Hello, this is Robin from TransLegal presenting this week's lesson of the week.
We are going to talk about two sound-alike words – precede and proceed which are often used incorrectly even by native speakers. Both of these words can mean to go ahead but in somewhat different senses.
To precede means to go before so we say that "lengthy negotiations preceded the signing of the agreement", whereas to proceed means to continue doing something so it is often said that "the court allowed counsel to proceed even though the other attorney filed an objection".
Now we see more differences in meaning in the other form of these words, for instance, in the noun form we have the word precedent. Now precedent in general means an earlier event or action or situation which is used as a guide to be considered in similar circumstances. In legal situations specifically, precedent means a past decision in a legal case that may be followed in future similar cases so we can say that "the Supreme Court set a precedent for the lower court" or we can say "that the ruling does not establish a binding precedent". We also talk about judicial precedent.
Now we also see the word precedent in the phrase "condition precedent" also known as a CP. Now a condition precedent clause is a term in a contract which outlines events or actions that must be completed before performance under a contract can become due or before a right can become effective. Now a typical condition precedent in a sale and purchase agreement for instance would be that all permissions must be obtained from regulatory authorities before the contract becomes effective.
The opposite of a condition precedent is a condition subsequent which is one that occurs after the contract has been entered into.
Something to be careful about with this word precedent is to distinguish its pronunciation from president, as in President Obama.
Now there are other forms of the verb proceed such as proceedings, and proceedings, particularly legal proceedings, mean the formal process of taking a legal action against someone, including all of the steps that are necessary for a case to reach a court or an arbitral tribunal or a government agency. You can also say "she instituted divorce proceedings in the District Court" or "legal proceedings against the Defendant were filed".
One more related word is proceeds and that refers to money which is received through a sale or a loan. So we can say, for instance, that "the company purchased its new computer equipment with proceeds from the loan".
That's all for now. Please remember that precede means to go before and proceed is to continue along.
So, I will proceed to say goodbye now. Thanks for today and please give us some comments in the space provided below. Thank you.