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Joint and several Options
Posted: Monday, July 23, 2012 3:42:15 AM
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How do you use the words “joint and several liability”? I understand the concept, I just don’t know how to phrase it.

- Joint and several liability applies to the Directors of this company
- The Directors are subject to joint and several liability

I can’t seem to find a proper way of using the term….
Posted: Monday, July 23, 2012 9:45:26 AM

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When I fist read your post I thought it didn't make sense, but then when I looked up the definition of 'several' it made sense. Several usually means more than one or two, but it has a definition in law that means: capable of being dealt with separately; not shared.

So it seems that your second sentence would be the correct usage of that phrase. It seems to mean that the Directors would be subject to some degree of liability for their actions in their direction of the company; and further that the liability would not be equal throughout, but dependent on ones actions or directions as that affected the company's overall success or failure.

At least that's my take on it.

Posted: Monday, July 23, 2012 11:32:02 AM
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Etcheparre -

Perhaps if you 'translated' the legal jargon it might help? Joint and several liability could be explained as 'personal and collective responsibility.'

So, for example, if one were talking about the Governors of a school Board, one would say that perhaps the Board has been set up so that each member had a personal responsibility towards the school and that the Board, as a unit, also had responsibilities to the school thus: 'Our School Board has been set up so that each Member has joint and several liability towards this institution.'

Does that help?
Posted: Monday, July 23, 2012 3:15:48 PM
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Your second example is phrased correctly, or, you can just say "The Directors have joint and several liability" for their actions. Either way is acceptable in legal writing, or from a "legal" point of view.

(Your first example is a bit awkward in its phrasing.)
Posted: Monday, July 23, 2012 8:04:19 PM
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< Joint and several liability >

i think that the phrase 'joint and severable liability> might fit into what you are looking for.

'severable contract - a contract which, in the event of a breach by one of the parties, can be considered as several independent agreements expressed in a single instrument'
Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 6:13:52 AM

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Not so sure about that, marty. All the phrase means is that they can be sued both individually and as a corporate entity.
Posted: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 3:12:19 AM
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Speaking as a lawyer, I can tell you that "joint and several liability" is a legal term of art with a particular meaning, namely:

"A designation of liability by which members of a group are either individually or mutually responsible to a party in whose favor a judgment has been awarded.

Joint and several liability is a form of liability that is used in civil cases where two or more people are found liable for damages. The winning plaintiff in such a case may collect the entire judgment from any one of the parties, or from any and all of the parties in various amounts until the judgment is paid in full. In other words, if any of the defendants do not have enough money or assets to pay an equal share of the award, the other defendants must make up the difference."

TFD has a legal dictionary with the complete definition which I recommend you read. In the present case, each director and all directors are potentially liable-- not each director and the corporation. Allejoan has it correct.
Posted: Monday, August 6, 2012 10:40:30 PM
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Hi all,

Sorry for the late reply (bloody work) and sorry for not explaining the meaning of "joint and several" at the beginning of the post; I figured we were on a legal forum so people would know...

Thank you for your answers though! Strangely enough, the hardest part of learning law isn't really the learning the concepts, it's learning how to use them properly in a sentence :P
Posted: Saturday, June 8, 2013 4:33:20 PM
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"The Directors shall be jointly as well as severally responsible for ..." is also one way to write..
Irma Crespo
Posted: Thursday, June 25, 2015 12:57:10 AM

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Whenever two or more persons are granted administrative powers, such as the Directors of a corporation or the Attorneys-at-Law it is generally included that these will be joint (both) or severaly (one of these) responsable for the acts carried on in representation of the person or corporation.
Ashwin Joshi
Posted: Friday, September 9, 2016 10:07:37 AM

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MTC is perfectly right.
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