Tuesday, June 24, 2008

legal style


I work all day in a public interest law office specializing in LGBT issues. Right now we are compiling a 50-state database of custody cases relevant to LGBT parenting and adoption issues. Reading these, it becomes immediately apparent how awkward is the juxtaposition of legal comportment, reserve, and dignity with sex and the language of sexuality. The following are my favorites of today, for your enjoyment. They are quoted verbatim from actual cases:

Silas and Beale had known each other for about one year and they had engaged in sexual intercourse approximately nine months before C. was born. Theirs was a dating relationship.

Appellant and respondent are women who were partners in a personal relationship from 1993 to 1997. In 1996, they paid a friend, Marcus B., $1,000 to impregnate respondent. He did so.

With technological advances, same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples who were previously unable to conceive children can now plan the conception of a child with increasing ease.

"The moving parties use "alternative," rather than "artificial," insemination to describe the process by which Vivian Ryan was conceived. Alternative insemination is a simple procedure using a squirting device (e.g. a syringe without a needle) to introduce semen into a woman's vaginal canal for the purpose of achieving pregnancy.... [T]he phrase is considered less offensive and more descriptive than the more common phrase "artificial insemination," which often connotes a sinister unnaturalness in religious contexts."

Plaintiff argues the circuit court erred in dismissing count I of his complaint for intentional infliction of emotional distress. He claims defendant's conduct was "extreme and outrageous," when she lied about being unable to engage in intercourse or to conceive due to her menses and agreed to prevent conception of children prior to marriage, but then intentionally engaged in oral sex so she could harvest his semen to artificially inseminate herself.

I just want to say here that I love this use of "harvest."

1 comment:

Lawfrog said...

I love the rather interesting choice of verbiage in family law.