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A Abatement A reduction in some amount that is owed, usually granted by the person to whom the debt is owed.

For example, a landlord might grant an abatement in rent. In estate law, the word may refer more specifically to a situation where property identified in a will cannot be given to the beneficiary because it had to be sold to pay off the deceased debts. Debts are paid before gifts made in wills are distributed and where a specific gift has to be sold to pay off a debt, it is said to "abate" (compare with " ademption" . Abbacinare A barbaric form of corporal punishment meted out in the middle ages where persons would be permanently blinded by the pressing of hot irons to the open eyes. Abduction !o ta"e someone away from a place without that person#s consent or by fraud. $ee also " "idnapping". Abet !he act of encouraging or inciting another to do a certain thing, such as a crime. For example, many countries will e%ually punish a person who aids or abets another to commit a crime. Ab initio &atin' from the start. Acceleration clause A clause in a contract that states that if a payment is missed, or some other default occurs (such as the debtor becoming insolvent , then the contract is fully due immediately. !his is a typical clause in a loan contract( miss one payment and the agreement to pay at regular intervals is voided and the entire amount becomes due and payable immediately. Acceptance )ne of three re%uisites to a valid contract under common law (the other two being an offer and consideration . A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties which starts with an offer from one person but which does not become a contract until the other party signifies an une%uivocal willingness to accept the terms of that offer. !he moment of acceptance is the moment from which a contract is said to exist, and not before. Acceptance need not always be direct and can, in certain circumstances, be implied by conduct (see ac%uiescence below . Accord and $atisfaction A term of contract law by which one party, having complied with its obligation under a contract, accepts some type of compensation from the other party (usually money and of a lesser value in lieu of enforcing the contract and holding the other party to their obligation. !his discharges the contract. !he definition cited by lawyers is usually that found in British Russian Gazette & Trade Outlook Ltd. v. Associated Newspapers Ltd. (*+,, - ../. 0*0' "Accord and satisfaction is the purchase of a release from an obligation arising under contract or tort by means of any valuable consideration, not being the actual performance of the obligation itself. !he accord is the agreement by which the obligation is discharged. !he satisfaction is the consideration which ma"es the agreement operative." Accretion !he imperceptible and gradual addition to land by the slow action of water. 1eavy rain, river or ocean action would have this effect by either washing up sand or soil or by a permanent retreat of the high water mar". !he washing up of soil is often called avulsion although the latter term is but a variety of accretion. Ac%uiescence Action or inaction which binds a person legally even though it was not intended as such. For example, action which is not intended as a direct acceptance of a contract will nevertheless stand as such as it implies recognition of the terms of the contract. For example, if I display a bas"et of fruit in a mar"etplace and you come by, inspect an apple and then bite into it, you have ac%uiesced to the contract of sale of that apple. Ac%uiescence also refers to allowing too much time to pass since you had "nowledge of an event which may have allowed you to have legal recourse against another, implying that you waive your rights to that legal recourse.

Act A bill which has passed through the various legislative steps re%uired for it and which has become law, as in "an Act of the 2ommonwealth of Australia." $ynonymous to statute, legislation or law. Act of 3od An event which is caused solely by the effect of nature or natural causes and without any interference by humans whatsoever. Insurance contracts often exclude "acts of 3od" from the list of insurable occurrences as a means to waive their obligations for damage caused by hurricanes, floods or earth%ua"es, all examples of "acts of 3od". Ad colligendu bona 4hen a person dies and there is no apparent executor or administrator, a person can be appointed by 2ourt order and for the limited and sole purpose of collecting, inventori5ing and preserving the assets of the deceased until an appropriate full6fledged administrator can be found or appointed. .nown then as an administrator ad colligendu , this person is a agent of the 2ourt and does not have the true or full authority of an administrator of an estate. Ad da nu &atin' refers to the parts or sections of a petition that spea"s to the damages that were suffered and claimed by the plaintiff. !he ad da nu part of a petition will usually suggest an amount in dollars that the plaintiff as"s the court to award. Addendu An attachment to a written document. For example, affidavits may be addendums to a petition as a petition may be an addendum to a writ. Ademption 4hen property identified in a will cannot be given to the beneficiary because it no longer belonged to the deceased at the time of death. For example, the particular gift may have been destroyed, sold or given away between the time of the will and the time of death. 2ompare this with " abatement". Adhesion contract A fine6print consumer form contract which is generally given to consumers at point6of6sale, with no opportunity for negotiation as to it#s terms, and which, typically, sets out the terms and conditions of the sale, usually to the advantage of the seller. Ad hoc &atin' for this purpose( for a specific purpose. An ad hoc committee, for example, is created with a uni%ue and specific purpose or tas" and once it has studied and reports on the matter, it stands disbanded (compare with standing committee . Ad in!initu &atin' forever( without limit( indefinitely. Ad lite &atin' for the suit. A person appointed only for the purposes of prosecuting or defending an action on behalf of another such as a child or mentally6challenged person. Also called a guardian ad lite . Administrative law $ynonymous with "natural 7ustice." Administrative law is that body of law which applies for hearings before %uasi67udicial or administrative tribunals. !his would include, as a minimum, the principles of natural 7ustice as embodied in audi altera parte and ne o "ude# in sua causa. 8any %uasi67udicial organi5ations or administrative tribunals supplement the rules of natural 7ustice with their own detailed rules of procedure. Administrative tribunal 1ybrid ad7udicating authorities which straddle the line between government and the courts. /etween routine government policy decision6ma"ing bodies and the traditional court forums lies a hybrid, sometimes called a "tribunal" or "administrative tribunal" and not necessarily presided by 7udges. !hese operate as a government policy6ma"ing body at times but also exercise a licensing, certifying, approval or other ad7udication authority which is " %uasi67udicial" because it directly affects the legal rights of a person. Administrative tribunals are often referred to as "2ommission", "Authority" or "/oard." Administrator

A person who administers the estate of a person deceased. !he administrator is appointed by a court and is the person who would then have power to deal with the debts and assets of a person who died intestate. Female administrators are called "administratrix." An administrator is a personal representative. AD9 Abbreviation for alternative dispute resolution. Adultery :oluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not their married spouse. In most countries, this is a legal ground for divorce. !he person who seduces another#s spouse is "nown as the "adulterer." In old ;nglish law, this was also "nown as criminal conversation. Adverse possession !he possession of land, without legal title, for a period of time sufficient to become recogni5ed as legal owner. !he more common word for this is "s%uatters." ;ach state has its own period of time after which a s%uatter can ac%uire legal title. $ome states prohibit title by mere prescription or possession. Affidavit A statement which before being signed, the person signing ta"es an oath that the contents are, to the best of their "nowledge, true. It is also signed by a notary or some other 7udicial officer that can administer oaths, to the effect that the person signing the affidavit was under oath when doing so. !hese documents carry great weight in 2ourts to the extent that 7udges fre%uently accept an affidavit instead of the testimony of the witness. Agent A person who has received the power to act on behalf of another, binding that other person as if he or she were themselves ma"ing the decisions. !he person who is being represented by the agent is referred to as the " principal." Aggravated damages $pecial and highly exceptional damages awarded by a court where the circumstances of the tortious conduct have been particularly humiliating or malicious towards the plaintiff<victim. Alimony An amount given to one spouse to another while they are separated. 1istorically, the word "alimony" referred to monies paid while spouses were legally separated but stilled wedloc"ed. 4here they were divorced, the monies payable were then referred to as " maintenance" but this distinction is now in disuse. Alliance A military treaty between two or more states, providing for a mutually6planned offensive, or for assistance in the case of attac" on any member. Alienate !o sell or give completely and without reserve( to transfer title to somebody else. A voluntary conveyance of property, especially real property. Allodial A "ind of land ownership that is unfetterred, outright and absolute. It is the opposite of the feudal system and supposes no obligation to another (ie. a lord . Allonge A piece of paper which has been attached to a contract, a chec" or any promissory note, on which to add signatures because there is not enough room on the main document. Alternative dispute resolution Also "nown as "AD9"( methods by which legal conflicts and disputes are resolved privately and other than through litigation in the public courts, usually through one of two forms' mediation or arbitration. It typically involves a process much less formal than the traditional court process and includes the appointment of a third6party to preside over a hearing between the parties. !he advantages of AD9 are speed and money' it costs less and is %uic"er than court litigation. AD9 forums are also private. !he disadvantage is that it often involves compromise. Amalgamation !he merging of two things together to form one such as the amalgamation of different companies to form a single company.

Ambassador A citi5en that has been officially as"ed by their country to live in another country in order to legally represent it. For example, the =$A has sent ambassadors to live, and represent the =$A, in almost all other countries. Ambulatory $omething which is not cast in stone( which can be changed or revo"ed, such as a will. Amend !o change, to revise, usually to the wording of a written document such as legislation. A icus curiae &atin' friend of the court. 9efers more specifically to persons as"ing for permission to intervene in a case in which they are neither plaintiff or defendant, usually to present their point of view (or that of their organi5ation in a case which has the potential of setting a legal precedent in their area of activity. !his is common, for example, in civil rights cases and, in some instances, can only be done with the permission of the parties or the court. Ani us contrahendi &atin' an intention to contract. Annulment !o ma"e void( to cancel an event or 7udicial proceeding both retroactively and for the future. 4here, for example, a marriage is annulled, it is struc" from all records and stands as having never transpired in law. !his differs from a divorce which merely cancels a valid marriage only from the date of the divorce. A marriage annulled stands, in law, as if never performed. Antedate !o date bac"( retroactively. !o date a document to a time before it was written. Antenuptial An event or document which pre6dates a marriage. For example, an "antenuptial agreement" is one which is signed before marriage. A antenuptial gift is a gift given by one spouse to the other before marriage. Anti6trust (=$A "Anti6trust" legislation is designed to prevent businesses from price6setting or other secret collaboration which circumvents the natural forces of a free mar"et economy and gives those engaging in the anti6trust conduct, a covert competitive edge. Also "nown as "anti6combines" or "competition" legislation. Appeal !o as" a more senior court or person to review a decision of a subordinate court or person. In some countries such as 2anada, the =$A and Australia, appeals can continue all the way up to the $upreme 2ourt, where the decision is final in that it can no longer be appealed. !hat is why it is called "supreme" (although, in Australia the supreme court is called the 1igh 2ourt . Appearance !he act of showing up in court as either plaintiff, defendant, accused or any other party to a civil or criminal suit. It implies that you accept the power of the court to try the matter (i.e. "7urisdiction" . Appearances are most often made by lawyers on their clients behalf and any appearance by a lawyer binds the client. >ou can ma"e a limited appearance called a "special appearance" in which your presence is not to imply acceptance of the court#s 7urisdiction but, rather, to challenge the 7urisdiction of the court. An example of the usefulness of a "special appearance" would be where you want to raise the fact that you were never properly served with the court papers. Apportionment !he division and distribution of something into proportionate parts( to each according to their share. For example, if a court ordered apportionment of a contract, the party would be re%uired to perform only to a extent e%ual to the performance of the other side. Appurtenance $omething that, although detached, stands as part of another thing. An attachment or appendage to something else. =sed often in a real estate context where an "appurtenance" may be, for example, a right6of6way over water, which, although physically detached, is part of the legal rights of the owner of another property. Arbitration

A alternative dispute resolution method by which an independent, neutral third person ("arbitrator" is appointed to hear and consider the merits of the dispute and renders a final and binding decision called an award. !he process is similar to the litigation process as it involves ad7udication, except that the parties choose their arbitrator and the manner in which the arbitration will proceed. !he decision of the arbitrator is "nown as an "award." 2ompare with mediation. Arraignment In =$A criminal law, the formal appearance of an accused person to hear, and to receive a copy of, the charge against him or her, in the presence of a 7udge, and to then enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. !he arraignment is the final preparatory step before the criminal trial. Arrears A debt that is not paid on the due date adds up and accumulates as "arrears". For example, if you do not pay your rent, the debt still exists and is referred to as "arrears". !he same word is used to describe child or spousal maintenance or support which is not paid by the due date. Arson $ome countries define "arson" as the intentional setting of a fire to a building in which people live( others include as "arson" the intentionally setting of a fire to any building. In either case, this is a very serious crime and is punishable by a long 7ail sentence. Assault !he touching of another person with an intent to harm, without that person#s consent. Assign !o give, to transfer responsibility, to another. !he assignee (sometimes also called "assigns" is the person who receives the right or property being given and the assignor is the person giving. Attorn or Attornment !o consent, implicitly or explicitly, to a transfer of a right. )ften used to describe a situation where a tenant, by staying on location after the sale of the leased property, accepts to be a tenant of the new landlord( or where a person consents to ("attorns to" the 7urisdiction of a court which would not have otherwise had any authority over that person. Attorney An alternate word for lawyers or " barrister ? solicitor", used mostly in the =$A. A person that has been trained in the law and that has been certified to give legal advice or to represent others in litigation. Audi altera parte &atin' a principle of natural 7ustice which prohibits a 7udicial decision which impacts upon individual rights without giving all parties in the dispute a right to be heard. $abeas corpus was an early expression of the audi altera parte principle. In more recent years, it has been extended to include the right to receive notice of a hearing and to be given an opportunity to be represented or heard. Autre!ois ac%uit French word now part of ;nglish criminal law terminology. 9efers to an accused who cannot be tried for a crime because the record shows he has already been sub7ected to trial for the same conduct and was ac%uitted. If the accused maintains that the previous trial resulted in conviction, he or she pleads "autrefois convict." "Autrefois attaint" is another similar term( "attainted" for a felony, a person cannot be tried again for the same offence. A vinculo atri onii &atin' of marriage. !he term is now used to refer to a final and permanent divorce. Avulsion &and accretion that occurs by the erosion or addition of one#s land by the sudden and unexpected change in a river stream such as a flash flood. Avunculus &atin' a mother#s brother. "Avuncular" refers to an uncle.

/ad faith Intent to deceive. A person who intentionally tries to deceive or mislead another in order to gain some advantage. /ail 2riminal law' a commitment made (and possibly secured by cash or property to secure the release of a person being held in custody and suspected of a crime, to provide some "ind of guarantee that the suspect will appear to answer the charges at some later date. /ailee !he person who receives property through a contract of bailment, from the bailor, and who may be committed to certain duties of care towards the property while it remains in his or her possession. /ailment !he transfer of possession of something (by the bailor to another person (called the bailee for some temporary purpose (eg. storage after which the property is either returned to the bailor or otherwise disposed of in accordance with the contract of bailment. /ailor !he person who temporarily transfers possession of property to another, the bailee, under a contract of bailment. /an"ruptcy !he formal condition of an insolvent person being declared ban"rupt under law. !he legal effect is to divert most of the debtor#s assets and debts to the administration of a third person, sometimes called a " trustee in ban"ruptcy", from which outstanding debts are paid pro rata. /an"ruptcy forces the debtor into a statutory period during which his or her commercial and financial affairs are administered under the strict supervision of the trustee. /an"ruptcy usually involves the removal of several special legal rights such as the right to sit on a board of directors or, for some professions that form part of the 7ustice system, to practice, such as lawyers or 7udges. 2ommercial organi5ations usually add other non6legal burdens upon ban"rupts such as the refusal of credit. !he duration of "ban"ruptcy" status varies from state to state but it does have the benefit of erasing most debts even if they were not satisfied by the sale of the debtor#s assets. /are trust A trust that has become passive for the trustee because all the duties the settlor may have imposed upon the trustee have been performed or any conditions or terms have come to fruition, such as there is no longer any impediment to the transfer of the property to the beneficiary. /arrister A litigation specialist( a lawyer that restricts his or her practice to the court room. In ;ngland and some other 2ommonwealth 7urisdictions, a legal distinction is made between barristers and solicitors, the latter with exclusive privileges of advising clients, providing legal advice, and the former with exclusive privileges of appearing in a court on behalf of a client. In other words, solicitors don#t appear in court on a client#s behalf and barristers don#t give legal advice to clients. In ;ngland, barristers and solicitors wor" as a team' the solicitor would typically ma"e the first contact with a client and if the issue cannot be resolved and proceeds to trial, the solicitor would transfer the case to a barrister for the duration of the litigation. &awyers in some states, such as 2anada, sometimes use the title "barrister and solicitor" even though, contrary to ;ngland, there is no legal distinction between the advising and litigating roles. 2anadian lawyers can litigate or give legal advice, as is the case in the =$A, where lawyers are referred to as "attorneys." /astard An illegitimate child, born in a relationship between two persons that are not married (ie. not in wedloc" or who are not married at the time of the child#s birth. /ench A 7udge in court session. /eneficiary In a legal context, a "beneficiary" usually refers to the person for whom a trust has been created. 8ay also be referred to as a " donee" or, for legal tecchies, as a cestui %ue trust. !rusts are made to advantage a beneficiary ( ie. A settlor (also called a " donor" transfers property to a trustee, the profits of which are to be given to the beneficiairy . /erne 2onvention

An international copyright treaty called the 2onvention for the @rotection of &iterary and Artistic 4or"s signed at /erne, $wit5erland in *AA0 (amended several times and as late as *+B* and to which now subscribe BB nations including all ma7or trading countries including 2hina, with the notable exception of 9ussia. It is based on the principle of national treatment. /igamy /eing married to more than one person at the same time. !his is a criminal offence in most countries. /ill of exchange A written order from one person (the payor to another, signed by the person giving it, re%uiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay on demand or at some fixed future date, a certain sum of money, to either the person identified as payee or to any person presenting the bill of exchange. A chec" is a form of bill of exchange where the order is given to a ban". /ill of lading A document that a transport company possesses ac"nowledging that it has received goods, and serves as title for the purpose of transportation. /lind trust A trust set up by a settlor who reserves the right to terminate the trust but other than that, agrees to assert no power over the trust, which is administered without account to the beneficiary<settlor or the retention of any other measure of control over the trust#s administration. In 2anada, for example, it is common for government ministers to vest all their investment property to a blind trust to avoid any conflict of interest. Bona vacantia @roperty that belongs to no person, and which may be claimed by a finder. In some states, the government becomes owner of all bona vacantia property. /orn out of wedloc" /orn of parents who were not married at the time of birth. /reach of contract !he failure to do what one promised to do under a contract. @roving a breach of contract is a prere%uisite of any suit for damages based on the contract. /reach of trust Any act or omission on the part of the trustee which is inconsistent with the terms of the trust agreement or the law of trusts. A prime example is the redirecting of trust property from the trust to the trustee, personally. /uggery $ynonymous with sodomy and referring to "unnatural" sex acts, including copulation, either between two persons of the same sex or between a person and an animal (the latter act also "nown as "bestiality" . 8ost countries outlaw bestiality but homosexual activity is gradually being decriminali5ed. /urden of proof A rule of evidence that ma"es a person prove a certain thing or the contrary will be assumed by the court. For example, in criminal trials, the prosecution has the burden of proving the accused guilt because innocence is presumed. C 2anon law !he law of the 2hristian 2hurch. 1as little or no legal effect today. 2anon law refers to that body of law which has been set by the 2hristian 2hurch and which, in virtually all places, is not binding upon citi5ens and has virtually no recognition in the 7udicial system. $ome citi5ens resort to canon law, however, for procedures such as marriage annulments to allow for a 2hristian church marriage where one of the parties has been previously divorced. 8any church goers and church officers abide by rulings and doctrines of canon law. Also "nown as "ecclesiastical law." 2apital punishment !he most severe of all sentences' that of death. Also "nown as the death penalty, capital punishment has been banned in many coutries. In the =nited $tates, an earlier move to eliminate

capital punishment has now been reversed and more and more states are resorting to capital punishment for serious offenses such as murder. 2ase law !he entire collection of published legal decisions of the courts which, because of stare decisis, contributes a large part of the legal rules which apply in modern society. If a rule of law cannot be found in written laws, lawyers will often say that it is a rule to be found in "case law". In other words, the rule is not in the statute boo"s but can be found as a principle of law established by a 7udge in some recorded case. !he word 7urisprudence has become synonymous for case law. &aveat &atin' let him beware. A formal warning. 2aveat emptor means let the buyer beware or that the buyers should examine and chec" for themselves things which they intend to purchase and that they cannot later hold the vendor responsible for the bro"en condition of the thing bought. Certiorari A writ of certiorari is a form of 7udicial review whereby a court is as"ed to consider a legal decision of an administrative tribunal, 7udicial office or organi5ation (eg. government and to decide if the decision has been regular and complete or if there has been an error of law. For example, a certiorari may be used to wipe out a decision of an administrative tribunal which was made in violation of the rules of natural 7ustice, such as a failure to give the person affected by the decision an opportunity to be heard. &estui %ue trust or cestui %ue use !he formal &atin word for the beneficiary or donee of a trust. &eteris paribus &atin" all things being e%ual or unchanged. Champerty 4hen a person agrees to finance someone else#s lawsuit in exchange for a portion of the 7udicial award. 2haste A person who has never voluntarily had sexual intercourse outside of marriage such as unmarried virgins. 2hattel 8oveable items of property which are neither land nor permanently attached to land or a building, either directly or vicariously through attachment to real property. A piano is chattel but an apartment building, a tree or a concrete building foundation are not. !he opposite of chattel is real property which includes lands or buildings. All property which is not real property is said to be chattel. "@ersonal property" or "personalty" are other words sometines used to describe the concept of chattel. !he word "chattel" came from the feudal era when "cattle" was the most valuable property besides land. 2hattel mortgage 4hen an interest is given on moveable property other than real property (in which case it is usually a "mortgage" , in writing, to guarantee the payment of a debt or the execution of some action. It automatically becomes void when the debt is paid or the action is executed. 2hec" or che%ue A form of bill of exchange where the order to pay is given to a ban" which is holding the payor#s money. 2hose in action A right of property in intangible things or which are not in one#s possession, enforceable through legal or court action . ;xamples may include salaries, debts, insurance claims, shares in companies and pensions. 2ircumstantial evidence ;vidence which may allow a 7udge or 7ury to deduce a certain fact from other facts which have been proven. In some cases, there can be some evidence that can not be proven directly, such as with an eye6witness. And yet that evidence may be essential to prove a case. In these cases, the lawyer will provide the 7udge or 7uror with evidence of the circumstances from which a 7uror or 7udge can logically deduct, or reasonably infer, the fact that cannot be proven directly( it is proven by the evidence of the circumstances( hence, "circumstantial" evidence. Fingerprints are an example of circumstantial evidence' while there may be no witness to a person#s presence in a

certain place, or contact with a certain ob7ect, the scientific evidence of someone#s fingerprints is persuasive proof of a person#s presence or contact with an ob7ect. 2itation An order of a court to either do a certain thing or to appear before it to answer charges. !he citation is typically used for lesser offences (such as traffic violations because it relies on the good faith of the defendant to appear as re%uested, as opposed to an arrest or bail. !he penalty for failing to obey a citation is often a warrant for the arrest of the defendant. 2ivil law &aw inspired by old 9oman &aw, the primary feature of which was that laws were written into a collection( codified, and not determined, as is common law, by 7udges. !he principle of civil law is to provide all citi5ens with an accessible and written collection of the laws which apply to them and which 7udges must follow. 2landestine $omething that is purposely "ept from the view or "nowledge of others either in violation of the law or to conduct or conceal some illegal purpose. A "clandestine marriage" would be one which does not comply with laws related to publicity. 2lass action 4hen different persons combine their lawsuits because the facts and the defendant are so similar. !his is designed to save 2ourt time and to allow one 7udge to hear all the cases at the same time and to ma"e one decision binding on all parties. 2lass action lawsuits would typically occur after a plane or train accident where all the victims would sue the transportation company together in a class action suit. 2layton#s 2ase An ;nglish case which established a presumption that monies withdrawn from a money account are presumed to be debits from those monies first deposited( first in, first out. !he proper citation is 'eva(nes v. Noble (*A*0 * 8er. CB- and the presumption is not applicable to fiduciaries, who are presumed to withdraw their own money first, and not trust money. 2lean hands A maxim of the law to the effect that any person, individual or corporate, that wishes to as" or petition a court for 7udicial action, must be in a position free of fraud or other unfair conduct. 2lient6solicitor privilege A right that belongs to the client of a lawyer that the latter "eep any information or words spo"en to him during the provision of the legal services to that client, strictly confidential. !his includes being shielded from testimony before a court of law. !he client may, expressly or impliedly, waive the privilege and, exceptionally, it may also be waived by the lawyer if the disclosure of the information may prevent a serious crime. 2odicil An amendment to an existing will. Does not mean that the will is totally changed( 7ust to the extent of the codicil. 2ollateral @roperty which has been committed to guarantee a loan. 2ollateral descendant A descendant that is not direct, such as a niece or a cousin. 2ollateral source rule A rule of tort law which holds that the tortfeasor is not allowed to deduct from the amount he or she would be held to pay to the victim of the tort, any goods, services or money received by that victim from other "collateral" sources as a result of the tort (eg. insurance benefits . 2ollusion A secret agreement between two or more persons, who seem to have conflicting interests, to abuse the law or the legal system, deceive a court or to defraud a third party. For example, if the partners in a marriage agree to lie about the duration of their separation in order to secure a divorce. 2ommission A formal group of experts brought together on a regular or ad hoc basis to debate matters within that sphere of expertise, and with regulatory or %uasi67udicial powers such as the ability to license activity in the sphere of activity or to subpoena witnesses. 2ommissions usually also have advisory powers to government. !he organi5ational form of a commission is often resorted to by

governments to exhaustively investigate a matter of national concern, and is often "nown as a "commission of in%uiry." !his legal structure can be contrasted with a council, the latter not en7oying %uasi67udicial or regulatory powers. 2ommittee A term of parliamentary law which refers to a body of one or more persons appointed by a larger assembly or society, to consider, investigate and<or ta"e action on certain specific matters. A committee only has those powers which have been assigned to it by the constituent assembly. 8ost are merely created to study matters in detail and to then report to the larger group. !his saves the larger assembly time when it meets and allows it to review and approve a greater number of items, relying on the committee#s report and recommendations. 2ommittees are either standing or ad hoc (this latter "ind is also "nown as a "special committee . 2ommon law Dudge6made law. &aw which exists and applies to a group on the basis of historical legal precedents developed over hundreds of years. /ecause it is not written by elected politicians but, rather, by 7udges, it is also referred to as "unwritten" law. Dudges see" these principles out when trying a case and apply the precedents to the facts to come up with a 7udgement. 2ommon law is often contrasted with civil law systems which re%uire all laws to be written in a code or written collection. 2ommon law has been referred to as the "common sense of the community, crystalli5ed and formulated by our ancestors". ;%uity law developed after the common law to offset the rigid interpretations medieval ;nglish 7udges were giving the common law. For hundreds of years, there were separate courts in ;ngland and its dependents' one for common law and one for e%uity and the decisions of the latter, where they conflicted, prevailed. It is a matter of legal debate whether or not common law and e%uity are now "fused." It is certainly common to spea" of the "common law" to refer to the entire body of ;nglish law, including common law and e%uity. 2ommon share !he basic share in a company. !ypically, common shares have voting rights and a pro rata right to any dividends declared. !hey differ from preferred shares which, by definition, carry some "ind of right or privilege above the common shares (eg. first to receive any dividends . 2ompany A legal entity, allowed by legislation, which permits a group of people, as shareholders, to create an organi5ation, which can then focus on persuing set ob7ectives, and empowered with legal rights which are usually only reserved for individuals, such as to sue and be sued, own property, hire employees or loan and borrow money. Also "nown as a "corporation." !he primary advantage of a company structure is that it provides the shareholders with a right to participate in the profits (by dividends without any personal liability (the company absorbs the entire liability of the business . 2omparative negligence A principle of tort law which loo"s at the negligence of the victim and which may lead to either a reduction of the award against the defendant, proportionate to the contribution of the victim#s negligence, or which may even prevent an award altogether if the victim#s negligence, when compared with the defendant, is e%ual to or greater in terms or contributing to the situation which caused the in7ury or damage. Condition precedent A contractual condition that suspends the coming into effect of a contract unless or until a certain event ta"es place. 8any residential real estate contracts have a condition precedent which states that the contract is not binding until and unless the property is sub7ected to an professional inspection, the results of which are satisfactory to the purchaser. 2ompare with "condition subse%uent". Condition subsequent A condition in a contract that causes the contract to become invalid if a certain event occurs. !his is different from a condition precedent. !he happening of a condition subse%uent may invalidate a contract which is, until that moment, fully valid and binding. In the case of a condition precedent, no binding contract exists until the condition occurs. Condonation Divorces can be obtained by showing a fault of the other spouse, such as adultery or cruelty. /ut a court will refuse to grant a divorce based on these grounds if there has been "condonation", which

is the obvious or implied forgiveness of the fault. For example, if the "in7ured" spouse resumes cohabitation with the "guilty" spouse after being informed of the adultery, and for a long period or time, the "in7ured" spouse may be barred from divorce on the grounds of adultery because of "condonation". Confession A statement made by a person suspected or charged with a crime, that he (or she did, in fact, commit that crime. 2onsensus A result achieved through negotiation whereby a hybrid solution is arrived at between parties to an issue, dispute or disagreement, comprising typically of concessions made by all parties, and to which all parties then subscribe unanimously as an acceptable resolution to the issue or disagreement. Consensus ad idem &atin term meaning an agreement, a meeting of the minds between the parties where all understand the committments made by each. !his is a basic re%uirement for each contract. Consideration =nder common law, there can be no binding contract without consideration, which was defined in an *ABC ;nglish decision as "some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to the one party, or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility given, suffered or underta"en by the other". 2ommon law did not want to allow gratuitous offers, those made without anything offered in exchange (such as gifts , to be given the protection of contract law. $o they added the criteria of consideration. 2onsideration is not re%uired in contracts made in civil law systems and many common law states have adopted laws which remove consideration as a prere%uisite of a valid contract. Consign !o leave an item of property in the custody of another. A item can be consigned to a transportation company, for example, for the purpose of transporting it from one place to another. !he consignee is the person to receive the property and the consignor is the person who ships the property to the consignee. 2onspiracy An agreement between two or more persons to commit a criminal act. !hose forming the conspiracy are called conspirators. Constitution !he basic law or laws of a nation or a state which sets out how that state will be organi5ed by deciding the powers and authorities of government between different political units, and by stating and the basic principles of society. 2onstitutions are not necessarily written and may be based on aged customs and conventions, as is the case in ;ngland and Eew Fealand (the =$A, 2anada and Australia all have written constitutions . Construction !he legal process of interpreting a phrase or document( of trying to find it#s meaning. 4hether it be a contract or a statute, there are times when a phrase may be unclear or of several meanings. !hen, either lawyers or 7udges must attempt to interpret or "construct" the probable aim and purpose of the phrase, by extrapolating from other parts of the document or, in the case of statutes, referring to a interpretation law which gives legal construction guidelines. 3enerally, there are two types of construction methods' literal (strict or liberal. 2onstructive dismissal =nder the employment law of some states, 7udges will consider a situation where there has been a fundamental violation of the rights of an employee, by the employer, so severe that the employee would have the right to consider himself as dismissed, even though, in fact, there has been no act of dismissal on the part of the employer. For example, if an employer tries to force an employee to accept a drastic demotion, the employee might have a case for constructive dismissal and would be able to assume that the employment contract has been ended and see" compensation from a court. 2onstructive trust

A trust which a court declares or imposes onto participants of very specific circumstances such as those giving rise to an action for un7ust enrichment, and notwithstanding the lac" of any willing settlor to declare the trust (contrast with express trusts and resulting trusts . 2ontempt of court A act of defiance of court authority or dignity. 2ontempt of court can be direct (swearing at a 7udge or violence against a court officer or constructive (disobeying a court order . !he punishment for contempt is a fine or a brief stay in 7ail (i.e. overnight . 2ontingency fee A method of payment of legal fees represented by a percentage of an award. &awyers get paid in one of two ways' either you pay a straight hourly rate as you might pay a plumber (eg. GHII an hour or the lawyer might "gamble" (i.e. "contingency" fee and agree to only get paid if the claim is successful and by ta"ing a portion (eg. one6third of any award that comes after the filing of the claim. For example, if you go and see a lawyer because, after a medical emergency, your health insurance company refuses to pay your medical bills in violation of their policy, the law firm might say' "no money down. In fact, we don#t get paid a cent unless you do. And then, we ta"e one6third off the top of any award you might get." !his allows the client to receive legal services without putting any money down and it allows the lawyer to advertise "we don#t get paid unless you do." !he lawyer associations in some counties prohibit contingency fee arrangements. In those countries that allow them, they are very prevalent in personal in7ury cases. 2ontract An agreement between persons which obliges each party to do or not to do a certain thing. !echnically, a valid contract re%uires an offer and an acceptance of that offer, and, in common law countries, consideration. Contract law !hat body of law which regulates the enforcement of contracts. 2ontract law has its origins thousands of years as the early civili5ations began to trade with each other, a legal system was created to support and to facilitate that trade. !he ;nglish and French developed similar contract law systems, both referring extensively to old 9oman contract law principles such as consensus ad ide or caveat emptor. !here are some minor differences on points of detail such as the ;nglish law re%uirement that every contract contain consideration. 8ore and more states are changing their laws to eliminate consideration as a prere%uisite to a valid contract thus contributing to the uniformity of law. 2ontract law is the basis of all commercial dealings from buying a bus tic"et to trading on the stoc" mar"et. 2ontributory negligence !he negligence of a person which, while not being the primary cause of a tort, nevertheless combined with the act or omission of the primary defendant to cause the tort, and without which the tort would not have occurred. 2onversion !he action of conversion is a common law legal proceeding for damages by an owner of property against a defendant who came across the property and who, rather than return the property, converted that property to his own use or retained possession of the property or otherwise interfered with the property. !he innocence of the defendant who too" the property is not an issue. It is the conversion that gives rise to the cause of action. !his common law action replaced the old action of trover by ;nglish law dated *AC-. 2ompare with detinue. 2onveyance A written document which transfers property from one person to another. In real6estate law, the conveyance usually refers to the actual document which transfers ownership, between persons living (i.e. other than by will , or which charges the land with another#s interest, such as a mortgage. 2onviction !he formal decision of a criminal trial which finds the accused guilty. It is the finding of a 7udge or 7ury, on behalf of the state, that a person has, beyond reasonable doubt, committed the crime for which he, or she, has been accused. It is the ultimate goal of the prosecution and the result resisted by the defense. )nce convicted, an accused may then be sentenced. 2oparcenary

An obsolete co6ownership mechanism of ;nglish law where property, if there was no will, always went to the eldest son. If there was no male heir, the property went to all the female children collectively as a form of co6ownership. 2opyright !he exclusive right to produce or reproduce (copy , to perform in public or to publish an original literary or artistic wor". 8any countries have expanded the definition of a "literary wor"" to include computer programs or other electronically stored information. 2oroner A public official who holds an in%uiry into violent or suspicious deaths. A coroner has the power to summon people to the in%uest. 2orporal punishment A punishment for some violation of conduct which involves the infliction of pain on, or harm to the body. A fine or imprisonment is not considered to be corporal punishment (in the latter case, although the body is confined, no punishment is inflicted upon the body . !he death penalty is the most drastic form of corporal punishment and is also called capital punishment. $ome schools still use a strap to punish students. $ome countries still punish habitual thieves by cutting off a hand. !hese are forms of corporal punishment, as is any form of span"ing, whipping or bodily mutilation inflicted as punishment. 2orporate secretary )fficer of a corporation responsible for the official documents of the corporation such as the official seal, records of shares issued, and minutes of all board or committee meetings. 2orporation A legal entity, allowed by legislation, which permits a group of people, as shareholders (for6profit companies or members (non6profit companies , to create an organi5ation, which can then focus on pursuing set ob7ectives, and empowered with legal rights which are usually only reserved for individuals, such as to sue and be sued, own property, hire employees or loan and borrow money. Also "nown as a "company." !he primary advantage of for profit corporations is that it provides its shareholders with a right to participate in the profits (by dividends without any personal liability because the company absorbs the entire liability of the organi5ation. 2osts !his is a term often used in 7udgments as in "the defendant will pay costs." 4hen a person is condemned to "costs" it means that he has to pay all the court costs such as the fees for bringing the action, witness fees and other fees paid out by the other side in bringing the action to 7ustice. A court can also condemn a losing party to "special costs" but this is considered punitive as it would include the other side#s lawyer bill. !he rule in most places is that "costs follows the event" which means that the loser pays. In most states, the court has the final say on costs and may decide not to ma"e an order on costs. 2ouncil A formal group of experts brought together on a regular basis to debate matters within that sphere of expertise, and with advisory powers to government. For example, 2anada has a #$tandards 2ouncil of 2anada" which debates and proposes standards policies and is able to ma"e recomendations to the government of 2anada. It can be contrasted with a commission which, although also a body of experts, is typically given regulatory powers in addition to a role as advisor to the government. 2ourt martial A military court set up to try and punish offenses ta"en by members of the army, navy or air force. 2ourt of admiralty A rather archaic term used to denote the court which has the right to hear shipping, ocean and sea legal cases. Also "nown as "maritime law". 2ovenant A written document in which signatories either commit themselves to do a certain thing, to not do a certain thing or in which they agree on a certain set of facts. !hey are very common in real property dealings and are used to restrict land use such as amongst shopping mall tenants or for the purpose of preserving heritage property. For example, a coventor to a mortgage commits themself to pay the mortgage if the mortgagor defaults. 2reditor

A person to whom money, goods or services are owed by the debtor. 2rime An act or omission which is prohibited by criminal law. ;ach state sets out a limited series of acts (crimes which are prohibited and punishes the commission of these acts by a fine, imprisonment or some other form of punishment. In exceptional cases, an omission to act can constitute a crime, such as failing to give assistance to a person in peril or failing to report a case of child abuse. 2riminal conversation $ynonymous with adultery. In old ;nglish law, this was a claim for damages the husband could institute against the adulterer. 2riminal law !hat body of the law that deals with conduct considered so harmful to society as a whole that it is prohibited by statute, prosecuted and punished by the government. 2ross6examination In trials, each party calls witnesses. ;ach party may also %uestion the other#s witness(es . 4hen you as" %uestions of the other party#s witness(es , it is called a "cross6examination" and you are allowed considerably more latitude in cross6examination then when you %uestion your own witnesses (called an "examination6in6chief" . For example, you are not allowed to as" leading %uestions to your own witness whereas you can in cross6examination. 2rown !he word refers specifically to the /ritish 8onarch, where she is the head of state of 2ommonwealth countries. @rosecutions and civil cases ta"en (or defended by the government are ta"en in the name of the 2rown as head of state. !hat is why public prosecutors are referred to, in 2anada, as "2rown" prosecutors and criminal cases ta"e the form of "!he 2rown vs. Dohn Doe" or "9egina vs. Dohn Doe", 9egina being &atin for "!he Jueen." &uius est solu ) e"us est us%ue ad caelu et ad in!eros &atin' who owns the land, owns down to the center of the earth and up to the heavens. !his principle of land ownership has been greatly tempered by case law which has limited ownership upwards to the extent necessary to maintain structures. )therwise, airplanes would trespass incessantly. &ulpa lata &atin for gross negligence. It is more than 7ust simple negligence and includes any action or an omission in rec"less disregard of the conse%uences to the safety or property of another. Curtilage !he yard surrounding a residence or dwelling house which is reserved for or used by the occupants for their en7oyment or wor". 2urtilage may or may not be inclosed by fencing and includes any outhouses such as stand6alone garages or wor"shops. It is a term one might come across in a search warrant which calls for a search of the residence its# curtilage of a particular person. Custody 8eans the charge and control of a child including the right to ma"e all ma7or decisions such as education, religious upbringing, training, health and welfare. 2ustody, without %ualification usually refers to a combination of physical custody and legal custody. For other varieties of custody, see 7oint custody, split custody and divided custody. 2y6pres "As near as may be"' a technical word used in the law of trusts or of wills to refer to a power that the courts have to, rather than void the document, to construct or interpret the will or a trust document "as near as may be" to the actual intentions of the signatory, where a literal construction would give the document illegal, impracticable or impossible effect. D Damages A cash compensation ordered by a court to offset losses or suffering caused by another#s fault or negligence. Damages are a typical re%uest made of a court when persons sue for breach of contract or tort.

Death penalty Also "nown as capital punishment, this is the most severe form of corporal punishment as it is re%uires law enforcement officers to "ill the offender. Forms of the death penalty include hanging from the nec", gassing, firing s%uad and has included use of the guillotine. de bonis non &atin and short for de bonis non ad inistratis. A word used exclusively in estate matters and refers to situations where an estate is abandonoed by an administrator only partially administered and someone must be appointed to complete the administration of the residue of the estate( those assets not yet administered. Debtor A person who owes money, goods or services to another, the latter being referred to as the creditor. Decapitation !he act of beheading a person, usually instantly such as with a large and heavy "nife or by guillotine, as a form of capital punishment. !his form of capital punishment is still in use in some Arab countries, notably $audi Arabia. Decree absolute !he name given to the final and conclusive court order after the condition of a decree nisi is met. 'ecree nisi A provisional decision of a court which does not have force or effect until a certain condition is met such as another petition brought before the court or after the passage of a period time, after which it is called a decree absolute. Although no longer re%uired in many 7urisdictions, this was the model for divorce procedures wherein a court would issue A decree nisi, which would have no force or effect until a period of time passed (,I days or 0 months . Deed A written and signed document which sets out the things that have to be done or recognitions of the parties towards a certain ob7ect. =nder older common law, a deed had to be sealed( that is, accompanied not only by a signature but with an impression on wax onto the document. !he word deed is also most commonly used in the context of real estate because these transactions must usually be signed and in writing. Deem !o accept a document or an event as conclusive of a certain status in the absence of evidence or facts which would normally be re%uired to prove that status. For example, in matters of child support, a decision of a foreign court could be "deemed" to be a decision of the court of another for the purpose of enforcement. 'e !acto &atin' as a matter of fact( something which, while not necessarily lawful or legally sanctified, exists in fact. A common law spouse may be referred to a de !acto wife or de !acto husband' although not legally married, they live and carry6on their lives as if married. A de !acto government is one which has sei5ed power by force or in any other unconstitutional method and governs in spite of the existence of a de "ure government. Defalcation *. Defaulting on a debt or other obligation such to account for public or trust funds. =sually used in the context of public officials. -. Defalcation has another legal meaning referring to the setting6 off of two debts owed between two people by the agreement to a new amount representing the balance. I owe you GB and you owe me G,( we agree to "defal""( the result is that I owe you GH. !his is a type of novation. Defamation An attac" on the good reputation of a person, by slander or libel. Defeasance A side6contract which contains a condition which, if reali5ed, could defeat the main contract. !he common ;nglish usage of the word "defeasance" has also become acceptable in law, referring to a contract that is susceptible to being declared void as in "immoral contracts are susceptible to defeasance." Defendant

!he person, company or organi5ation who defends a legal action ta"en by a plaintiff and against whom the court has been as"ed to order damages or specific corrective action redress some type of unlawful or improper action alleged by the plaintiff. 'ehors French for outside. In the context of legal proceedings, it refers to that which is irrelevant or outside the scope of the debate. 'e "ure &atin' "of the law." !he term has come to describe a total adherence of the law. For example, a de "ure government is one which has been created in respect of constitutional law and is in all ways legitimate even though a de facto government may be in control. 'elegatus non potest delegare )ne of the pivotal principles of administrative law' that a delegate cannot delegate. In other words, a person to whom an authority or decision6ma"ing power has been delegated to from a higher source, canot, in turn, delegate again to another, unless the original delegation explicitly authori5ed it. Demand letter A letter from a lawyer, on behalf of a client, that demands payment or some other action, which is in default. Demand letters are not always prere%uisites for a legal suit but there are exceptions such as legal action on promissory notes or if the contract re%uires it. /asically, a demand letter sets out why the payment or action is claimed, how it should be carried out (eg. payment in full , directions for the reply and a deadline for the reply. Demand letters are often used in business contexts because they are a courtesy attempt to maintain some goodwill between business parties and they often prompt payment, avoiding expensive litigation. A demand letter often contains the "threat" that if it is not adhered to, the next communication between the parties will be through a court of law in the form of formal legal action. Demarche A word coined by the diplomatic community and referring to a strongly worded warning by one country to another and often, either explicitly or implicitly, with the threat of military conse%uence. Demarches are often precursors to hostilities or war. In $eptember, *++0, for example, =$ @resident 2linton issued a demarche to Ira%i @resident $addam 1ussein when intelligence reports showed troops massing along the border of .urd communities. 'e ini is non curat le# &atin' a common law principle whereby 7udges will not sit in 7udgement of extremely minor transgressions of the law. It has been restated as "the law does not concern itself with trifles". Demurrer !his is a motion put to a trial 7udge after the plaintiff has completed his or her case, in which the defendant, while not ob7ecting to the facts presented, and rather than responding by a full defence, as"s the court to re7ect the petition right then and there because of a lac" of basis in law or insufficiency of the evidence. !his motion has been been abolished in many states and, instead, any such arguments are to be made while presenting a regular defence to the petition. 'e novo &atin' new. !his term is used to refer to a trial which starts over, which wipes the slate clean and begins all over again, as if any previous partial or complete hearing had not occurred. Deportation !he removal of a foreign national under immigration laws for reasons such as illegal entry or conduct dangerous to the public welfare. !he grounds for deportation varies from country to country. Deposition !he official statement by a witness ta"en in writing (as opposed to testimony which where a witnesses give their perception of the facts verbally . Affidavits are the most common "ind of depositions. Descendant !hose person who are born of, or from children of, another are called that person#s descendants. 3randchildren are descendants of their grandfather as children are descendants of their natural parents. !he law also distinguishes between collateral descendants and lineal descendants. Detinue

A common law action similar to conversion and also involving the possession of property by the defendant but belonging to the plaintiff but in which the plaintiff as"s the court for the return of the property, although the plaintiff may also as" for damages for the duration of the possession. 'evastavit &atin for "he has wasted." !his is the technical word referring to a personal representative who has mismanaged the estate and allowed an avoidable loss to occur. !his action opens the personal representative to personal liability for the loss. Devise !he transfer or conveyance of real property by will. 'icta or dictu &atin' an observation by a 7udge on a matter not specifically before the court or not necessary in determining the issue before the court( a side opinion which does not form part of the 7udgment for the purposes of stare decisis. 8ay also be called "obiter dictum." Diplomat An official representative of a state, present in another state for the purposes of general representation of the state6of6origin or for the purpose of specific international negotiations on behalf of the diplomat#s state6of6origin. Disbursement 8iscellaneous expenses other than lawyer fees and court costs (i.e. filing fees which paid on behalf of another person and for which reimbursement will eventually be demanded of that person. In a personal liability case, for example, typical disbursements might be expert medical reports, private investigator reports, photocopying and courier costs and the li"e. Discretionary trust A trust in which the settlor has given the trustee full discretion to decide which (and when members of a group of beneficiaries is to receive either the income or the capital of the trust. Disrate A term of maritime law where an officer or other seaman is either demoted in ran" or deprived of a promotion. Dissent !o disagree. !he word is used in legal circles to refer to the minority opinion of a 7udge which runs contrary to the conclusions of the ma7ority. Dissolution !he act of ending, terminating or winding6up a company or state of affairs. For example, when the life of a company is ended by normal legal means, it is said to be "dissolved". !he same is said of marriage or partnerships which, by dissolution, ends the legal relationship between those persons formally 7oined by the marriage or partnership. Distraint !he right of a landlord to sei5e the property of a tenant which is in the premises being rented, as collateral against a tenant that has not paid the rent or has otherwise defaulted on the lease, such as wanton disrepair or destruction of the premises. A common way to "distrain" against a tenant is by changing loc"s and giving notice to the tenant. A legal action to reclaim goods that have been distrained is called replevin. Dividend A proportionate distribution of profits made in the form of a money payment to shareholders, by a for6profit corporation. Dividends are declared by a company#s board of directors. Divorce !he final, legal ending of a marriage, by 2ourt order. DEA Abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid. A chromosome molecule which carries genetic coding uni%ue to each person with the only exception of identical twins (that is why it is also called "DEA fingerprinting" . !hrough laboratory process, DEA can be extracted from body tissue such a strand of hair, semen, blood and matched against DEA discovered at a crime scene or on a victim to scientifically implicate an accused. 2an also be used to match DEA between parents in a paternity suit. Doc"et

An official court record boo" which lists all the cases before the court and which may also note the status or action re%uired for each case. Doctrine A rule or principle or the law established through the repeated application of legal precedents. Domicile !he permanent residence of a person( a place to which, even if he or she were temporary absent, they intend to return. In law, it is said that a person may have many residences but only one domicile. Dominant tenement =sed when referring to easements to specify that property (i.e. tenement or piece of land that benefits from, or has the advantage of, an easement. 'o inion directu &atin' the %ualified ownership of a landlord, not having possession or use of property but retaining ownership. =sed in feudal ;nglish land systems to describe the .ing#s ownership of all the land, even though most of it was lent out to lords for their exclusive use and en7oyment. 'o inion utile &atin' the property rights of a tenant. 4hile not owning the property in a legal sense, the tenant, as having do inion utile, en7oys full and exclusive possession and use of the property. 'onatio ortis causa A death6bed gift, made by a dying person, with the intent that the person receiving the gift shall "eep the thing if death ensues. $uch a gift is exempted from the estate of the deceased as property is automatically conveyed upon death. In most 7urisdictions, real property cannot be transferred by these death6bed gifts. Donee Another word to describe the beneficiary of a trust. Also used to describe the person who is the recipient of a power of attorney( the person who would have to exercise the power of attorney. Donor !he person who donates property to the benefit of another, usually through the legal mechanism of a trust. !he law boo"s of some countries refer to the trust donor as a "settlor." Also used to describe the person who signs a power of attorney. 'uces tecu &atin' bring with you. =sed most fre%uently for a species of subpoena (as in "subpoena duces tecu " which see"s not so much the appearance of a person before a court of law, but the surrender of a thing (eg. a document or some other evidence by its holder, to the court, to serve as evidence in a trial. Due process A term of =$ law which refers to fundamental procedural legal safeguards of which every citi5en has an absolute right when a state or court purports to ta"e a decision that could affect any right of that citi5en. !he most basic right protected under the due process doctrine is the right to be given notice, and an opportunity to be heard. !he term is now also in use in other countries, again to refer to basic fundamental legal rights such as the right to be heard. 'u casta &atin' for so long as she remains chaste. $eparation agreements years ago used to contain du casta clauses which said that if the women were to start another relationship, she forfeited her entitlement to maintenance. 'u sola &atin' for so long as she remains unmarried. 'u vidua &atin' for so long as she remains a widow. Duplex A house which has separate but complete facilities to accommodate two families as either ad7acent units or one on top of the other. Duress 4here a person is prevented from acting (or not acting according to their free will, by threats or force of another, it is said to be "under duress". 2ontracts signed under duress are voidable and, in may places, you cannot be convicted of a crime if you can prove that you were forced or

threatened into committing the crime (although this defence may not be available for serious crimes . E ;asement A right of passage over a neighbor#s land or waterway. An easement is a type of servitude. For every easement, there is a dominant and a servient tenement. ;asements are also classified as negative (which prevents the servient land owner from doing certain things or affirmative easements (the most common, which allows the beneficiary of the easement to do certain things, such as a right6of6way . Although right6of6ways are the most common easements, there are many others such as rights to tunnel under another#s land, to use a washroom, to emit smo"e or fumes, to pass over with transmission towers, to access a doc" and to access a well. ;cclesiastical law $ynonymous to canon law' the body of church6made law which binds only those persons which recogni5e it, usually only church officers, and based on aged precepts of canon law. ;mancipation !erm used to describe the act of freeing a person who was under the legal authority of another (such as a child before the age of ma7ority from that control (such as child reaching the age of ma7ority . !he term was also used when slavery was legal to describe a former slave that had bought or been given freedom from his or her master. 4hen Abraham &incoln outlawed slavery he did so in a law called the "emancipation proclamation". ;mbargo !his is an act of international military aggression where an order is made prohibiting ships or goods from leaving a certain port, city or territory and may be enforced by military threat of destroying any vehicle that attempts to brea" it or by trade penalties. !he word has also come to refer to a legal prohibition of trade with a certain nation or a prohibition towards the use of goods or services produced by or within a certain nation. ;mbe55le !he illegal transfer of money or property that, although possessed legally by the embe55ler, is diverted to the embe55ler personally by his or her fraudulent action. For example, an employee would embe55le money from the employer or a public officer could embe55le money received during the course of their public duties and secretly convert it to their personal use. ;minent domain =$A' !he legal power to expropriate private land for the sa"e of public necessity. ;molument A legal word which refers to all wages, benefits or other benefit received as compensation for holding some office or employment. ;mphyteusis 2ivil law' a long6term (many years or in perpetuity rental of land or buildings including the exclusive en7oyment of all product of that land and the exercise of all property rights typically reserved for the property owner such as mortgaging the property for the term of the emphyteusis or permitting a right of way. * ptio or e tio &atin for "purchase" or the contract in which something is bought. ;nactment A law or a statute( a document which is published as an enforceable set of written rules is said to be "enacted". ;ndorsement $omething written on the bac" of a document. An alternate spelling, in some ;nglish 7urisdictions, is "indorsement." In the laws of bills of exchange, an endorsement is a signature on the bac" of the bill of exchange by which the person to whom the note is payable transfers it by thus ma"ing the note payable to the bearer or to a specific person. An endorsement of claim means that if you want to as" a court to issue a writ against someone, you have to "endorse" your writ with a concise summary of the facts supporting the claim, sometimes called a statement of claim.

;ndowment !he transfer of money or property (usually as a gift to a public organi5ation for a specific purpose, such as medical research or scholarships. ;ntrapment !he inducement, by law enforcement officers or their agents, of another person to commit a crime for the purposes of bringing charges for the commission of that artificially6provo"ed crime. !his techni%ue, because it involves abetting the commission of a crime, which is itself a crime, is severely curtailed under the constitutional law of many states. ;%uity A branch of ;nglish law which developed hundreds of years ago when litigants would go to the .ing and complain of harsh or inflexible rules of common law which prevented "7ustice" from prevailing. For example, strict common law rules would not recogni5e un7ust enrichment, which was a legal relief developed by the e%uity courts. !he typical 2ourt of ;%uity decision would prevent a person from enforcing a common law court 7udgment. !he "ings delegated this special 7udicial review power over common law court rulings to chancellors. A new branch of law developed "nown as "e%uity", with their decisions eventually gaining precedence over those of the common law courts. A whole set of e%uity law principles were developed based on the predominant "fairness" characteristic of e%uity such as "e%uity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy" or "he who comes to e%uity must come with clean hands". 8any legal rules, in countries that originated with ;nglish law, have e%uity6based law such as the law of trusts and mortgages. ;scheat 4here property is returned to the government upon the death of the owner, because there is nobody to inherit the property. ;scheat is based on the &atin principle of dominion directum as was often used in the feudal system when a tenant died without heirs or if the tenant was convicted of a felony. ;scrow 4hen the performance of something is outstanding and a third party holds onto money or a written document (such as shares or a deed until a certain condition is met between the two contracting parties. ;state law A term used by the law to decribe that part of the law which regulates wills, probate and other sub7ects related to the distribution of a deceased person#s "estate". ;stoppel A rule of law that when person A, by act or words, gives person / reason to believe a certain set of facts upon which person / ta"es action, person A cannot later, to his (or her benefit, deny those facts or say that his (or her earlier act was improper. A *A+* ;nglish court decision summari5ed estoppel as "a rule of evidence which precludes a person from denying the truth of some statement previously made by himself". ;uthanasia !he putting to death, by painless method, of a terminally6ill or severely debilitated person through the omission (intentionally withholding a life6saving medical procedure, also "nown as "passive euthanasia" or commission of an act ("active euthanasia# . $ee also living will. ;vidence @roof of fact(s presented at a trial. !he best and most common method is by oral testimony( where you have an eye6witness swear to tell the truth and to then relate to the court (or 7ury their experience. ;vidence is essential in convincing the 7udge or 7ury of your facts as the 7udge (or 7ury is expected to start off with a blan" slate( no preconceived idea or "nowledge of the facts. $o it is up to the opposing parties to prove (by providing evidence , to the satisfaction of the court (or 7ury , the facts needed to support their case. /esides oral testimony, an ob7ect can be deposited with the court (eg. a signed contract . !his is sometimes called "real evidence." In other rarer cases, evidence can be circumstantial. *# ae%uo et bono &atin for "in 7ustice and fairness." $omething to be decided e# ae%uo et bono is something that is to be decided by principles of what is fair and 7ust. 8ost legal cases are decided on the strict rule of law. For example, a contract will be normally upheld and enforced by the legal system no

matter how "unfair" it may prove to be. /ut a case to be decided e# ae%uo et bono, overrides the strict rule of law and re%uires instead a decision based on what is fair and 7ust given the circumstances. ;xamination6in6chief !he %uestioning of your own witness under oath. 4itnesses are introduced to a trial by their examination6in6chief, which is when they answer %uestions as"ed by the lawyer representing the party which called them to the stand. After their examination6in6chief, the other party#s lawyer can %uestion them too( this is called "cross6examination". ;xculpate $omething that excuses or 7ustifies a wrong action. ;xecutor A person specifically appointed by a testator to administer the will ensuring that final wishes are respected (i.e. that the will is properly "executed" . An executor is a personal representative. ;xhibit A document or ob7ect shown to the court as evidence in a trial. !hey are each given a number or letter by the court cler" as they are introduced for future reference during the trial. For example, weapon are fre%uently given as exhibits in criminal trials. ;xcept with special permission of the court, exhibits are loc"ed up in court custody until the trial is over. ;x parte &atin' for one party only. *# parte refers to those proceedings where one of the parties has not received notice and, therefore, is neither present nor represented. If a person received notice of a hearing and chose not to attend, then the hearing would not be called e# parte. $ome 7urisdictions expand the definition to include any proceeding that goes undefended, even though proper notice has been given. ;x patriate A person who has abandoned his or her country of origin and citi5enship and has become a sub7ect or citi5en of another country. *# post !acto &atin' after the fact. &egislation is called e# post !acto if the law attempts to extend bac"wards in time and punish acts committed before the date of the law#s approval. $uch laws are constitutionally prohibited in most modern democracies. For example, the =$A 2onstitution prohibits "any e# post !acto law". ;xpropriation 2anada' the forced sale of land to a public authority. $ynonymous to the =$A doctrine of "eminent domain". ;xpress trust A trust which is clearly created by the settlor, usually in the form of a document (eg. a will , although they can be oral. !hey are to be contrasted with trusts which come to being through the operation of the law and which do not result from the clear intent or decision of any settlor to create a trust (eg. constructive trust . ;xpunge !o physically erase( to white or stri"e out. !o "expunge" something from a court record means to remove every reference to it from the court file. *# rel An abbreviation of "ex relatione", &atin for "on the relation of." 9efers to information or action ta"en that is not based on first6hand experience but is based on the statement or account of another person. For example, a criminal charge "ex rel" simply means that the attorney general of a state is prosecuting on the basis of a statement of a person other than the attorney general himself (or herself. ;xtortion Forcing a person to give up property in a thing through the use of violence, fear or under pretense of authority. ;xtradition !he arrest and delivery of a fugitive wanted for a crime committed in another country, usually under the terms of a extradition treaty. *# turpi causa non oritur actio

&atin' ")f an illegal cause there can be no lawsuit." In other words, if one is engaged in illegal activity, one cannot sue another for damages that arose out of that illegal activity. A example is an in7ury suffered by a passenger in a stolen car, which that passenger "new to be stolen and was a free participant in the 7oyriding. If vehicle crashes in7uring the passenger, there is no action in tort against the driver under the e# turpi causa non oritur actio principle. F Fair mar"et value !he hypothetical most probable price that could be obtained for a property by average, informed purchasers. Fee simple !he most extensive tenure allowed under the feudal system allowing the tenant to sell or convey by will or be transfer to a heir if the owner dies intestate. In modern law, almost all land is held in fee simple and this is as close as one can get to absolute ownership in common law. Fee tail A form of tenure under the feudal system that could only be transferred to a lineal descendant. If there were no lineal descendants upon the death of the tenant, the land reverted bac" to the lord. Felony A serious crime for which the punishment is prison for more than a year or death. 2rimes of less gravity are called misdemeanours. !his term is no longer used in ;ngland or other 2ommonwealth countries but remains a ma7or distinction in the =nited $tates. 1istorically, in ;ngland, the term referred to crimes for which the punishment was the loss of land, life or a limb. Feudal system A social structure that existed throughout much of ;urope between AII and *HII and that revolved around a multi6level hierarchy between lords (who held land granted under tenure from the "ing , and their tenants (also called "vassals" .!enants would lease land from the lord in exchange for loyalty and goods or services, such as military assistance or money. In exchange, the tenant would be protected from attac". Fiduciary Eormally, the term is synonymous to a trustee, which is the classic form of a fiduciary relationship. A fiduciary has rights and powers which would normally belong to another person. !he fiduciary holds those rights which he or she must exercise to the benefit of the beneficiary. A fiduciary must not allow any conflict of interest to infect their duties towards the beneficiary and must exercise a high standard of care in protecting or promoting the interests of the beneficiary. Fiduciary responsibilities exist for persons other than trustees such as between solicitor and client and principal and agent. +ieri !acias A writ of !ieri !acias commands a sheriff to ta"e and sell enough property from the person who lost the law suit, to pay the debt owed by the 7udgment. +orce a"eure French for an act of 3od( an inevitable, unpredictable act of nature, not dependent on an act of man. =sed in insurance contracts to refer to acts of nature such as earth%ua"es or lightning. Foreclosure !he technical meaning of the word is to wipe out a right of redemption on a property. 3enerally, this is what happens when someone does not pay their mortgage. ;ven though there has been no payments, the borrower retains a e%uitable right of redemption if, some day, he or she were able to find the money and try to exercise their right of redemption. !o clear the title of this potential, a lender goes to court, demonstrates the default, re%uests that a date be set where the entire amount becomes payable after which, in the absence of payment, the lender is automatically relieved of the re%uirement to redeem the property bac" to the borrower( the debtor#s right of redemption is said to be forever barred and foreclosed. !his cancels all rights a borrower would have in the property and the property then belongs entirely to the lender, who is then free to possess or sell the property. !he word is fre%uently used to generally refer to the lender#s actions of repossessing and selling a property for default in mortgage payments.

Fraud Deceitful conduct designed to manipulate another person to give something of value by (* lying, (- by repeating something that is or ought to have been "nown by the fraudulent party as false or suspect or (, by concealing a fact from the other party which may have saved that party from being cheated. !he existence of fraud will cause a court to void a contract and can give rise to criminal liability. Freehold A special right granting the full use of real estate for an indeterminate time. It differs from leasehold, which allows possession for a limited time. !here are varieties of freehold such as fee simple and fee tail. Freeholder A person who owns freehold property rights (i.e. in a piece of real estate( either land or a building . Fugitive )ne who runs away to avoid arrest, prosecution or imprisonment. 8any extradition laws also call the suspect a "fugitive" although, in that context, it does not necessarily mean that the suspect was trying to hide in the country from which extradition is being sought. +unctus o!!icio &atin' an officer or agency whose mandate has expired either because of the arrival of an expiry date or because an agency has accomplished the purpose for which it was created. Fungibles 3oods which are comprised of many identical parts such as a bushel of grain or a barrel of apples or oil, and which can be easily replaced by other, identical goods. If the goods are sold by weight or number, this is a good sign that they are fungible. +uriosi nulla voluntas est A &atin expression that mentally impaired persons cannot validly sign a will. G 3arnishment !he sei5ing of a person#s property, credit or salary, on the basis of a law which allows it, and for the purposes of paying off a debt. !he person who possesses the assets of the debtor and is the sub7ect of the sei5ure is called a "garnishee". !his is fre%uently used in the enforcement of child support where delin%uent debtors will be sub7ected to salary garnishment. A percentages of their wages is subtracted directly off their pay6chec" and directed to the person in need of support (the employer being the garnishee . 3avel A wooden mallet used by a 7udge to bring proceedings to a start or to an end or to command attention in his or her court. 3eneral Agreement on !ariffs and !rade (3A!! 8ultilateral international treaty first created in *+HB and fre%uently amended (most recently in *++H to which *-C countries subscribe. 3A!! provides for fair trade rules and the gradual reduction of tariffs, duties and other trade barriers. !he *++H amendment created a 4orld !rade )rgani5ation, which oversees the implementation of the 3A!!. 3eneral counsel !he senior lawyer of a corporation. !his is normally a full6time employee of the corporation although some corporations contract this position out to a lawyer with a private firm. 3ift over A device used in wills and trusts to provide for the gift of property to a second recipient if a certain event occurs, such as the death of the first recipient. For example, I give you my car but on your death you must give it to your child( that is a gift over to the benefit of your child. 3oodwill An intangible business asset which includes a cultivated reputation and conse%uential attraction and confidence of repeat customers and connections. 3rand Dury

An American criminal 7ustice procedure whereby, in each court district, a group of *06-, citi5ens hold an in%uiry on criminal complaints brought by the prosecutor and decide if a trial is warranted, in which case an indictment is issued. If a 3rand Dury re7ects a proposed indictment it is "nown as a "no bill"( if they accept to endorse a proposed indictment it is "nown as a "true bill". 3ross negligence Any action or an omission in rec"less disregard of the conse%uences to the safety or property of another. $ometimes referred to as "very great negligence" and it is more then 7ust neglect of ordinary care towards others or 7ust inadvertence. Also "nown as the &atin term culpa lata. 3uarantor A person who pledges collateral for the contract of another, but separately, as part of an independently contract with the obligee of the original contract. 2ompare with "surety." 3uardian An individual who, by legal appointment or by the effect of a written law, is given custodyof both the property and the person of one who is unable to manage their own affairs, such as a child or mentally6disabled person. 3uardian ad lite A guardian appointed to assist an infant or other mentally incapable defendant or plaintiff, or any such incapacitated person that may be a party in a legal action. 3uillotine A device developed in France to inflict the death penalty through decapitation by the dropping of a weighted and sharp metal blade onto the restrained nec" of a convict. H $abeas corpus &atin' a court petition which orders that a person being detained be produced before a 7udge for a hearing to decide whether the detention is lawful. $abeas corpus was one of the concessions the /ritish 8onarch made in the ,agna &arta and has stood as a basic individual right against arbitrary arrest and imprisonment. 1abitual offender A person who is convicted and sentenced for crimes over a period of time and even after serving sentences of incarceration, such as demonstrates a propensity towards criminal conduct. 9eformation techni%ues fail to alter the behaviour of the habitual offender. 8any countries now have special laws that re%uire the long6term incarceration, without parole, of habitual offenders as a means of protecting society in the face of an individual that appears unable to comply with the law. 1arassment =nsolicited words or conduct which tend to annoy, alarm or abuse another person. An excellent alternate definition can be found in 2anadian human rights legislation as' "a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is "nown or ought reasonably to be "nown to be unwelcome." Eame6 calling ("stupid", "retard" or "dummy" is a common form of harassment. ($ee also sexual harassment. 1earsay Any evidence that is offered by a witness of which they do not have direct "nowledge but, rather, their testimony is based on what others have said to them. For example, if /ob heard from $usan about an accident that $usan witnessed but that /ob had not, and /ob attempted to repeat $usan#s story in court, it could be ob7ected to as "hearsay." !he basic rule, when testifying in court, is that you can only provide information of which you have direct "nowledge. In other words, hearsay evidence is not allowed. 1earsay evidence is also referred to as "second6hand evidence" or as "rumor." >ou are able to tell a court what you heard, to repeat the rumor, and testify that, in fact, the story you heard was told to you, but under the hearsay rule, your testimony would not be evidence of the actual facts of the story but only that you heard those words spo"en. 1olograph will

A will written entirely in the testator#s handwriting and not witnessed. $ome states recogni5e holograph wills, other do not. $till other states will recogni5e a will as "holograph" if only part of it is in the testator#s handwriting (the other part being type6written . 1omicide !he word includes all occasions where one human being, by act or omission, ta"es away the life of another. 8urder and manslaughter are different "inds of homicides. ;xecuting a death6row inmate is another form of homicide, but one which is excusable in the eyes of the law. Another excusable homicide is where a law enforcement officer shoots and "ills a suspect who draws a weapon or shoots at that officer. 1ostile witness During an examination6in6chief, a lawyer is not allowed to as" leading %uestions of their own witness. /ut, if that witness openly shows hostility against the interests (or the person that the lawyer represents, the lawyer may as" the court to declare the witness "hostile", after which, as an exception of the examination6in6chief rules, the lawyer may as" their own witness leading %uestions. 1ung 7ury A 7ury is re%uired to ma"e a unanimous or near unanimous verdict. 4hen the 7urors, after full debate and discussion, are unable to agree on a verdict and are deadloc"ed with differences of opinion that appear to be irreconcilable, it is said to be a "hung 7ury". !he result is a mistrial. 1usband6wife privilege A special right that married persons have to "eep communications between them secret and even inaccessible to a court of law. 4hile this privilege may have been varied in some states, it has always been held to be lifted where one spouse commits a crime on the other. $imilar to the client6 solicitor privilege. I Immunity An exemption that a person (individual or corporate en7oys from the normal operation of the law such as a legal duty or liability, either criminal or civil. For example, diplomats en7oy "diplomatic immunity" which means that they cannot be prosecuted for crimes committed during their tenure as diplomat. Another example of an immunity is where a witness agrees to testify only if the testimony cannot be used at some later date during a hearing against the witness. Incorporeal &egal rights which are intangible such as copyrights or patents. Incorporeal hereditament An incorporeal right which is attached to property and which is inheritable. ;asements and pro!its - prendre are examples of incorporeal hereditaments as are hereditary titles such as those common in the =nited .ingdom. Indefeasible A right or title in property that cannot be made void, defeated or canceled by any past event, error or omission in the title. For example, certificates of title issued under a !orrens land titles system is said to be "indefeasible" because the government warrants that no interest burdens the title other than those on the certificate. !his ma"es long and expensive title searches unnecessary. Indictable offence An offence which, in 2anada, is more serious than those which can proceed by summary conviction. !his is the 2anadian e%uivalent to the =$A "felony". 8urder and treason are examples of crimes committed in 2anada which would be indictable offences. !hese crimes are usually tried by federally6appointed 7udges and carry heavy sentences. Indictment =$A' a formal accusation returned by a 3rand Dury, that charges a person with a serious crime. It is on the basis of an indictment that an accused person must stand trial. Infanticide 8urder of an infant soon after its birth. In7unction

A court order that prohibits a party from doing something (restrictive in7unction or compels them to do something (mandatory in7unction . .n li ine &atin' at the beginning or on the threshold. A motion "in limine" is a motion that is tabled by one of the parties at the very beginning of the legal procedures. .n pari delicto &atin' both parties are e%ually at fault. Actually, the usual use of this phrase is " in pari delicto) potior est conditio possidentis" which means that where both parties in a dispute are e%ually at wrong, the person in possession of the contested property will retain it (ie. the law will not intervene . .n persona &atin' All legal rights are either in persona or in re . An in persona right is a personal right attached to a specific person. .n re rights are property rights and enforceable against the entire world. .n re &atin' All legal rights are either in persona or in re . .n re rights are proprietary in nature( related to the ownership of property and not based on any personal relationship, as is the case with in personam rights. Insolvent A person not able to pay his or her debts as they become due. "Insolvency" is a prere%uisite to ban"ruptcy. .nter alia &atin' "among other things", "for example" or "including". &egal drafters would use it to precede a list of examples or samples covered by a more general descriptive statement. $ometimes they use an inter alia list to ma"e absolutely sure that users of the document understand that the general description covers a certain element (which was covered in the general description anyway without, in any way, restricting the scope of the general element to include other things that were not singled out in the inter alia list. Interim order A temporary court order( intended to be of limited duration, usually 7ust until the court has had an opportunity of hearing the full case and ma"e a final order. Interlineation An addition of something to a document after it has been signed. $uch additions are ignored unless they are initialed by the signatories and, if applicable, witnesses (eg. wills . Interlocutory @roceedings ta"en during the course of, and incidental to a trial. ;xamples include procedures or applications made which are to assist a case in preparing its case or of executing 7udgment once obtained (eg. garnishment or 7udicial sale . !hese decisions intervene after the start of a suit and decide some issue other than the final decision itself. Interlocutory in7unction An in7unction which lasts only until the end of the trial during which the in7unction was sought. Interloper A person who, without legal right, runs a business (eg. without mandatory licenses , or who wrongfully interferes or intercepts another#s business. International law A combination of treaties and customs which regulates the conduct of states amongst themselves. !he highest 7udicial authority of international law is the International 2ourt of Dustice and the administrative authority is the =nited Eations. .nter partes &atin' between parties. .ntestate Dying without a will. .nter vivos &atin' from one living person to another living person. For example, an inter vivos trust is one which the settlor sets up to ta"e effect while he or she is still alive. It can be contrasted with the

testamentary trust, which is to ta"e effect only upon the settlor#s death. Another example is the sale of a life estate which can only occur between persons living( i.e. inter vivos. Inure !o ta"e effect, to result( to come into operation. Islamic law !he law according to the 8uslim faith and as interpreted from the .oran. Islamic law is probably best "nown for deterrent punishment, which is the basis of the Islamic criminal system and the fact that there is no separation of church and state. =nder Islamic law, the religion of Islam and the government are one. Islamic law is controlled, ruled and regulated by the Islamic religion. Islamic law purports to regulate all public and private behavior including personal hygiene, diet, sexual conduct, and child rearing. Islamic law now prevails in countries all over the middle east and elsewhere covering twenty per cent of the world#s population.

Dactitation A false boast designed to increase standing at the expense of another. !his used to form the basis of an ancient legal petition called "7actitation of marriage" wherein a person could be ordered by the courts to cease claims of being married to a certain person when, in fact, they were not married. !he tort of slander of title is a form of 7actitation. D. D. Abbreviation for "7uris doctor" or "doctor of 7urisprudence" and the formal name given to the university law degree in the =nited $tates. It is a prere%uisite to most bar admission exams. Doint and several liability &iability of more than one person for which each person may be sued for the entire amount of damages done by all. Doint custody A child custody decision which means that both parents share 7oint legal custody and 7oint physical custody. !his is not very common and many professionals have ta"en to referring to "7oint legal custody but sole maternal physical custody" as "7oint custody". Doint tenancy 4hen two or more persons are e%ually owners of some property. !he uni%ue aspect of 7oint tenancy is that as the 7oint tenancy owners die, their shares accrue to the surviving owner(s so that, eventually, the entire share is held by one person. A valid 7oint tenancy is said to re%uire the "four unities"' unity of interest (each 7oint tenant must have an e%ual interest including e%uality of duration and extent , unity of title (the interests must arise from the same document , unity of possession (each 7oint tenant must have an e%ual right to occupy the entire property and unity of time' the interests of the 7oint tenants must arise at the same time. Dudicial review 4hen a court decision is appealed, it is "nown as an "appeal." /ut there are many administrative agencies or tribunals which ma"e decisions or deliver government services of one sort or another, the decisions of which can also be "appealed." In many cases, the "appeal" from administrative agencies is "nown as "7udicial review" which is essentially a process where a court of law is as"ed to rule on the appropriateness of the administrative agency or tribunal#s decision. Dudicial review is a fundamental principle of administrative law. A distinctive feature of 7udicial review is that the "appeal" is not usually limited to errors in law but may be based on alleged errors on the part of the administrative agency on findings of fact. /ure &atin, from 9oman law' by right, under legal authority or by the authority of the law. A variation, "7uris" means "of right" or "of the law." $ee 7urisprudence below which means "science of the law." Durisdiction 9efers to a court#s authority to 7udge over a situation usually ac%uired in one of three ways' over acts committed in a defined territory (eg. the 7urisdiction of the $upreme 2ourt of Australia is limited to acts committed or originating in Australia , over certain types of cases (the 7urisdiction

of a ban"ruptcy court is limited to ban"ruptcy cases , or over certain persons (a military court has 7urisdiction limited to actions of enlisted personnel . Durisprudence !echnically, 7urisprudence means the "science of law". $tatutes articulate the bland rules of law, with only rare reference to factual situations. !he actual application of these statutes to facts is left to 7udges who consider not only the statute but also other legal rules which might be relevant to arrive at a 7udicial decision( hence, the "science". !hus, 7urisprudence" has come to refer to case law, or the legal decisions which have developed and which accompany statutes in applying the law against situations of fact. Dury A group of citi5ens randomly selected from the general population and brought together to assist 7ustice by deciding which version, in their opinion, constitutes "the truth" given different evidence by opposing parties. /us &atin' word which, in 9oman law, meant the law or a right. Also spelt "ius" in some ;nglish translations. For example, public law was called "7us publicum" and private law was called "7us privatum." /us spatiandi et anendi &atin' referring to a legal right of way, and to en7oyment, granted to the public but only for the purposes of recreation or education, such as upon par"s or public s%uares. :ery similar to an easement of which some courts have said a "us spatiandi is a special type. Dustice Fairness. A state of affairs in which conduct or action is both fair and right, given the circumstances. In law, it more specifically refers to the paramount obligation to ensure that all persons are treated fairly. &itigants "see" 7ustice" by as"ing for compensation for wrongs committed against them( to right the ine%uity such that, with the compensation, a wrong has been righted and the balance of "good" or "virtue" over "wrong" or "evil" has been corrected. ! "in A blood or marriage relative( as in "next of "in" refers to the closest relative. " &aches A legal doctrine whereby those who ta"e too long to assert a legal right, lose their entitlement to compensation. 4hen you claim that a person#s legal suit against you is not valid because of this, you would call it "estoppel by laches". &andlord A land or building owner who has leased the land, the building or a part of the land or building, to another person. &arceny An old ;nglish criminal and common law offence covering the unlawful or fraudulent removal of another#s property without the owner#s consent. !he offence of theft now covers most cases of larceny. /ut larceny is wider than theft as it includes the ta"ing of property of another person by whatever means (by theft, overtly , by fraud, by tric"ery, etc. if an intent exists to convert that property to one#s own use against the wishes of the owner. &aw All the rules of conduct that have been approved by the government and which are in force over a certain territory and which must be obeyed by all persons on that territory (eg. the "laws" of Australia . :iolation of these rules could lead to government action such as imprisonment or fine, or private action such as a legal 7udgement against the offender obtained by the person in7ured by the action prohibited by law. $ynonymous to act or statute although in common usage, "law"

refers not only to legislation or statutes but also to the body of unwritten law in those states which recogni5e common law. &awyer A person that has been trained in the law and that has been certified to give legal advice or to represent others in litigation. Also "nown as a "barrister ? solictor" or an attorney. &eading %uestion A %uestion which suggests an answer( usually answerable by "yes" or "no". For example' "Did you see David at , p.m.K" !hese are forbidden to ensure that the witness is not coached by their lawyer through his or her testimony. !he proper form would be' "At what time did you see DavidK" &eading %uestions are only acceptable in cross6examination or where a witness is declared hostile. &ease A special "ind of contract between a property owner and a person wanting temporary en7oyment and use of the property, in exchange for rent paid to the property owner. 4here the property is land, a building, or parts of either, the property owner is called a landlord and the person that contracts to receive the temporary en7oyment and use is called a tenant. &easehold 9eal property held under a lease. &egal custody A child custody decision which entails the right to ma"e, or participate in, the significant decisions affecting a child#s health and welfare (compare with physical custody and 7oint custody . &egislation 4ritten and approved laws. Also "nown as "statutes" or "acts." In constitutional law, one would tal" of the "power to legislate" or the "legislative arm of government" referring to the power of political bodies (eg' house of assembly, 2ongress, @arliament to write the laws of the land. &iability Any legal obligation, either due now or at some time in the future. It could be a debt or a promise to do something. !o say a person is "liable" for a debt or wrongful act is to indicate that they are the person responsible for paying the debt or compensating the wrongful act. &ibel Defamation by writing such as in a newspaper or a letter. &iberal construction A form of construction which allows a 7udge to consider other factors when deciding the meaning of a phrase or document. For example, faced with an ambiguous article in a statute, a liberal construction would allow a 7udge to consider the purpose and ob7ect of a statute before deciding what the article actually means. &icense A special permission to do something on, or with, somebody else#s property which, were it not for the license, could be legally prevented or give rise to legal action in tort or trespass. A common example is allowing a person to wal" across your lawn which, if it were not for the license, would constitute trespass. &icenses are revocable at will (unless supported by a contract and, as such, differs from an easement (the latter conveying a legal interest in the land . &icenses which are not based on a contract and which are fully revocable are called "simple" or "bare" licenses. A common example is the shopping mall to which access by the public is on the basis of an implied license. &ien A property right which remains attached to an ob7ect that has been sold, but not totally paid for, until complete payment has been made. It may involve possession of the ob7ect until the debt is paid or it may be registered against the ob7ect (especially if the ob7ect is real estate . =ltimately, a lien can be enforced by a court sale of the property to which it attached and then the debt is paid off from the proceeds of the sale. &ife estate A right to use and to en7oy land and<or structures on land only for the life of the life tenant. !he estate reverts bac" to the grantor (or to some other person , at the death of the person to whom it is given. A property right to last only for the life of the life tenant is called the estate "pur sa vie." If it is for the duration of the life of a third party, it is called an estate "pur autre vie". !he rights of

the life tenant are restricted to conduct which does not permanently change the land or structures upon it. &ife tenant !he beneficiary of a life estate. &imited partner A uni%ue colleague in a partnership relationship who has agreed to be liable only to the extent of his (or her investment. &imited partners, though, have no right to manage the partnership. &imited partners are usually 7ust investors or promoters who see" the tax benefits of a partnership &imitrophe Ad7acent, bordering or contiguous. &ineal descendant A person who is a direct descendant such as a child to his or her natural parent. &i%uidation !he selling of all the assets of a debtor and the use of the cash proceeds of the sale to pay off creditors. Lis pendens &atin' a dispute or matter which is the sub7ect of ongoing or pending litigation. @oliticians will sometimes refuse to discuss a matter or an issue which is "lis pendens" because they do not want their comments to be perceived as an attempt to influence a court of law. &iteral construction A form of construction which does not allow evidence extrapolated beyond the actual words of a phrase or document but, rather, ta"es a phrase or document at face value, giving effect only to the actual words used. Also "nown as "strict" or "strict and literal" construction. 2ontrasts with liberal construction (which allows for the input from other factors such as the purpose of the document being interpreted . &itigation A dispute is in "litigation" ( or being "litigated" when it has become the sub7ect of a formal court action or law suit. &ivery Delivery. An archaic legal word from the feudal system referring to the actual legal transmission of possession of an ob7ect to another. For example, a "night would obtain an estate in land as tenure in exchange for serving in the "ing#s army for HI days a year. !he "ing would give exclusive possession of the land, (i.e. "livery" to the "night. A writ of livery also developed which allowed persons to sue for possession of land under the feudal system. &ivery (or "delivery" of the land was important in completing legal possession or, as it was "nown in the feudal system, seisin. &iving will A document that sets out guidelines for dealing with life6sustaining medical procedures in the eventuality of the signatory#s sudden debilitation. &iving wills would, for example, inform medical staff not to provide extraordinary life6preserving procedures on their bodies if they are incapable of expressing themselves and suffering from an incurable and terminal condition. &&./., &.8. or &&.D. !he &atin abbreviations for the three classes of law degrees' the regular bachelor degree in law (&&./. , the masters degree in law (&&.8. and the doctorate in law (&&.D. . !hese are basic prere%uisites to admission to the practice of law in many states. Locus &atin for "the place." For example, lawyers tal" of the "locus delicti" as the pace where a criminal offense was commited or "loco parentis" to refer to a person who stands in the place of a parent such as a step6parent in a common law relationship. &ong arm statutes ;ach court is bound to a territorial 7urisdiction and does not normally have 7urisdiction over persons that reside outside of that 7urisdiction. For example, a court in $cotland would not normally have 7urisdiction over a resident of Ireland. &ong6arm statutes are a tool which gives a court 7urisdiction over a person even though the person no longer resides in the territory limits of the court. For example, =IF$A allows a court to have 7urisdiction over a non6resident support payor.

# ,agna &arta 2harter to which subscribed .ing Dohn of ;ngland on Dune *-, *-*C in which a basic set of limits were set on the .ing#s powers. .ing Dohn had ruled tyrannically. 1is barons rebelled and committed themselves to war with .ing Dohn unless he agreed to the 2harter. 1eld to be the precursor of habeas corpus as Article ,+ of the ,agna &arta held that no man shall be "imprisoned, exiled or destroyed ... except by lawful 7udgment of his peers or by the law of the land". 2lic" here to see the full text of the 8agna 2arta. 8aintenance 9efers to the obligation of one person to contribute, in part or in whole, to the cost of living of another person. 8aintenance is usually expressed in a currency amount per month as in "GHCI a month maintenance." $ome countries prefer the words "support" (spousal or child or "alimony" but they all mean the same thing. 8alfeasance Doing something which is illegal. 2ompare with misfeasance and nonfeasance. 8andamus A writ which commands an individual, organi5ation (eg. government , administrative tribunal or court to perform a certain action, usually to correct a prior illegal action or a failure to act in the first place. 8anslaughter Accidental homicide or homicide which occurs without an intent to "ill, and which does not occur during the commission of another crime or under extreme provocation. 8aritime law A very specific body of law peculiar to transportation by water, seamen and harbors. 8arriage !he state6recogni5ed, voluntary and exclusive contract for the lifelong union of two persons. 8ost countries do not recogni5e marriage between same6sex couples or polygamous marriages. 8assachusetts trust A uni%ue way to organi5e a business where the property is bought by, or transferred to, a trustee (such as a trust company and the trustee issues trust "units", which the investors, or their designates, hold as beneficiaries. !his is a common way to structure a large real estate purchase. 8atrimony !he legal state of being married. ;cclesiastics tal" of the "holy" state of matrimony. 8ediation !he most popular form of alternative dispute resolution (AD9 , mediation involves the appointment of a mediator who acts as a facilitator assisting the parties in communicating, essentially negotiating a settlement. !he mediator does not ad7udicate the issues in dispute or to force a compromise( only the parties, of their own volition, can shift their position in order to achieve a settlement. !he result of a successful mediation is called a "settlement." 2ompare with arbitration. 8)= Abbreviation fo "8emorandum of =nderstanding." A document which, if meeting the other criteria, can be, in law, a contract. 3enerally, in the world of commerce or international negotiations, a 8)= is considered to be a preliminary document( not a comprehensive agreement between two parties but rather an interim or partial agreement on some elements, in some cases a mere agreement in principle, on which there has been accord. 8ost 8)=#s imply that something more is eventually expected. ,ens rea &atin for "guilty mind." 8any serious crimes re%uire the proof of "mens rea" before a person can be convicted. In other words, the prosecution must prove not only that the accused committed the offence but that he (or she did it "nowing that it was prohibited( that their act (or omission was done with an intent to commit a crime. 8inor

A person who is legally underage. It varies between -* and *A years of age. ;ach state sets an age threshold at which time a person is invested with all legal rights as an adult. For many new adults, this may mean access to places serving alcohol and the right to purchase and consume alcohol, smo"e cigarettes and drive a car. /ut there are many other legal rights which a minor does not have such as, in some states, the right to own land, to sign a contract or to get married. 8inutes !he official record of a meeting. $ome minutes include a summary (not verbatim of the discussion along with any resolutions. )ther minutes 7ust contain a record of the decisions. 8inutes start off with the name of the organi5ation, the place and date of the meeting and the name of those person#s present. 8inutes are prepared by the corporate secretary and signed by either the president or secretary. 8iranda warning Also "nown as the "8iranda 9ule, this is the name given to the re%uirement that police officers, in the =.$.A., must warn suspects upon arrest that they have the right to remain silent, that any statement that they ma"e could be used against them in a court of law, that they have the right to contact a lawyer and that if they cannot afford a lawyer, that one will be provided before any %uestioning is so desired. Failure to issue the 8iranda warning results in the evidence so obtained to not be admissible in the court. !he warning became a national police re%uirement when ordered by the =$ $upreme 2ourt in the *+00 case ,iranda v. Arizona and that is how it got the name. 8isdemeanor (=$A A crime of lesser seriousness than a felony where the punishment might be a fine or prison for less than one year. 8isfeasance Improperly doing something which a person has the legal right to do. 2ompare with malfeasance and nonfeasance. 8is67oinder 4hen a person has been named as a party to a law suit when that person should not have been added. 4hen this is asserted, a court will usually accommodate a re%uest to amend the court documents to stri"e, or substitute for, the name of the mis67oined party. 2ompare with non67oinder. 8isrepresentation A false and material statement which induces a party to enter into a contract. !his is a ground for rescission of the contract. 8istrial A partial or complete trial which is found to be null and void and of no effect because of some irregularity. !he sudden end of trial before it would ordinarily end because of some reason which invalidates it. )nce a mistrial is declared, the situation is as if the trial had never occurred. $ome common reasons for a mistrial include a deadloc"ed 7ury, the death of a 7uror or a serious procedural and pre7udicial mista"e made at the trial which cannot be corrected. 8itigating circumstances !hese are facts that, while not negating an offence or wrongful action, tend to show that the defendant may have had some grounds for acting the way he<she did. For example, assault, though provo"ed, is still assault but provocation may constitute mitigating circumstances and allow for a lesser sentence. 8itigation of damages A person who sues another for damages has a responsibility to minimi5e those damages, as far as reasonable. For example, in a wrongful dismissal suit, the person that was fired should ma"e some effort to find another 7ob so as to minimi5e the economic damage on themselves. ,odus operandi &atin' method of operation. =sed by law enforcement officials to refer to a criminal#s preferred method of committing crime. For example, car thief "3eorge" may have a brea" and enter techni%ue that leaves a long scratch mar" on the door. =pon discovery of a stolen vehicle with such a mar", the law enforcement officials might include "3eorge" in the list of suspects because the evidence at the crime scene is consistent with his "modus operandi." ,oiet(

1alf of something. For example, it can be said that 7oint tenants hold a moiety in property. In old criminal law, there were "moiety acts" which allowed half of the fine money to be handed over to the informer. 8onopoly A commercial advantage en7oyed by only one or a select few companies in which only those companies can trade in a certain area. $ome monolopoies are legal, such as those temporarily created by patents. )thers are secretly built by conspiracy between two or more companies and are prohibited by law. 8oot Also called a "moot point"' a side issue, problem or %uestion which does not have to be decided to resolve the main issues in a dispute. 8oot court Fictional or hypothetical trial, usually hosted by law schools, as training for future barristers or litigators. 8oratorium !he temporary suspension of legal action against a person. 8ortgage An interest given on a piece of land, in writing, to guarantee the payment of a debt or the execution of some action. It automatically becomes void when the debt is paid or the action is executed. In some 7urisdictions, it entails a conveyance of the land until the debt is paid in full. !he person lending the money and receiving the mortgage is called the mortgagee( the person who concedes a mortgage as security upon their property is called a mortgagor. 8urder Intentional homicide (the ta"ing of another person#s life , without legal 7ustification or provocation. $ Eation A group or race of people that share history, traditions and culture. !he =nited .ingdom is comprised of four nations or national groups' the ;nglish, $cots, Irish and 4elsh. 2anada includes French62anadians, ;nglish62anadians and a number of aboriginal nations. !hus, states may be comprised of one or several nations. It is common ;nglish to use the word "nation" when referring to what is "nown in law as "states." Eational treatment A tenet of international trade agreements whereby nations must afford imported goods the same treatment that they afford domestic or "national" products (no discrimination . Eatural 7ustice A word used to refer to situations where audi alteram partem (the right to be heard and nemo 7udex in parte sua (no person may 7udge their own case apply. !he principles of natural 7ustice were derived from the 9omans who believed that some legal principles were "natural" or self6 evident and did not re%uire a statutory basis. !hese two basic legal safeguards govern all decisions by 7udges or government officials when they ta"e %uasi67udicial or 7udicial decisions. E2ED Agreement An international trade instrument( "non circumvention<non disclosure agreement" used in the preliminary stages of a business transaction where the $eller and /uyer do not "now each other, but are brought into contact with each other by one or more intermediaries (also "nown as bro"ers or middlemen , to fulfill the transaction. Eon 2ircumvention<Eon Disclosure Agreements ensure that the intermediaries in the transaction are not cicumvented and excluded from the transaction by the /uyer and<or $eller and<or the other intermediaries. 8any trade transactions are chain6li"e. @roduct flows li"e this' seller6bro"er6bro"er6bro"er6buyer. !he bro"ers in the middle use E2EDs to ensure that they are not circumvented by anyone else in the chain( also, to ensure that information on the other parties in the chain is not disclosed to outside parties. !hey are valid for a specified term( usually two years. Eegligence

Eot only are people responsible for the intentional harm they cause, but their failure to act as a reasonable person would be expected to act in similar circumstances (i.e. "negligence" will also give rise to compensation. Eegligence, if it causes in7ury to another, can give rise to a liability suit under tort. Eegligence is always assessed having regards to the circumstances and to the standard of care which would reasonably be expected of a person in similar circumstances. ;verybody has a duty to ensure that their actions do not cause harm to others. /etween negligence and the intentional act there lies yet another, more serious type of negligence which is called gross negligence. 3ross negligence is any action or an omission in rec"less disregard of the conse%uences to the safety or property of another. $ee also contributory negligence and comparative negligence. Eegotiate !o communicate on a matter of disagreement between two parties, with a view to first listen to the other party#s perspective and to then attempt to arrive at a resolution by consensus. Ne o "ude# in parte sua &atin and a fundamental principle of natural 7ustice which states that no person can 7udge a case in which he or she is party. 8ay also be called ne o "ude# in sua causa or ne o debet esse "ude# in propria causa. Eext of "in !he nearest blood relative of a deceased. !he expression has come to describe those persons most related to a dead person and therefore set to inherit the decesased#s property. Eolo contendere &atin for "I will not defend it." =sed primarily in criminal proceedings whereby the defendant declines to refute the evidence of the prosecution. In some 7urisdictions, this response by the defendant has same effect as a plea of guilty. Non est !actu &atin for "not his deed" and a special defense in contract law to allow a person to avoid having to respect a contract that she or he signed because of certain reasons such as a mista"e as to the "ind of contract. For example, a person who signs away the deed to a house, thin"ing that the document signed was only a guarantee for another person#s debt, might be able to plead non est !actu in a court and on that basis get the court to void the contract. Eonfeasance Eot doing something that a person should be doing. 2ompare with malfeasance and misfeasance. Eon67oinder 4hen a person who should have been made a party to a legal proceedings has been forgotten or omitted. !his is usually addressed by as"ing the court to amend documents and including the forgotten party to the proceedings. It is the opposite of mis67oinder. Eotary Also "nown as "notary public"' a legal officer with specific 7udicial authority to attest to legal documents usually with an official seal. 8ost countries do not have notaries vesting administrative legal authority in lawyers or court officers. Durisdictions which do have notaries include the 2anadian provinces of Juebec and /ritish 2olumbia and Australia. Eotwithstanding In spite of, even if, without regard to or impediment by other things. Eovation $ubstitute a new debt for an old debt cancelling the old debt. (2ompare with "subrogation" Nudu pactu A contract6law term which stands for those agreements which are without consideration, such as a unilateral underta"ing, which may bind a person morally, but not under contract law, in those 7urisdictions which still re%uire consideration. Euisance ;xcessive or unlawful use of one#s property to the extent of unreasonable annoyance or inconvenience to a neighbor or to the public. Euisance is a tort. Nunc pro tunc &atin' now for then. It refers to the doing of something late (after it should have been done in the first place , with effect as if it had been done on time.

% )ath A religious or solemn affirmation to tell the truth or to ta"e a certain action. Obiter dictu &atin' an observation by a 7udge on a matter not specifically before the court or not necessary in determining the issue before the court( a side opinion which does not form part of the 7udgment for the purposes of stare decisis 8ay also be referred to as "dicta" or "dictum." )bligee !he person who is to receive the benefit of someone else#s obligation( that "someone else" being the obligor. Also called a "promisee." $ome countries refer to the recipient of family support as an "obligee". )bligor A person who is contractually or legally, committed or obliged, to providing something to another person( the recipient of the benefit being called the obligee. Also "nown as the "promisor." )bscenity An elusive concept used in the context of criminal law to describe a publication which is illegal because it is morally corruptive. !he common law has struggled with this word as society has evolved towards greater tolerance of alternative sexual behavior. 1istorically, it included any lewd material which had no apparent social value, which was offensive to contemporary community standards of decency, and even material which tended to invo"e impure sexual thoughts. As an example of a modern definition, 2anada has defined obscene material as any publication a dominant characteristic of which is the undue exploitation of sex, or of sex and crime, horror, cruelty or violence. )bstructing 7ustice An act which tends to impede or thwart the administration of 7ustice. ;xamples include trying to bribe a witness or 7uror or providing law enforcement officers with information "nown to be false. )ffense A crime( any act which contravenes the criminal law of the state in which it occurs. $pelled "offence" in 2ommonwealth countries. )ffer A explicit proposal to contract which, if accepted, completes the contract and binds both the person that made the offer and the person accepting the offer to the terms of the contract. $ee also "acceptance". )mbudsman A person whose occupation consists of investigating customer complaints against his or her employer. 8any governments have ombudsmen who will investigate citi5en complaints against government services. )mnibus bill A draft law before a legislature which contains more than one substantive matter, or several minor matters which have been combined into one bill, ostensibly for the sa"e of convenience. !he omnibus bill is an "all or nothing" tactic. )nus &atin' the burden. It is usually used in the context of evidence. !he onus of proof in criminal cases lies with the state. It is the state that has the burden of proving beyond reasonable doubt. In civil cases, the onus of proof lies with the plaintiff who must prove his case by balance of probabilities. $o "onus" refers both to the party with the burden, and to the scope of that burden, the latter depending whether the context is criminal or civil. )pen6ended agreement An agreement or contract which does not have an ending date but which will continue for as long as certain conditions, identified in the agreement, exist. )rder A formal written direction given by a member of the 7udiciary( a court decision without reasons. )rdinance

An executive decision of a government which has not been sub7ected to a legislative assembly (contrary to a statute . It is often detailed and not, as would be a statute, of general wording or application. !his term is in disuse in many 7urisdictions and the words "regulations" or "bylaws" are preferred. )rphan A person who has lost one or both of his or her natural parents. )ut6of6court settlement An agreement between two litigants to settle a matter privately before the 2ourt has rendered its decision. & @aralegal A person who is not a lawyer or is not acting in that capacity but who provides a limited number of legal services. ;ach country differs in the authority it gives paralegals in exercising what traditionally would be lawyers# wor". @ardon A pardon is a government decision to allow a person who has been convicted of a crime, to be free and absolved of that conviction, as if never convicted. It is typically used to remove a criminal record against a good citi5en for a small crime that may have been committed during adolescence or young adulthood. Although procedures vary from one state to another, the re%uest for a pardon usually involves a lengthy period of time of impeccable behavior and a reference chec". 3enerally spea"ing, the more serious the crime, the longer the time re%uirement for excellent behavior. In the =$A, the power to pardon for federal offenses belongs to the @resident. 0arens patriae &atin' A /ritish common law creation whereby the courts have the right to ma"e unfettered decisions concerning people who are not able to ta"e care of themselves. For example, court can ma"e custody decisions regarding a child or an insane person, even without statute law to allow them to do so, based on their residual, common law6based parens patriae 7urisdiction. 0ari delicto &atin for "of e%ual fault." For example, if two parties complain to a 7udge of the non6performance of a contract by the other, the 7udge could refuse to provide a remedy to either of them because of "pari delicto"' a finding that they were e%ually at fault in causing the contract#s breach. 0ari passu &atin' ;%uitably and without preference. !his term is often used in ban"ruptcy proceedings where creditors are said to be "pari passu" which means that they are all e%ual and that distribution of the assets will occur without preference between them. @arole An early release from incarceration in which the prisoner promises to heed certain conditions (usually set by a parole board and under the supervision of a parole officer. Any violation of those conditions would result in the return of the person to prison. @arricide .illing one#s father or another a family member or close relative. @artnership A business organi5ation in which two or more persons carry on a business together. @artners are each fully liable for all the debts of the enterprise but they also share the profits exclusively. 8any states have laws which regulate partnerships and may, for example, re%uire some form of registration and allow partnership agreements. )ne of the basic advantages of partnerships is that they tend to allow business losses to be deducted from personal income for tax purposes (see also limited partner . @ar value shares $hares issued by a company which have a minimum price. $hares which are without par value or "non par value shares" are shares which may be sold at whatever price the company#s board of directors decides. @atent

An exclusive privilege granted to an inventor to ma"e, use or sale an invention for a set number of years (eg. in 2anada, *B years . Eormally, no one company can retain a monopoly over a product or service because this is considered to economically harmful to society. /ut as a financial incentive to potential inventors, the state grants a temporary monopoly to that inventor through the issuance of a patent. @aternity /eing a father. "@aternity suits" are launched when a man denies paternity of a child born out of wedloc". Eew technology of DEA testing can establish paternity thus obliging the father to provide child support. @ayee !he person to whom payment is addressed or given. In family law, the term usually refers to the person who receives or to whom support or maintenance is owed. In commercial law, the term refers to the person to whom a bill of exchange is made payable. )n a regular chec", the space preceded with the words "pay to the order of" identifies the payee. @ayor !he person who is ma"ing the payment(s . Again, in the context of family law, the word would typically refer to the person to a support or maintenance debtor. In commercial law, the word refers to the person who ma"es the payment on a chec" or bill of exchange. @edophile A person afflicted with "pedophilia", a sexual perversion in which children are preferred as sexual partner. @en register An electronic surveillance device which attaches to a phone line and which registers every number dialed from a specific telephone. !his surveillance device is not as effective as wire6tapping. 0endente lite &atin' during litigation. For example, if the validity of a will is challenged, a court might appoint an administrator pendente lite with limited powers to do such things as may be necessary to preserve the assets of the deceased until a hearing can be convened on the validity of the will. Another example is an in7unction pendente lite, to last only during the litigation and, again, designed simply to preserve something until the decisive court order is issued. @ercolating water 4ater which seeps or filters through the ground without any definite channel and not part of the flow of any waterway. !he best example is rain water. @eremptory Final or absolute or not open to challenge. An ad7ournment to a date which is set to be "peremptory" means that ther matter will go ahead on that date with no further applications for ad7ournment to be granted. @er7ury An intentional lie given while under oath or in a sworn affidavit. @erpetuating testimony !he recording of evidence when it is feared that the person with that evidence may soon die or disappear and that this person#s evidence, if recorded, could then be used in the future to prevent a possible in7ustice or to support a future claim of property. @erpetuity Forever( of unlimited duration. !here is a strong bias in the law against things that are to last in perpetuity. 9ights that are to last forever are said to hinder commerce as an impediment to the circulation of property. !hat is why there is a rule against perpetuities. @erson An entity with legal rights and existence including the ability to sue and be sued, to sign contracts, to receive gifts, to appear in court either by themselves or by lawyer and, generally, other powers incidental to the full expression of the entity in law. Individuals are "persons" in law unless they are minors or under some "ind of other incapacity such as a court finding of mental incapacity. 8any laws give certain powers to "persons" which, in almost all instances, includes business organi5ations that have been formally registered such as partnerships, corporations or associations. @ersonal representative

In the law of wills, this is the general name given to the person who administers the estate of a deceased person. !here are two "inds of personal representatives. 4here a person dies without a will, the court must appoint an administrator. 4here a personal representative is named in a will, the personal representative is "nown as an executor. @etition !he formal, written document submitted to a court, and which as"s for the court to redress what is described in the petition as being an in7ustice of some "ind. @etitions set out the facts, identifies the law under which the court is being as"ed to intervene, and ends with a suggested course of action for the court to consider (eg. payment of damages to the plaintiff . @etitions are normally filed by lawyers because courts insist on complicated forms but most states will allow citi5ens to file petitions provided they conform to the court#s form. $ome states do not use the word "petition" and, instead, might refer to an "application", a "complaint" or the "writ." @ettifogger A petty or underhanded lawyer or an attorney who sustains a professional livelihood on disreputable or dishonorable business. !he word has also ta"en on an common usage definition referring to anyone prone to %uibbling over details. @etty offense A minor crime and for which the punishment is usually 7ust a small fine or short term of imprisonment. @hysical custody A child custody decision which grants the right to organi5e and administer the day to day residential care of a child. !his is usually combined with legal custody. @ic"et !o ob7ect publicly, on or ad7acent to the employer#s premises, to an employer#s labor practices, goods or services. !he most common form of pic"eting is patrolling with signs. @illory A medieval punishment and restraining device made of moveable and ad7ustable boards through which a prisoner#s head or limbs were pinned. @illories were often fixed to the ground in a city#s main s%uare and on mar"et days, local criminals were exhibited. 2iti5ens were given license to throw things at the prisoners. As such, this method of punishment was not 7ust humiliating but often led to serious in7ury or death. For the government, this was a public statement serving to warn others of the conse%uences of crime. ;ngland abolished the pillory as a form of punishment in *A,B. @laintiff !he person who brings an case to court( who sues. 8ay also be called "claimant", "petitioner" or "applicant. !he person being sued is generally called the "defendant" or the "respondent." @lea bargaining Eegotiations during a criminal trial, between an accused person and a prosecutor in which the accused agrees to admit to a crime (sometimes a lesser crime than the one set out in the original charge , avoiding the expense of a public trial, in exchange for which the prosecutor agrees to as" for a more lenient sentence than would have been recommended if the case had of proceeded to full trial. !he normal rule of law is that 7udges are not bound by plea bargains although, as past lawyers themselves, they are generally aware of plea bargains and a reasonable recommendation of a prosecutor on sentencing is always heavily considered. @leadings !hat part of a party#s case in which he or she formally sets out the facts and legal arguments which support that party#s position. @leadings can be in writing or they can be made verbally to a court, during the trial. @oach !o "ill or ta"e an animal or fish from the property of another. @olygamy /eing married to more than one person. Illegal in most countries. @olygraph A lie6detector machine which records even the slightest variation in blood pressure, body temperature and respiration as %uestions are put to, and answers elicited from a sub7ect. @ostal rule

A rule of contract law that ma"es an exception to the general rule that an acceptance is only created when communicated directly to the offeror. An acceptance is binding and the contract is said to be perfected when the acceptor places this acceptance in the mail box for return mail even if, in fact, it never reaches the offeror. An *A+- /ritish case summari5ed it as follows' "4here the circumstances are such that it must have been within the contemplation of the parties that, according to the ordinary usages of man"ind, the post might be used as a means of communicating the acceptance of an offer, the acceptance is complete as soon as it is posted." @ower of attorney A document which gives a person the right to ma"e binding decisions for another, as an agent. A power of attorney may be specific to a certain "ind of decision or general, in which the agent ma"es all ma7or decisions for the person who is the sub7ect of the power of attorney. !he person signing the power of attorney is usually referred to, in law, as the donor and the person that would exercise the power of attorney, the donee. 0r1cipe or precipe &atin' used to refer to the actual writ that would be presented to a court cler" to be officially issued on behalf of the court but now mostly refers to the covering letter from the lawyer (or plaintiff which accompanies and formally as"s for the writ to be issued by the court officer. !he precipe is "ept on the court file, but does not accompany the writ when the latter is served on the defendant. 0rae unire An offence against the .ing or @arliament, in old ;nglish law, which led to serious penalties but not capital punishment. @recatory words 4ords that express a wish or a desire rather than a clear command. "@recatory words" are often found in trusts or wills and cause great difficulties when courts try to find the real intention of the settlor or testator, For example, the words "all my property to my wife to be disposed of as she may deem 7ust and prudent in the interest of my family" were found to be "precatory" and did not constitute a trust for family members other than the wife. @recedent A case which establishes legal principles to a certain set of facts, coming to a certain conclusion, and which is to be followed from that point on when similar or identical facts are before a court. @recedent form the basis of the theory of stare decisis which prevent "reinventing the wheel" and allows citi5ens to have a reasonable expectation of the legal solutions which apply in a given situation. @referred shares A share in a company that has some "ind of special right or privilege attached to it, such as that it is distinguished from the company#s common shares. !he most common special right is a preference over holders of common shares when dividends are declared. Another, is for the preferred shares to be redeemable at the option of either the holder or the company. $till another might be to disallow voting rights to preferred shareholders. Depending on the local laws in your state, there may be no limit to the %ualifications a company can attach to preferred shares. For example, a family company may only allow holders of preferred shares to use a recreational property belonging to the company. @reponderance A word describing evidence that persuades a 7udge or 7ury to lean to one side as opposed to the other during the course of litigation. In many states, criminal trials re%uire evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. /ut in civil trials, evidence is re%uired only by preponderance of the evidence. !he 7udge (or 7ury, where applicable will perceive the evidence of one side as outweighing the other based on which side has the most persuasive or impressive evidence. !he strength or "weight" of evidence is not decided by the sheer number of witnesses because the 7udge decides on the credibility of witnesses and give their testimony weight accordingly. !he side with the preponderance of evidence wins the case. @rescription A method of ac%uiring rights through the silence of the legal owner. .nown in common law 7urisdiction as "statute of limitations." 4hen used in a real property context, the term refers to the ac%uisition of property rights, such as an easement, by long and continued use or en7oyment. !he

re%uired duration of continued use or en7oyment, before legal rights are enforceable, is usually written in a state#s law "nown as "statute of limitations." @resumption of advancement A presumption in trust, contract and family law which suggests that property transferred from a parent to a child, or spouse to spouse, is a gift and would defeat any presumption of a resulting trust. 0ri a !acie (&atin A legal presumption which means "on the face of it" or "at first sight". &aw6ma"ers will often use this device to establish that if a certain set of facts are proven, then another fact is established prima facie. For example, proof of mailing a letter is pri a !acie proof that it was received by the person to whom it was addressed and will accepted as such by a court unless proven otherwise. )ther situations may re%uire a pri a !acie case before proceeding to another step in the 7udicial process so that you would have to at least prove then that at first glance, there appears to be a case. @rincipal An agent#s master( the person for whom an agent has received instruction and to whose benefit the agent is expected to perform and ma"e decisions. @rivate law &aw which regulates the relationships between individuals. Family, commercial and labor law are examples of private law because the focus of those "inds of laws is the relationships between individuals or between corporations or organi5ations and individual, with the government a bystander. !hey are the counter part to public law. @rivilege A special and exclusive legal advantage or right such as a benefit, exemption, power or immunity. An example would be the special privileges that some persons have in a ban"ruptcy to recoup their debts from the ban"rupt#s estate before other, non6privileged creditors. @robate !he formal certificate given by a court that certifies that a will has been proven, validated and registered and which, from that point on, gives the executor the legal authority to execute the will. A "probate court" is a name given to the court that has this power to ratify wills. @robation A "ind of punishment given out as part of a sentence which means that instead of 7ailing a person convicted of a crime, a 7udge will order that the person reports to a probation officer regularly and according to a set schedule. It is a criminal offence not to obey a probation order and is cause for being immediately 7ailed. If someone is "on probation", that means that they are presently under such a 2ourt order. !hese orders may have special conditions attached to them such as not to leave the city, drin" alcohol, consume drugs, not to go to a specific place or contact a certain person. 0ro bono @rovided for free. 0ro bono publico means "for the public good." 0ro!it 2 prendre A servitude which resembles an easement and which allows the holder to enter the land of another and to ta"e some natural produce such as mineral deposits, fish or game, timber, crops or pasture. @ro forma As a matter of form( in "eeping with a form or practice. $omething done pro !or a may not be essential but it facilitates future dealings. For example, an invoice might be sent to a purchaser even before the goods are delivered as a matter of business practices. @rohibition A legal restriction against the use of something or against certain conduct. For example, in the *+-Is, both the =$A and 2anada enacted li%uor prohibitions, outlawing the manufacture or use of alcoholic beverages. @romisee A person whom is to be the beneficiary of a promise, an obligation or a contract. $ynonymous to "obligee." @romisor

!he person who has become obliged through a promise (usually expressed in a contract towards another, the intended beneficiary of the promise being referred to as the promisee. Also sometimes referred to a "obligor." @romissory note An unconditional, written and signed promise to pay a certain amount of money, on demand or at a certain defined date in the future. 2ontrary to a bill of exchange, a promissory note is not drawn on any third party holding the payor#s money( it is a direct promise from the payor to the payee. @roperty @roperty is commonly thought of as a thing which belongs to someone and over which a person has total control. /ut, legally, it is more properly defined as a collection of legal rights over a thing. !hese rights are usually total and fully enforceable by the state or the owner against others. It has been said that "property and law were born and die together. /efore laws were made there was no property. !a"e away laws and property ceases." before laws were written and enforced, property had no relevance. @ossession was all that mattered. !here are many classifications of property, the most common being between real property or immoveable property (real estate such as land or buildings and "chattel", or "moveable" (things which are not attached to the land such as a bicycle, a car or a hammer and between public (property belonging to everybody or to the state and private property. @ropin%uity Eearness in place( close6by. Also used to describe relationships as synonymous for ""in." 0ro possessore As a possessor. For example, a person may exercise certain rights over a thing not as owner but pro possessore' as a person who possesses, but does not own, the thing. @ropound !o offer a document as being authentic or valid. =sed mostly in the law of wills( to propound a will means to ta"e legal action, as part of probate, including a formal inspection of the will, by the court. 0ro rata &atin' to divide proportionate to a certain rate or interest. For example, if a company with two shareholders, one with -CL and the other with BCL of the shares, received a gift of G*I,III and desired to split it "pro rata" between the shareholders, the shareholder with -CL of the shares would receive G-,CII and the BCL shareholder, GB,CII. @roprietor )wner. 0ro se &atin' in one#s personal behalf. 2ontrast with pro socio. 0ro socio &atin' on behalf of a partner( not on one#s personal behalf. @rosecute !o bring 7udicial proceedings against a person and to administer them until the conclusion of the court proceedings. &awyers are hired by the government to administer the prosecution of criminal charges in the courts. @rospectus A document in which a corporation sets out the material details of a share or bond issue and inviting the public to invest by purchasing these financial instruments. @rostitute A person who offers sexual intercourse for hire. 0ro te pore &atin' something done temporarily only and not intended to be permanent. @roxy A right which is signed6over to an agent. @roxies are used fre%uently at annual meetings of corporations where the right to exercise a vote is "proxied" from the shareholder to the agent. @ublic domain A term of American copyright law referring to wor"s that are not copyright protected, free for all to use without permission. ;xamples include wor"s that were originally non6copyrightable (items that by their very nature are not eligible for copyright such as ideas, facts or names , copyright that

has been lost or expired, where copyright is owned or authored by the federal government (federal documents and publications are not copyrighted and so are public domain , and those wor"s which have been specifically granted to the public domain. @ublic law !hose laws which regulate (* the structure and administration of the government, (- the conduct of the government in its relations with its citi5ens, (, the responsibilities of government employees and (H the relationships with foreign governments. 3ood examples are criminal and constitutional law. It can be distinguished from private law, which regulates the private conduct between individuals, without direct involvement of the government. For example, an unsolicited punch in the nose would constitute a crime for which the government would prosecute under criminal law but for which there would also be a private legal action possible by the in7ured party under tort law, which is private law although governments can be held responsible under tort law. As you can see, the line is often hard to draw between public and private law. @uisne Dunior or lower in ran", as opposed to the chief 7ustice. For example, there are A puisne 7udges on the $upreme 2ourt of 2anada and a chief 7ustice. @unitive damages $pecial and highly exceptional damages ordered by a court against a defendant where the act or omission which caused the suit, was of a particularly heinous, malicious or highhanded nature. 4here awarded, they are an exception to the rule that damages are to compensate not to punish. !he exact threshold of punitive damages varies from 7urisdiction to 7urisdiction. In some countries, and in certain circumstances, punitive damages might even be available for breach of contract cases but, again, only for the exceptional cases where the court wants to give a strong message to the community that similar conduct will be severely punished. !hey are most common in intentional torts such as rape, battery or defamation. $ome 7urisdictions prefer using the word "exemplary damages" and there is an ongoing legal debate whether there is a distinction to be made between the two and even with the concept of aggravated damages. ' 3uantu &atin' amount or extent. eruit &atin for "as much as is deserved." !his is a legal principle under which a person should not be obliged to pay, nor should another be allowed to receive, more than the value of the goods or services exchanged. Juasi67udicial 9efers to decisions made by administrative tribunals or government officials to which the rules of natural 7ustice apply. In 7udicial decisions, the principles of natural 7ustice always apply. /ut between routine government policy decisions and the traditional court forums lies a hybrid, sometimes called a "tribunal" or "administrative tribunal" and not necessarily presided by 7udges. !hese operate as a government policy6ma"ing body at times but also exercise a licensing, certifying, approval or other ad7udication authority which is "7udicial" because it directly affects the legal rights of a person. $ome law teachers sugest that there is no such thing as a "%uasi6 7udicial" decision or body( the body or decision is either 7udicial or not. 3uid pro %uo &atin' something for something. !he giving of something in exchange for another thing of e%ual value. Juorum !he number of people who must be present at a meeting before business can be conducted. 4ithout "%uorum", decisions are invalid. 8any organi5ations have a %uorum re%uirement to prevent decisions being ta"en without a ma7ority of members present. 3uo warranto 3uantu

&atin and referring to a special legal procedure ta"en to stop a person or organi5ation from doing something for which it may not have the legal authority, by demanding to "now by what right they exercise the controversial authority. ( 9ansom 8oney paid to have a "idnapped person released. 9ape $ex with a woman, other than a wife, without her consent. /ut many states have changed this basic definition to include sex with a minor (with or without consent( also "nown as statutory rape , sex with a man without his consent, or exempting men who force their wives to have sex. 9eal property Immoveable property such as land or a building or an ob7ect that, though at one time a chattel, has become permanently affixed to land or a building. 9ebuttable presumption =sually, every element of a case must be proven to a 7udge or a 7ury. !he exception is a "presumption", which means that if certain other facts are proven, then another fact can be ta"en for granted by the 7udge (or 7ury . For example, in some states, an adult caught having intercourse with a minor is presumed as having "nown that the minor was under6age. 8ost presumptions are "rebuttable", which means that the person against whom the presumption applies may present evidence to the contrary, which then has the effect of nullifying the presumption. !his then deprives the person that tried to use the presumption with the advantage of the "free" evidence and ma"es him present evidence to support the fact which might have been proven by the presumption. 9edemption /uying bac". 4hen a vendor later buys the property bac". A right of redemption gives the vendor the right to buy bac" the property. In some 7urisdictions where a mortgage transfers title to the lender until the mortgage is paid off, the "buying bac"" of the property is "nown as redemption. 9elator An informer( a person who has supplied the facts re%uired for a criminal prosecution or a civil suit. In criminal prosecutions in some states, this would be indicated by the use of the expression e#. rel. as in The 4tate o! &ali!ornia e#. rel. Robert 4 ith v. George 'oe. 9emainder A right to future en7oyment or ownership of real property. !he "left6over" after property has been conveyed first to another party. A remainder interest is what if left6over after a life estate has run its course. 2ontrary to a reversion, a remainder does not go to the grantor or his (or her heirs. 9;8) Abbreviation for "reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders" and the name of the international system of recognition, registration and enforcement of child and spousal support orders between countries which have agreed, between themselves, to enforce each other#s maintenance orders. )riginally created by ;ngland, the international 9;8) system now spreads over many countries. In the =$A, the system is "nown as =IF$A or =9;$A. 9ent !his is the consideration paid by a tenant to a landlord in exchange for the exclusive use and en7oyment of land, a building or a part of a building. =nder normal circumstances, the rent is paid in money and at regular intervals, such as the first of every month. !he word has also come to be used as a verb as in to "rent an apartment", although the proper legal term would be to "lease an apartment." 9eplevin A legal action ta"en to reclaim goods which have been distrained. 9escind !o abrogate or cancel a contract putting the parties in the same position they would have been in had there been no contract. 9escission can occur in one of two ways' either a contract can be set aside (rescinded because of some defect in its formation (such as misrepresentation, duress or

undue influence or it can be set aside by agreement by the parties, for example if they reach a new agreement. Res gestae &atin for "things done." A peculiar rule, used mostly in criminal cases, which allows hearsay if the statement is made during the excitement of the litigated event. For example, the words "stic" #em upM" used during an armed robbery would be admissible in evidence under the res gestae rule. $o, too, would spontaneous statements made by the defendant during or right after the crime. $ome laws even allow res gestae statements to be introduced in evidence in special "inds of prosecutions. For example, in child sexual abuse cases, the statement made by a child to another person may be allowed as evidence even though, technically, it offends the rule against hearsay. !his is to recogni5e the trauma of having a child testify in open court on the sub7ect of her or his abuse. Res gestae evidence usually re%uires a voir dire hearing before it is admissible unless the defense allows it to be put on the trial record unchallenged. Res ipsa lo%uitur A word used in tort to refer to situations where negligence is presumed on the defendant since the ob7ect causing in7ury was in his or her control. !his is a presumption which can be rebutted by showing that the event was an inevitable accident and had nothing to do with the defendant#s responsibility of control or supervision. An example of res ipsa lo%uitur would be getting hit by a roc" which flies off a passing dump truc". !he event itself imputes negligence (res ipsa lo%uitur and can only be defeated if the defendant can show that the event was a total and inevitable accident. Res "udicata &atin' A matter which has already been conclusively decided by a court. 9espondent !he party that "responds to" a claim filed in court against them by a plaintiff. !he more common term is defendant. !he word is also used to refer to the party who wins at the first court level but who must then respond to an appeal launched by the party that lost the case at the first court level (upon appeal, this latter person is called the appelant . Restitutio in integru &atin for restitution to the original position. In contract law, upon breach of contract, the in7ured party may as" the court to reverse the contract and revert the parties to their respective positions before the contract was accepted. /ut if the court finds that restitutio in integru is not possible because of actions or events occurring since the date of acceptance, then the court may order that damages be paid instead. 9estitution =nder ancient ;nglish common law, when a party enforced a court 7udgement and then that 7udgement was overturned on appeal, the appellant could as" the appeal court for "restitution", or financial compensation placing that appellant in the same position as if the original legal decision had not been enforced. A new strain of common law has also developed called "restitution", closely associated with un7ust enrichment, whereby a person is deprived of something of value belonging to them, can as" a court to order "restitution". !he best example is as"ing a court to reverse or correct a payment made in error. 9esulting trust A trust that is presumed by the court from certain situations. $imilar to a constructive trust but for resulting trusts, the court presumes an intention to create a trust( the law assumes that the property is not held by the right person and that the possessor is only holding the property "in trust" for the rightful owner. In constructive trusts, the courts don#t even bother with presuming an intention( they simply impose a trust from the facts. 9etainer A contract between a lawyer and his (or her client, wherein the lawyer agrees to represent and provide legal advice to the client, in exchange for money. !he signed retainer begins the client6 lawyer relationship from which flow many responsibilities and duties, primarily on the lawyer, including to provide accurate legal advice, to monitor limitation dates and to not allow any conflict of interest with the relationship with the client. 9eversion

A future interest left in a transferror or his (or her heirs. A reservation in a real property conveyance that the property reverts bac" to the original owner upon the occurence of a certain event. For example, Dim gives /ob a bulding using the words "to /ob for life". =pon the death of /ob, the property reverts bac" to Dim or to Dim#s heirs. Differs from a remainder in that a remainder ta"es effect by an act of the parties involved. A reversion ta"es effect by operation of the law. Eor is a reversion a "left6over" as is a remainder. 9ather, it reverts the entire property. 9ight of first refusal A right given to a person to be the first person allowed to purchase a certain ob7ect if it is ever offered for sale. !he owner of this right is the first to be offered the designated ob7ect if it is ever to be offered for sale. 9iparian rights $pecial rights of people who own land that runs into a river ban" (a "riparian owner" is a person who owns land that runs into a river . 4hile not an ownership right, riparian rights include the right of access to, and use of the water for domestic purposes (bathing, cleaning and navigating . !he extent of these rights varies from country to country and may include the right to build a wharf outwards to a navigable depth or to ta"e emergency measures to prevent flooding. 9ule against perpetuities A common law rule that prevents suspending the transfer of property for more then -* years or a lifetime plus -* years. For example, if a will proposes the transfer of an estate to some future date, which is uncertain, for either more than -* years after the death of the testator or for the life of a person identified in the will and -* years, the transfer is void. $tatute law exists in many 7urisdictions which supersedes the common law rule. For more information, see the 44&IA article on the "9ule Against @erpetuities." ) $anction !his is a very unusual word with two contradictory meanings. !o "sanction" can mean to ratify or to approve but it can also mean to punish. !he "sanction" of a crime refers to the actual punishment, usually expressed as a fine or 7ail term. $anctuary A special criminal law option available in 8edieval times to persons who had 7ust committed a crime, allowing them to see" refuge in a church or monastery. !here, they could be exempted from the normal prosecution which, in those days, was %uite severe (see, for example, !he &aw#s 1all of 1orrors . /ut the ordeal, even within sanctuary, was no piece of ca"e. !he fugitive had to remain within the walls of the sanctuary, abandon his or her oath to the "ing, followed which they had a short period of time to leave the country. !hey were considered to be "dead", so much so that their land was forfeited to the .ing and their wife considered to be a widow. If they refused to renounce their oath, they could be starved out of the sanctuary. 1enry :III of ;ngland even too" to branding them with a hot iron before they left the country 7ust in case they tried to return( they could then be %uic"ly spotted and arrested. Abolished from the common law in *0-H and, in France, at the time of the 9evolution, the principle of sanctuary continues today, in somewhat altered form, as diplomatic asylum under international law. 4cienter &atin for "nowledge. In legal situations, the word is usually used to refer to "guilty "nowledge". For example, owners of vicious dogs may be liable for in7uries caused by these dogs if they can prove the owner#s "scienter" (i.e. that the owner was aware, before the attac", of the dog#s vicious character . $earch warrant A court order (i.e. signed by a 7udge that gives a police the permission to enter private property and to search for evidence of the commission of a crime, for the proceeds of crime or property that the police suspect may be used to commit a crime. !hese court orders are obtained on the basis of a sworn statement by the re%uesting law enforcement officer and will precisely describe the place to be searched and, in some cases, the exact property being sought. $eisin

!he legal possession of property. In law, the term refers more specifically to the possession of land by a freeholder. For example, a owner of a building has seisin, but a tenant does not, because the tenant, although en7oying possession, does not have the legal title in the building. $entence !he punishment given to a person who has been convicted (i.e. found to be guilty of a crime. It may be time in 7ail, community service or a period of probation. $e%uestration !he ta"ing of someone#s property, voluntarily (by deposit or involuntarily (by sei5ure , by court officers or into the possession of a third party, awaiting the outcome of a trial in which ownership of that property is at issue. $ervient tenement !he land which suffers or has the burden of an easement. !he beneficiary of the easement is called a dominant tenement. $ervitude From 9oman law, referring to rights of use over the property of another( a burden on a piece of land causing the owner to suffer access by another. An easement is type of servitude as is a pro!it a prendre. $ettlor !he person who actually creates a trust by donating property to be managed and administered by a trustee but from which all profits would go to a beneficiary. !he law boo"s of some countries refer to this person as a "donor." $exual harassment A term used in human rights legislation and referring primarily to harassment in employment situations, related to sex or gender, which detrimentally affects the wor"ing environment. !he most overt variation of sexual harassment is the %uid pro %uo offer of wor"6favor in exchange for sexual favor. $exual intercourse @enetration of a man#s penis into a woman#s vagina. $hare A portion of a company bought by a transfer of cash in exchange for a certificate, the certificate constituting proof of share ownership. @ersons owning shares in a company are called "shareholders". !here are two basic "inds of shares' common and preferred. A shareholder is not liable for the debts or other obligations of the company except to the extent of any commitment made to buy shares. !he two other benefits of shares include a right to participate in profits (through dividends and the right to share the residue of assets of the company, once liabilities have been paid off, if it is ever dissolved. $hareholder agreement A contract between the shareholders of the company and the company itself, in which certain things, usually the purview of the board of directors, are detailed. For example, a shareholder might be allowed to manage the company, instead of a board of directors. !he shareholder agreement will also, typically, control inflows to the company (purchase of shares , how profits are to be distributed, dispute resolution and what to do if a shareholder dies. $ilent partner A person who invests in a company or partnership but does not ta"e part in administering or directing the organi5ation( he or she 7ust shares in the profits or losses. 4ine die Ad7ourned without giving any future date of meeting or hearing. A court that ad7ourns sine die essentially dismisses the case by saying that it never wants to hear the case againM A meeting which ad7ourns sine die has simply not set a date for it#s next meeting. $lander :erbal or spo"en defamation. $lander of title Intentionally casting aspersion on someone#s property including real property, a business or goods (the latter might also be called "slander of goods" . A form of 7actitation. For example, stating that a house is haunted or alleging that a certain product infringes a patent or copyright. $lavery

4hen a person (called "master" has absolute power over another (called "slave" including life and liberty. !he slave has no freedom of action except within limits set by the master. !he slave is considered to be the property of the master and can be sold, given away or "illed. All the fruits of the slave#s labor belongs to the master (see, for example, the extract from !he *BHI $outh 2arolina $lave 2ode in the 1istory of the &aw . $lavery was once very prevalent in the world but is now illegal in most countries. $mall claims A regular court but which has simplified rules of procedure and process to deal with claims of a lesser value. 8any 7urisdictions have established small claims courts which, because of their structures and reliance on deformali5ed proceedings, allow for expedited hearings and where representation by lawyer is not re%uired or encouraged. $ome typical distinctive characteristics of small claims courts include the ability to serve by regular mail and to sei5e both a court and an adversary at far less cost than in ordinary courts. $ocage A term of the feudal system which referred to the tenure which was exchanged for certain goods or services which were not military in nature. $ocage is often described as "free and common socage" although the "free and common" %ualification is now of a purely historical significance. $odomy $ynonymous with buggery and referring to "unnatural" sex acts, including copulation, either between two persons of the same sex or between a person and an animal (the latter act is "nown as "bestiality" . 8ost countries outlaw bestiality but homosexual activity is gradually being decriminali5ed. $olicitor A lawyer that restricts his or her practice to the giving of legal advice and does not normally litigate. that court room. In ;ngland and some other 2ommonwealth 7urisdictions, a legal distinction is made between solicitors and barristers, the former with exclusive privileges of giving oral or written legal advice, and the latter with exclusive privileges of preparing and conducting litigation in the courts. In other words, solicitors don#t appear in court on a client#s behalf and barristers don#t give legal advice to clients. In ;ngland, barristers and solicitors wor" as a team' the solicitor would typically ma"e the first contact with a client and if the issue cannot be resolved and proceeds to trial, the solicitor would transfer the case to a barrister for the duration of the litigation. &awyers in some states, such as 2anada, sometimes use the title "barrister and solicitor" even though, contrary to ;ngland, there is no legal distinction between the advising and litigating roles. 2anadian lawyers can litigate or give legal advice (as is the case in the =$A, where lawyers are referred to as "attorneys" . $overeign 1as two meanings. !he first one is a technical word for the monarch ("ing or %ueen of a particular country as in "the $overeign of ;ngland is Jueen ;li5abeth." !he other meaning of the word is to describe the supreme legislative powers of a state' that they are totally independent and free from any outside political control or authority over their decisions. !he people of Juebec, for example, has, at times, supported governments which have proposed that Juebec become a "sovereign" state( that all legislative authority of the government of 2anada over their territory cease and that the government of Juebec be enabled to regulate in any matter at all( and that the government of Juebec represent itself internationally. $plit custody A child custody decision which means that legal custody goes bac" and forth between parents li"e a ping6pong ball, as they, in turn, ta"e care of the child. !hey are very rare (for example, only CL of all custody orders in the =$A because they wor"s against consistent upbringing decisions for the child. Also "nown as "divided custody" although the latter concept is mostly used to describe split custody over greater periods of time such as alternate years with each parent. $tanding committee A term of parliamentary law which refers to those committees which have a continued existence( that are not related to the accomplishment of a specific, once6only tas" as are ad hoc or special committees. $tanding committees generally exist as long as the organi5ation to which it reports. /udget and finance or nomination committees are typical standing committees of a larger organi5ation.

4tare decisis A basic principle of the law whereby once a decision (a precedent on a certain set of facts has been made, the courts will apply that decision in cases which subse%uently come before it embodying the same set of facts. A precedent which is binding( must be followed. $tate A term of international law' those groups of people which have ac%uired international recognition as an independent country and which have four characteristics( permanent and large population with, generally, a common language( a defined and distinct territory( a sovereign government with effective control( and a capacity to enter into relations with other states (i.e. recogni5ed by other states . !he =$A, 2anada and 2hina are examples of states. $tates are the primary sub7ects of international law. !he =nited Eations is comprised of all the states of the world. $ome large states have subdivided into smaller units each having limited legislative powers normally restricted to sub7ects which are more properly regulated at a local, rather than a national level. !hus, the states of the =$A are not really "states" under international law. It is common for the general public and ;nglish dictionaries to use the word "nations" to refer to what international law calls "states." $tatutes !he written laws approved by legislatures, parliaments or houses of assembly (i.e., politicians . Also "nown as "legislation". !he written laws of the 2anadian @rovince of Eewfoundland, for example, are in a multi6volume set of boo"s called the $tatutes of Eewfoundland. $tatutory rape !he common law definition of rape has not proven ade%uate to reflect modern values. It is limited to sex without consent and with a woman, and only where the victim is not the wife of the rapist. 8any states have enacted laws which include under the charge of rape, sex with a minor even if done with the minor#s consent, sex without consent regardless of whether the victim is male or female, and sex without consent regardless of the matrimonial bond between victim and rapist. $tatutory trust A trust created by the effect of a statute. !hey are usually temporary in nature and serve the purpose of bridging ownership of property to benefit a certain class of individuals which the statute is designed to protect. $ome examples are the temporary trusts that the law of some states impose on the executor of an estate, the holding and administration of tax or other pay deductions (including vacation pay by employers, the trust accounts of lawyers and the statutory trust on money paid for a construction pro7ect on behalf of any person who might have a construction lien on the property. 4tirpes &atin' the offspring of a person( his or her descendants. For example, inheriting per stirpes means having a right to a deceased#s estate because you happen to be a descendant of the deceased. $trict liability !ort liability which is set upon the defendant without need to prove intent, negligence or fault( as long as you can prove that it was the defendant#s ob7ect that caused the damage. $ubinfeudation !he process whereby, under the feudal system of tenure, a person receiving a grant of land from a lord, could himself become a lord by subdividing and subletting that land to others. 4ub "udice A matter that is still under consideration by a court. >ou will hear of politicians declining to spea" on a certain sub7ect because the sub7ect matter is "sub 7udice". $ubordination !o be sub7ect to the orders or direction of another( of lower ran". 4ubpoena &atin' an order of a court which re%uires a person to be present at a certain time and place or suffer a penalty (subpoena means, literally, "under penalty" . !his is the traditional tool used by lawyers to ensure that witnesses present themselves at a given place, date and time to ma"e themselves available to testify (see also duces tecu . $ubrogation 4hen you pay off someone#s debt and then try to get the money from the debtor yourself. (2ompare with "novation". $ubservient tenement

!he real property that supports or endures an easement. !he real property benefitting from an easement is called the dominant tenement. $ubstituted service If a party appears to be avoiding service of court documents, a re%uest may be made with the court to, instead of personal service (i.e. giving the document directly to the person , that the document be published in a local newspaper, served on a person believed to fre%uent the person or mailed to his (or her last "nown address. $uccessor A person who ta"es over the rights of another. 4ui "uris A person who possesses full civil rights and is not under any legal incapacity such as being ban"rupt, of minor age or mental incapacity. 8ost adults are sui "uris. $ummary conviction offence In 2anada, a less serious offence than indictable offences for which both the procedure and punishment tends to be less onerous. $ummons In the =$A, this is one of the initial documents issued in a civil suit( giving the defendant notice of the claim and an opportunity to defend it. !he summons also gives the court which issues it the authority to dispose of the matter. In 2anadian criminal law, this is the document used by the police to compel an accused to attend court to answer the charges. It does not involve the arrest of the accused and is used where the police, either by the relatively less serious nature of the crime or because of the standing of the accused in the community, do not believe that arrest is necessary to ensure the attendance of the accused at court. $urety !he person who has pledged him or herself to pay bac" money or perform a certain action if the principal to a contract fails, as collateral, and as part of the original contract. !echnically, where a person provides collateral after or before the original contract is signed, and as a separate contract, the person is called a "guarantor" and not a "surety." $ynallagmatic contract A civil law term for a reciprocal or bilateral contract' one in which both parties provide consideration. A contract of sale is a classic example, where one party provides money and the other, goods or services. A gift is not a synallagmatic contract. * !aft61artley !he name of an American federal labor law which was passed in *+HB, and which sought to "e%uali5e legal responsibilities of labor organi5ations and employers"( ie. balance the 4agner Act, which, it was felt, may have gone to far in protecting union rights. 4here the 4agner Act had was aimed primarily at employer behavior, the !aft61artley was aimed at unions and sought to restrain their activities under certain circumstances, by detailing union rights and duties. For example, the !aft61artley Act exempted supervisors from it#s provisions, allowed employees to decline participation in union activities and permitted union decertification petitions. !amper !o interfere improperly or in violation of the law such as to tamper with a document. !he term "7ury tampering" means to illegally disrupt the independence of a 7ury member with a view to influencing that 7uror otherwise than by the production of evidence in open court. !enancy by the entireties A form of co6ownership in ;nglish law where, when a husband transferred land to his wife, the property could not be sold unless both spouses agreed nor could it be severed except by ending the marriage. !enant A person to whom a landlord grants temporary and exclusive use of land or a part of a building, usually in exchange for rent. !he contract for this type of legal arrangement is called a lease. !he

word "tenant" originated under the feudal system, referring to land "owners" who held their land on tenure granted by a lord. !enants in common $imilar to 7oints tenants. All tenants in common share e%ual property rights except that, upon the death of a tenant in common, that share does not go to the surviving tenants but is transferred to the estate of the deceased tenant. =nity of possession but distinct titles. !ender An unconditional offer of a party to a contract to perform their part of the bargain. For example, if the contract is a loan contract, a tender would be an act of the debtor where he produces the amount owing and offers to the creditor. In real property law, when a party suspects that the other may be preparing to renege, he or she can write a tender in which they une%uivocally re6assert their intention to respect the contract and tender their end of the bargain( either by paying the purchase or delivering the title. !enement @roperty that could be sub7ect to tenure under ;nglish land law( usually land, buildings or apartments. !he word is rarely used nowadays except to refer to dominant or servient tenements when %ualifying easements. !enure A right of holding or occupying land or a position for a certain amount of time. !he term was first used in the ;nglish feudal land system, whereby all land belonged to the "ing but was lent out to lords for a certain period of time( the lord never owning, but having tenure in the land. =sed in modern law mostly to refer to a position a person occupies such as in the expression "a 7udge holds tenure for life and on good behavior." !estamentary trust A trust which is to ta"e effect only upon the death of the settlor and is commonly found as part of a will. !rusts which ta"e effect during the life of the settlor are called inter vivos trusts. !estator A person who dies with a valid will. !estimony !he verbal presentation of a witness in a 7udicial proceeding. !orrens land registration system A land registration system invented by 9obert !orrens and in which the government is the "eeper of the master record of all land and their owners. In the !orrens system, a land title certificate suffices to show full, valid and indefeasible title. =sed in Australia and several 2anadian provinces. !ort Derived from the &atin word tortus which meant wrong. In French, "tort" means a wrong". !ort refers to that body of the law which will allow an in7ured person to obtain compensation from the person who caused the in7ury. ;very person is expected to conduct themselves without in7uring others. 4hen they do so, either intentionally or by negligence, they can be re%uired by a court to pay money to the in7ured party ("damages" so that, ultimately, they will suffer the pain cause by their action. !ort also serves as a deterrent by sending a message to the community as to what is unacceptable conduct. !ort6feasor Eame given to a person or persons who have committed a tort. !racing A legal proceeding ta"en under the law of e%uity where the plaintiff attempts to reclaim specific property, through the court, whether the property is still in the first ac%uirer#s hands or it has passed onto others, and even if the property has been converted (related common law terms' conversion, trover and detinue . !his is a procedure fre%uently used by a trust beneficiary to recover misappropriated trust property. !ransferee A person who receives property being transferred (the person from whom the property is moving is the transferor . !ransferor

A person from whom property moves. @roperty is transferred from the transferor to th transferor. I sell you my house and in transferring title to you, I am the transferor and you, the transferee. !reaty A formal agreement between two states signed by official representatives of each state. A treaty may be "law6ma"ing" in that it is the declared intention of the signatories to ma"e or amend their internal laws to give effect to the treaty. !he /erne 2onvention is an example of such as treaty. )ther treaties are 7ust contracts between the signatories to conduct themselves in a certain way or to do a certain thing. !hese latter type of treaties are usually private to two or a limited number of states and may be binding only through the International 2ourt of Dustice . !respass =nlawful interference with another#s person, property or rights. !heoretically, all torts are trespasses. !rover An old ;nglish and common law legal proceeding against a person who had found someone else#s property and has converted that property to their own purposes. !he action of trover did not as" for the return of the property but for damages in an amount e%ual to the replacement value of the property. ;nglish law replaced the action of trover with that of conversion in *AC-. !rust @roperty given by a person called the donor or settlor, to a trustee, for the benefit of another person (the beneficiary or donee . !he trustee manages and administers the property, actual ownership is shared between the trustee and the beneficiary and all the profits go to the beneficiary. !he word "fiduciary" can be used to describe the responsibilities of the trustee towards the beneficiary. A will is a form of trust but trusts can be formed during the lifetime of the settlor in which case it is called an inter vivos or living trust. !rustee !he person who holds property rights for the benefit of another through the legal mechanism of the trust. A trustee usually has full management and administration rights over the property but these rights must always be exercised to the full advantage of the beneficiary. All profits from the property go to the beneficiary although the trustee is entitled to reimbursement for administrative costs. !here is no legal impediment for a trustee to also be a beneficiary of the same property. !rustee de son tort A trustee "of his own wrong"( a person who is not a regularly appointed trustee but because of his or her intermeddling with the trust and the exercise of some control over the trust property, can be held by a court as "constructive" trustee which entails liability for losses to the trust. + =IF$A !he American uniform child and spousal support legislation, the =niform Interstate Family $upport Act already adopted and implemented by most states and expected to be law throughout the =$A soon. It is the successor of =9;$A and is a long6arm statutes as it gives the state which issues the first support order 7urisdiction over the support payor anywhere in the =$A for the purposes of varying that order. For more information, please see http'<<<us6uifsa.htm 5ltra vires 4ithout authority. An act which is beyond the powers or authority of the person or organi5ation which too" it. =n7ust enrichment A legal procedure whereby you can see" reimbursement from another who benefitted from your action or property without legal 7ustification. !here are said to be three conditions which must be met before you can get a court to force reimbursement based on "un7ust enrichment"' an actual enrichment or benefit to the defendant, a corresponding deprivation to the plaintiff, and the absence of a legal reason for the defendant#s enrichment. For example (and only theoretically as many countries have laws which have modified e%uity law in some situations , if you found somebody else#s cash and spent it, you might be sued for reimbursement under un7ust enrichment. !he legal theory behind un7ust enrichment is the constructive trust, which the court imposes upon

the circumstances to hold the person un7ustly enriched as the trustee for the person who should properly get the property bac", held to be the beneficiary of the constructive trust. =9;$A =niform 9eciprocal ;nforcement of $upport Act of the =nited $tates, as created in *+CI by the Eational 2onference of 2ommissioners on =niform $tate &aws. !his was the first family support uniform legislation in the =$A and it was ultimately adopted, in some form or another, by all the =$ states. It was updated in *+0A and the revised version became "nown as "9=9;$A", the initial "9" standing for "9evised." It has been replaced by =IF$A. For more information, please see http'<<<us6uifsa.htm 5su!ruct From ancient 9oman law (and now a part of many civil law systems , "usufruct" means the rights to the product of another#s property. For example, a farmer may give a right of "usufruct"of his land to a neighbor, thus enabling that neighbor to sow and reap the harvest of that land. =sury ;xcessive or illegal interest rate. 8ost countries now prohibit interest rates above a certain level( and rates which exceed these levels are called "usury". , :agrant A tramp or homeless person. :endor !he seller( the person selling. :enue !his has the same meaning as in everyday ;nglish except that in a legal context it usually refers specifically to the location of a 7udicial hearing. For example, if a criminal case has a very high media profile in a particular city, the "venue" may change to another city to ensure ob7ective witnesses (i.e. that would not have been spoiled by media speculation on the crime . :ehicle Any thing that is designed to transport persons or ob7ects. A bicycle has been held to be a vehicle. 6erba !ortius accipiuntur contra pro!erente &atin' a principle of construction whereby if words of a contract are ambiguous, of two e%ually possible meanings, they should be interpreted against the author of the words and not against the other party. :erdict !he decision of a 7ury. In criminal cases, this is usually expressed as "guilty" or "not guilty".In a civil case, the verdict would be a finding for the plaintiff or for the defendant. 6idelicet &atin for "to wit" or "that is to say." "6iz.", which is the abbreviation of videlicet, is much more commonly used. It is often found in legal documents to advise that what follows provides more detail about a preceding general statement. For example' "!he defendant committed adultery( viz., on April *Cth, at approximately *I',I pm, he had sexual intercourse with 8s Dane Doe." 6is An abbreviation of the &atin word videlicet. $hort for "namely" or "that is to say." :icarious liability 4hen a person is held responsible for the tort of another even though the person being held responsible may not have done anything wrong. !his is often the case with employers who are held vicariously liable for the damages caused by their employees. 6ir &atin' man or husband. 6ir et u#or censentur in lege una persona is an old (and long abandoned in most countries legal principle meaning that man and wife are considered to be one person in law. :oid or void ab initio Eot legally binding. A document that is void is useless and worthless( as if it did not exist.For example, in many countries, contracts for immoral purposes are said to be "void"'unenforceable

and not recogni5ed by the courts. A good example is a contract to commit a serious crime such as murder. :oidable !he law distinguishes between contracts which are void and those which are voidable. $ome contracts have such a latent defect that they are said to be void (see definition of "void" above . )ther have more minor defects to them and are voidable at the option of the party victimi5ed by the defect. For example, contracts signed by a person when they are totally drun" are voidable by that person upon recovering sobriety. 6oir dire A mini6hearing held during a trial on the admissibility of contested evidence. For example, a defendant may ob7ect to a plaintiff#s witness. !he court would suspend the trial, immediately preside over a hearing on the standing of the proposed witness, and then resume the trial with or without the witness, or with any restrictions placed on the testimony by the 7udge as a result of the voir dire ruling. In a 7ury trial, the 7ury would be excused during the voir dire. 6olenti non !it in"uria :oluntary assumption of ris". A defence in tort that means where a person engages in an event accepting and aware of the ris"s inherent in that event, then they can not later complain of, or see" compensation for an in7ury suffered during the event. !his is used most often to defend against tort actions as a result of a sports in7ury. 4agner Act A *+,C American federal statute which recogni5ed employee rights to collective bargaining, protected the right to belong to a union, prohibited many anti6union tactics then used by employers, and set up the Eational &abor 9elations /oard. !he E&9/ was given wide enforcement powers. It was later amended by the !aft61artley Act in *+HB. 4aiver 4hen a person disclaims or renounces to a right that they may have otherwise had. 4aivers are not always in writing. $ometimes a person#s actions can be interpreted as a waiver. 4arranty A guarantee given on the performance of a product or the doing of a certain thing. For example, many consumer products come with warranties under which the manufacturer will repair or replace any product that fails during the warranty period( the commitment to repair or replace being the "warranty". 4aste !he abuse, destruction or permanent change to property by one who is merely in possesion of it as in the case of a tenant or a life tenant. 4edloc" /eing married. 1as the same meaning as "matrimony." =sed mostly to refer to illegitimate children as "born out of wedloc"." 4ill A written and signed statement, made by an individual, which provides for the disposition of their property when they die. ($ee also codicil and probate. 4ire6tapping An electronic surveillance device which secretly listens in and records conversations held over a phone line. It is usually only allowed with the permission of a 7udge and if it can be shown to be necessary for the solving of a serious crime. 4ithout pre7udice A statements set onto a written document which %ualifies the signatory as exempted from it#s content to the extent that they may be interpreted as containing admissions or other interpretations which could later be used against the person signing( or as otherwise affecting any legal rights of the person signing. A lawyer will often send a letter "without pre7udice" in case the letter ma"es admissions which could later prove inconvenient to the client. 4itness

!he regular definition of this word is a person who perceives an event (by seeing, hearing, smelling or other sensory perception . !he legal definition refers to the court6supervised recital of that sensory experience, in writing (deposition or verbally (testimony . 4ords of limitation 4ords in a conveyance or in a will which set the duration of an estate. If a will said "to /ob and his heirs", the words "and his heirs" were words of limitation because they indicate that /ob gets the land in fee simple and his heirs get no interest. 4ords of purchase 4ords which specifically name the person to whom land is being conveyed. !he property is conveyed to specifically and by name in a legal act such as a conveyance or will. !his would preclude, for example, transfer as a result of intestacy. 4rit An official court document, signed by a 7udge or bearing an official court seal, which commands the person to whom it is addressed, to do something specific. !hat "person" is typically either a sheriff (who may be instructed to sei5e property, for example or a defendant (for whom the writ is the first notice of formal legal action. In these cases, the writ would command the person to answer the charges laid out in the suit, or else 7udgment may be made against them in their absence . 4rongful death An American tort law action which claims damages from any person who, through negligence or direct act or omission, caused the death of certain relatives (eg. spouse, children or parent . !hese actions are commenced under special "wrongful death" statutes because under the common law, there is no right of action for survivors for their own loss as a result of someone#s death. !he 2anadian e%uivalent of the wrongful death legislation is generally "nown as the "fatal accidents act." In ;ngland, it is "nown as Lord &a pbell7s Act. 4rongful dismissal /eing fired from a 7ob without an ade%uate reason or without any reason whatsoever. ;mployees do not have a right to a 7ob for life and can be dismissed for economic or performance reasons but they cannot be dismissed capriciously. 8ost employment implies an employment contract, which may be supplemented by labor legislation. ;ither could provide for certain procedures to be followed, failing which any firing is wrongful dismissal and for which the employee could as" a court for damages against the employer. 2an also be referred to as "dismissal without 7ust cause." Eot all states recogni5e this tort law action. ./0 >ellow dog contract A name given in American labor law to contract of employment by which the employee agrees to forfeit their employment if they 7oin a union during the period of employment. !hese types of contracts are now prohibited by American law. >oung offender >oung persons who, in many states, are treated differently than adult criminals and are tried in special youth courts. In 2anada, for example, criminal suspects between *- and *B inclusively are processed under the 8oung O!!enders Act, which includes several provisions which reflect the rehabilitative nature of the legislation. Fipper "Devices consisting of two opposite series of members adapted to be attached one on each side of an aperture in some article and to interloc" so as to close the aperture upon the slide being operated in one direction, or to separate so as to leave the aperture open upon the slide being operated in the opposite direction." *ditor7s note9we didn7t ake this up: .t7s !ro a ;<=> trade ark case o! the 4upre e &ourt o! &anada called Lightning +astener &o. Ltd. 6. &anadian Goodrich&o. Ltd.