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On the contrary, although, when in fact. An introductory statement of a formal document.

The term whereas is used two ways in the law. It is derived from Middle English and can mean "on the contrary," as in the sentence, The orange juice can label said "fresh squeezed," whereas the contents were made from orange juice concentrate.

In the law the term whereas also is used as the introductory word to a recital in a formal document. A recital contains words of introduction to a contract, statute, proclamation, or other writing. In a contract a whereas clause is an introductory statement that means "considering that" or "that being the case." The clause explains the reasons for the execution of the contract and, in some cases, describes its purpose. The whereas clause may properly be used in interpreting the contract. However, it is not an essential component for its operative provisions.

Court orders typically use whereas clauses before the clause or clauses containing the directions of the court. For example, a court might declare that "whereas the plaintiff made a motion to compel the production of certain documents, and whereas the court has held a hearing on the motion and is fully advised on the matter, now therefore it is hereby ordered that the motion to compel the production of the documents requested is hereby denied."

When whereas is placed at the beginning of a legislative bill, it means "because" and is followed by an explanation for the enactment of the legislation.

Finally, whereas is often used in official proclamations to project the solemnity of the occasion.

The term has been criticized as an overused legal formalism that clutters contracts and other legal documents. Legal formalism means the special usages of the language of law, many of which are archaic and which are flourishes of a style long dead.

WHEREAS. This word implies a recital, and in general cannot be used in the direct and positive averment of a fact in a declaration or plea. Those facts which are directly denied by the terms of the general issue, or which may, by the established usage of pleading, be specially traversed, must be averred in positive and direct terms; but facts, however material, which are not directly denied by the terms of the general issue, though liable to be contested under it, and which, according to the usage of pleading, cannot be specially traversed, may be alleged in the declaration by way of recital, under a whereas. Gould, Pl. c. 43, Sec. 42; Bac. Ab. Pleas, &c., B. 5, 4; 2 Chit. Pl. 151, 178, 191; Gould, Pl. c. 3, Sec. 47.

References in classic literature ?
For it stands to reason that as Joseph's splendid financial ingenuities advantaged nobody but the king, the general public must have regarded him with a good deal of disfavor, whereas I had done my entire public a kindness in sparing the sun, and was popular by reason of it.
That, whereas certain ambassadors arrived from the Court of Blefuscu, to sue for peace in his majesty's court, he, the said Flestrin, did, like a false traitor, aid, abet, comfort, and divert, the said ambassadors, although he knew them to be servants to a prince who was lately an open enemy to his imperial majesty, and in an open war against his said majesty.
I had seen a thing like a death's head resting on the ledge of the box, whereas Richard saw the shape of an old woman who looked like Mme.
The recommendatory act of Congress is in the words following: "WHEREAS, There is provision in the articles of Confederation and perpetual Union, for making alterations therein, by the assent of a Congress of the United States, and of the legislatures of the several States; and whereas experience hath evinced, that there are defects in the present Confederation; as a mean to remedy which, several of the States, and PARTICULARLY THE STATE OF NEW YORK, by express instructions to their delegates in Congress, have suggested a convention for the purposes expressed in the following resolution; and such convention appearing to be the most probable mean of establishing in these States A FIRM NATIONAL GOVERNMENT:
Whereas now, in one moment of audition, I take as it were the census and statistics, local, corporeal, mental and spiritual, of every living being in Lineland.
The successive changes through which Tragedy passed, and the authors of these changes, are well known, whereas Comedy has had no history, because it was not at first treated seriously.
For whereas in general the conspirator has to fear before the execution of his plot, in this case he has also to fear the sequel to the crime; because on account of it he has the people for an enemy, and thus cannot hope for any escape.
Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.
Well, among other things she told me that, whereas you are not a kinsman of mine, that she is my nearest relative; that you have no right whatever to enter into family relations with us; and that it is wrong and shameful for me to be living upon your earnings and charity.
For every assertion must, as is admitted, be either true or false, whereas expressions which are not in any way composite such as 'man', 'white', 'runs', 'wins', cannot be either true or false.
When the American enters on the history of his ancestors, he is driven, after some ten or twelve generations at most, to seek refuge in a country in Europe; whereas exactly the reverse is the case with us, our most remote extraction being American, while our more recent construction and education have taken place in Europe.
This insistence in using the odious word arises from the fact that a particularly benighted landsman must imagine the act of anchoring as a process of throwing something overboard, whereas the anchor ready for its work is already overboard, and is not thrown over, but simply allowed to fall.