A genteel old lady who met me for some legal advice asked why we lawyers write in a strange way. She was stumped by “in witness whereof, I have set my hand hereto…”. She asked me if there were substitute words for hereof, thereof, inter alia, and of other strange words that she could not understand. And then she asked – why is it that in an agreement a “party of the first part” did something or the other to someone known as “party of the second part”.
The old lady is not alone. Over centuries the “language of the law” has been subject matter of criticism and jokes.
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