern, of the Traumatic Brain Injury weblog, reports on a case where a jelly mould was used, where the judge would not allow a pig’s brain to be used to demonstrate to the jury how fragile the brain is – human brains are not allowed in court anyway – oh dear, that’s not quite the right way to put it, is it? He writes ‘Purchase of a human brain is illegal’ – so you have to make do with what you’ve got.

Here’s a medical modelling site.

This is a lexBlog, set up and run for a law firm. There is an interview in the new with Kevin O’Keeffe, who owns lexBlog, and he mentions some interesting legal blogs. Another is Arnie Herz’s legal sanity, which has some very interesting reports on finds on the Web.

ITI article on contract translation

LATER NOTE: I received an email from Kenneth Adams saying that the article will shortly be available on his website.

In the latest ITI Bulletin – not online – there is an article by Kenneth A. Adams, author of the US book ‘A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting’. I wasn’t going to comment on the article, which most people won’t have read, but then I did mention the book before, and a little discussion has developed in the comments there.

Kenneth Adams briefly discusses the over-complex style of legal drafting, and then his own background with regard to translation (his sister is a conference interpreter, and when he worked for a US law firm in Geneva, he occasionally translated legal prose – ‘always French-to-English, thankfully’ – not only thankfully, but naturally).

The subject of the article is translating English contracts into other languages. Adams writes:

bq. I would imagine that the principal problem facing a translator is that many elements of a contract are included not because of the meaning they convey, but because they’ve always been there and the drafter feels that the contract somehow wouldn’t look right without them.

He refers to petrified elements such as witnesseth, or Now, therefore. Actually, these aren’t such a big problem, once you’ve decided once how to handle them.

He discusses the use of shall, and when must, will or the present tense should be used, and also, and this is useful, provided that. The latter should not really be used in contracts, because of its imprecision, but it will be used, and will have to be translated, nevertheless.

The last topic is synonym strings. Here is the greatest problem in translating out of English. Sometimes a doublet or triplet consists of synonyms, sometimes not, and unless it’s obvious, probably all terms need to be translated, but it isn’t usually possible to find out the exact meanings in English, not even from the lawyer who drafted the contract.

Back to the discussion in my comments on the earlier entry: take an expression like ‘NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the premises and the mutual covenants set forth herein and for other good and valuable consideration…’. Adams says ‘in consideration of these premises’ is odd, since the ‘now, therefore’ section, which he calls the ‘recitals of consideration’, is required for the agreement to be enforceable, but ‘these premises’, i.e. the above recitals (names and addresses of parties, the fact that one owns an item and the other wants to buy it) do not constitution consideration. I agree with him, but I think a standardized translation will do the job.

AMM thinks ‘these premises’ means ‘this contract’, whereas I think it means ‘the recitals above’. It’s possible to find support for my opinion, but not much. Google suggests in any case that the term is US and not British (do a search on site:uk). Books on contract drafting suggest that the whole consideration section can be omitted, since it adds nothing. Of course there must be consideration (Gegenleistung, often money), but it need not be the actual value. Mellinkoff, in ‘Legal Writing: Sense & Nonsense’, says that the consideration boilerplate goes back to a time when parties were disqualified from testifying, and the writing could ‘testify’ for them. Garner, in ‘A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage’, writes:

bq. The word premises is sometimes used in the sense of matters (usu. preliminary facts of statements) previously referred to in the same instrument. In practice, this usage is often inarticulate and confusing, since the subject matter constituting the premises is rarely specified in the instrument.

Here’s the example given by AMM in the comments to my earlier entry:

bq. ‘WHEREFORE, in consideration of *these* premises, and for *other* good and valuable consideration the sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, the parties agree …

I’ve heard of to as a domain, but not tk, so I looked it up, and it’s Tokelau, apparently three atolls somewhere off New Zealand.

Roundabout opened in Ehningen/Kreisverkehr in Ehningen geöffnet


I’ve written before about the increasing number of roundabouts here, and here is a flyer from Ehningen near Stuttgart showing a grand opening. Click to enlarge.

There is a better copy of the same picture with a different text here.
– Actually, it’s the same text. But it lacks the header of the flyer.
Thanks for my fellow-translator Paul Thomas, once of Bristol, but now of Ehningen.

I am now on a list of weblogs in Nürnberg and Fürth – a shame they didn’t extend the map to include Erlangen.

It doesn’t seem possible to add a logo, but only a blogroll, which would put the names of all 10 local blogs and “powered [sic] by” in blue characters on the page.

EU dialogue with citizens website/EU-Webseiten: Dialog mit den Bürgern

There’s an EU portal now for EU dialogue with citizens, reports What’s new on the UK legal Web?
A large number of factsheets are available to download, and they can also be ordered by post. Thus I can select: recognition of qualifications, Germany, lawyers, in English. Here’s only part of it:

bq. Directive 98/5/EC (OJ No L 77 of 14 March 1998) gives all lawyers qualified to practise in another Member State in one of the capacities listed in Article 1 the right to practise in another Member State on a permanent basis, using the professional title gained in the home Member State. Under certain conditions, Member States can exclude some activities, such as the administration of estates of deceased persons and the creation or transfer of interests in land. Lawyers practising under their home-country professional title may, inter alia, give advice on the law of their home Member State, Community law, international law and the law of the host Member State. They must comply with the professional and ethical rules of both the host Member State and their home state. When representing clients in legal proceedings the host Member State may require lawyers practising under their home-country professional titles to work in conjunction with local lawyers who practise before the judicial authority in question.

And I can vary the main topic, subtopic and language.

MT found poem/Gefundenes MÜ Gedicht

Dieses Gedicht wurde nicht in einem Stück gefunden, sondern zusammengefügt aus Stücken der maschinenübersetzten Website Carey Park in Australien. Der Rhythmus hat – leise – Anklänge an Goethes “Prometheus”.

bq. Und ja
gibt es sogar im Freien
Stühle und Tabelle
und einen Grill
für jene langen Sommerabende.
Die olivgrünen Plantagen,
Reedausblick und die Balkone.

bq. Drei Nächte, einschließlich die hellen Mittagessen,
ein Cutlery, ein elektrischer Krug,
ein devonshire tea grasen oder genießen.

bq. Die großen Pöbel der Känguruhs
Seniors Superretter
Pferd Reiten,
der Felsen vorangehen.

bq. Herr WebCounter sagt, daß Sie der Besucher sind
zum durch unsere schöne Senke zu stoppen.

bq. Sie haben nicht gelebt.

Dank an Christiane Sprinz bei der pt-Gruppe (Yahoo) für das Link.