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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8775
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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I asked a lawyer who presented a settlement agreement to me

Customer Question

I asked a lawyer who presented a settlement agreement to me to rephrase it into plain English. He refused because "it might not be legally binding" if it were put into plain English. I think this is hogwash. He is a lawyer and he wrote it; I am not a lawyer
but I am supposed to sign it with all the convoluted and disorganized legalese throughout. I would like ask you what parts of a legal document written with profuse legalese might not be binding if it were rephrased into plain English.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello. I'll be happy to assist you the best I can.
If there are specific provisions you have questions about, I'll try to translate them. If I can't without changing the legal meaning, I'll let you know.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My first question really is, does the legal profession claim that there are words and phrases in 'legalese' that do not translate into English?Here is one example: "In signing this Agreement, Complainant (me) hereby waives any rights that Complainant has, or after signing this Agreement may have as set forth under Civil Code section 1542, which provides as follows:A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him or her must have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor."It seems to me that I am being asked to waive 'all rights', but those rights were not identified or enumerated. I want to know what exactly I am being asked to waive, and since they are the ones asking for this, I think it is reasonable that they specify exactly what right or rights they want me to waive. In the part about the general release, I don't know why that is brought up. They are the ones who are supposed to be paying me a settlement, and I am not in a position to extend them credit. In addition, they told me to get a lawyer to translate it for me, but that is not feasible both for monetary reasons and because any number of lawyers might have different opinions on just what the author meant. In the end, only the author knew what he meant. So I have demanded that they say what they mean in plain English. They say somethings can't be translated into plain English.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
They also said that if some things were put in plain English they might not be enforceable. Makes me wonder if they know there is something unenforceable in their current version.
Expert:  Chris T., JD replied 1 year ago.
What state are you in?

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