vicious legal-ese

From the Vermont corporations statute:

(26)  “Meeting” means any structured communications conducted by participants in person or through the use of electronic or telecommunications medium permitting simultaneous or sequentially structured communications for the purpose of reaching a collective agreement.

It scares me that not only is this now comprehensible to me, but that I can understand the basic thought process that led to it being written that way. Doesn’t mean I like it, though, except on the odd chance that some day I’ll be able to torture my enemies with it.

Posted in law

6 thoughts on “vicious legal-ese”

  1. I’m neither a native English speaker nor a lawyer (I only studied German law for one semester), but this actually sounds fairly clear to me.

  2. Most free / open source organizations have reason on occasion to conduct their corporate board meetings in the manner described, with geopgraphically separated participants. This is enabling law and permissive language to recognize desired methods of meeting.

    Doubtless you’ve participated in similar meetings as a particpant in some project or another. What might be the content your complaint?

  3. While it does seem to be a fine example of the actual meaning of “verbiage“, I understood it, and it was easier for me to understand than my first read of some of the definitional passages of GPLv3.

  4. For the record, all subsequent communications (including this one) are not to be construed as being for the purpose of reaching a collective agreement. Examples of other possibilities include information gathering and perpetuating disagreement. Thus under the provisions of this statute, I will never again be in a meeting, irrespective of the form it takes.


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