Dictionary of Law (Part2,E-J)

Dictionary of law:

Helps the students of law to understand definitions of various words related to law.

E-Commerce Law
the area of law specifically dealing with the form of business known as E-commerce, which is a rapidly developing and exciting business form.

 

Easement
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. Easements 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 right-of-way). Although right-of-ways are the most common easements, there are many others such as rights to tunnel under another’s land, to use a washroom, to emit smoke or fumes, to pass over with transmission towers, to access a dock and to access a well.

 

Ecclesiastical law
Synonymous to canon law: the body of church-made law which binds only those persons which recognize it, usually only church officers, and based on aged precepts of canon law.

EDI
Electronic Data Interchange

 

Education Law
the area of law relating to schools and that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools.

 

EFT
Electronic Funds Transfer

 

Elder Law
includes a vast range of issues but has a specific type of person in mind, seniors. Elder law focuses on the legal needs of the elderly, and encompasses a variety of legal techniques to meet the objectives of the older client.

Elder law includes general estate planning issues, counseling and planning for incapacity with alternative decision making documents, and planning for possible long-term care needs, including nursing home care. Determining the appropriate type of care, coordinating private and public resources to finance the cost of care, and working to ensure the clients right to quality care are all part of the elder law.

Electronic Funds Transfer
transfer of money from one bank account to another or to a CSE Agency

 

Emancipation
Term 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 majority) from that control (such as child reaching the age of majority). The 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. When Abraham Lincoln outlawed slavery he did so in a law called the “emancipation proclamation”.

 

Embargo
This 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 break it or by trade penalties. The 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.

 

Embezzle
The illegal transfer of money or property that, although possessed legally by the embezzler, is diverted to the embezzler personally by his or her fraudulent action. For example, an employee would embezzle money from the employer or a public officer could embezzle money received during the course of their public duties and secretly convert it to their personal use.

 

Eminent domain
USA: The legal power to expropriate private land for the sake of public necessity.

 

Emolument
A legal word which refers to all wages, benefits or other benefit received as compensation for holding some office or employment.

 

Emphyteusis
Civil law: a long-term (many years or in perpetuity) rental of land or buildings including the exclusive enjoyment 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.

Emptio or emtio
Latin for “purchase” or the contract in which something is bought.

 

Enactment
A law or a statute; a document which is published as an enforceable set of written rules is said to be “enacted”.

 

Endorsement
Something written on the back of a document. An alternate spelling, in some English jurisdictions, is “indorsement.” In the laws of bills of exchange, an endorsement is a signature on the back of the bill of exchange by which the person to whom the note is payable transfers it by thus making the note payable to the bearer or to a specific person. An endorsement of claim means that if you want to ask 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.

 

Endowment
The transfer of money or property (usually as a gift) to a public organization for a specific purpose, such as medical research or scholarships.

 

Energy Law
the area of law dealing with usable power (as heat or electricity) and the resources for producing such power.

 

Enforcement
obtaining payment of a child support or medical support obligation

 

Entertainment & Sports Law
the legal area dealing with the entertainment and sports industries.

 

Entrapment
The 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 artificially-provoked crime. This technique, because it involves abetting the commission of a crime, which is itself a crime, is severely curtailed under the constitutional law of many states.

 

Environmental Law
the area of law dealing with state and federal statutes intended to protect the environment, wildlife, land and beauty, prevent pollution or over-cutting of forests, save endangered species, conserve water, develop and follow general plans and prevent damaging practices.

 

Equity
A branch of English law which developed hundreds of years ago when litigants would go to the King and complain of harsh or inflexible rules of common law which prevented “justice” from prevailing. For example, strict common law rules would not recognize unjust enrichment, which was a legal relief developed by the equity courts. The typical Court of Equity decision would prevent a person from enforcing a common law court judgment. The kings delegated this special judicial review power over common law court rulings to chancellors. A new branch of law developed known as “equity”, with their decisions eventually gaining precedence over those of the common law courts. A whole set of equity law principles were developed based on the predominant “fairness” characteristic of equity such as “equity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy” or “he who comes to equity must come with clean hands”. Many legal rules, in countries that originated with English law, have equity-based law such as the law of trusts and mortgages.

 

ERISA
ERISA – Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 – A federal law passed to protect pension rights. ERISA sets minimum standards for pension plans, guaranteeing that pension rights cannot be unfairly denied to or taken from a worker. ERISA provides some protection for workers in the event certain types of pension plans cannot pay the benefits to which workers are entitled, and ERISA requires that employers provide full and clear information about employees’ pension rights.

 

Escheat
Where property is returned to the government upon the death of the owner, because there is nobody to inherit the property. Escheat is based on the Latin principle of dominion directum as was often used in the feudal system when a tenant died without hiers or if the tenant was convicted of a felony.

 

Escrow
When 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.

 

Estate Planning
the area of law that deals with planning for the inevitability of death, such as obtaining life insurance to pay for the costs of a funeral, preparing a simple Will, and other preparations. More comprehensive planning, such as preparing a more complex Will, Trust, and related estate planning documents may also be needed. It depends on the size of your estate and how comprehensive your needs are.

 

Estoppel
A rule of law that when person A, by act or words, gives person B reason to believe a certain set of facts upon which person B takes action, person A cannot later, to his (or her) benefit, deny those facts or say that his (or her) earlier act was improper. A 1891 English court decision summarized estoppel as “a rule of evidence which precludes a person from denying the truth of some statement previously made by himself”.

 

Euthanasia
The putting to death, by painless method, of a terminally-ill or severely debilitated person through the omission (intentionally withholding a life-saving medical procedure, also known as “passive euthanasia”) or commission of an act (“active euthanasia’). See also living will.

 

Evidence
Proof of fact(s) presented at a trial. The best and most common method is by oral testimony; where you have an eye-witness swear to tell the truth and to then relate to the court (or jury) their experience. Evidence is essential in convincing the judge or jury of your facts as the judge (or jury) is expected to start off with a blank slate; no preconceived idea or knowledge of the facts. So it is up to the opposing parties to prove (by providing evidence), to the satisfaction of the court (or jury), the facts needed to support their case. Besides oral testimony, an object can be deposited with the court (eg. a signed contract). This is sometimes called “real evidence.” In other rarer cases, evidence can be circumstantial.

 

EVS
Enumeration and Verification System

 

Ex aequo et bono
Latin for “in justice and fairness.” Something to be decided ex aequo et bono is something that is to be decided by principles of what is fair and just. Most 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. But a case to be decided ex aequo et bono, overrides the strict rule of law and requires instead a decision based on what is fair and just given the circumstances.

 

Ex parte
Latin: for one party only. Ex 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 ex parte. Some jurisdictions expand the definition to include any proceeding that goes undefended, even though proper notice has been given.

 

Ex patriate
A person who has abandoned his or her country of origin and citizenship and has become a subject or citizen of another country.

 

Ex post facto
Latin: after the fact. Legislation is called ex post facto if the law attempts to extend backwards in time and punish acts committed before the date of the law’s approval. Such laws are constitutionally prohibited in most modern democracies. For example, the USA Constitution prohibits “any ex post facto law”.

 

Ex rel
An abbreviation of “ex relatione”, Latin for “on the relation of.” Refers to information or action taken that is not based on first-hand 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.)

 

Ex turpi causa non oritur actio
Latin: “Of 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 injury suffered by a passenger in a stolen car, which that passenger knew to be stolen and was a free participant in the joyriding. If vehicle crashes injuring the passenger, there is no action in tort against the driver under the ex turpi causa non oritur actio principle.

 

Examination-in-chief
The questioning of your own witness under oath. Witnesses are introduced to a trial by their examination-in-chief, which is when they answer questions asked by the lawyer representing the party which called them to the stand. After their examination-in-chief, the other party’s lawyer can question them too; this is called “cross-examination”.

Exculpate
Something that excuses or justifies a wrong action.

 

Executor
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.

 

Exhibit
A document or object shown to the court as evidence in a trial. They are each given a number or letter by the court clerk as they are introduced for future reference during the trial. For example, weapon are frequently given as exhibits in criminal trials. Except with special permission of the court, exhibits are locked up in court custody until the trial is over.

 

Express 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. They 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).

 

Expropriation
Canada: the forced sale of land to a public authority. Synonymous to the USA doctrine of “eminent domain”.

 

Expunge
To physically erase; to white or strike out. To “expunge” something from a court record means to remove every reference to it from the court file.

 

Extortion
Forcing a person to give up property in a thing through the use of violence, fear or under pretense of authority.

 

Extradition
The arrest and delivery of a fugitive wanted for a crime committed in another country, usually under the terms of a extradition treaty.

 

Fair market value
The hypothetical most probable price that could be obtained for a property by average, informed purchasers.

 

Family Law
the area of law dealing with family relations including divorce, adoption, paternity, custody, and support.

 

FCR
Federal Case Registry of Child Support Orders

 

Federal Income Tax Offset Program
a program under the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement which makes available to State CSE Agencies a route for securing the tax refund of parents who have been certified as owing substantial amounts of child support.

 

Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS)
a service operated by the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement to help the States locate parents in order to obtain child support payments; also used in cases of parental kidnapping related to custody and visitation determinations; FPLS obtains address and employer information from Federal agencies

 

Federally-Assisted Foster Care
a program, funded in part by the Federal government, under which a child is raised in a household by someone other than his or her own parent

 

Fee simple
The 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 back to the lord.

 

FEIN
Federal Employer Identification Number

 

Felony
A serious crime for which the punishment is prison for more than a year or death. Crimes of less gravity are called misdemeanours. This term is no longer used in England or other Commonwealth countries but remains a major distinction in the United States. Historically, in England, the term referred to crimes for which the punishment was the loss of land, life or a limb.

 

Fen-Phen Law
the legal area focusing on those persons harmed or injured by the use of Fen – Phen. Fenfluramine (“fen”) and phentermine (“phen”) are prescription medications that have been approved by the FDA for many years as appetite suppressants for the short-term management of obesity. Some physicians have prescribed fenfluramine in combination with phentermine, often for extended periods of time, for use in weight loss programs. The cluster of unusual cases of valve disease in Fen-Phen users suggested that there might be an association between Fen-Phen use and valve disease.

 

Feudal system
A social structure that existed throughout much of Europe between 800 and 1400 and that revolved around a multi-level hierarchy between lords (who held land granted under tenure from the king), and their tenants (also called “vassals”).Tenants 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 attack.

FFCCSOA
Full Faith and Credit for Child Support Orders Act

 

Fiduciary
Normally, 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. The 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.

 

Fieri facias
A writ of fieri facias commands a sheriff to take and sell enough property from the person who lost the law suit, to pay the debt owed by the judgment.

 

Finding
a formal determination by a court, or administrative process that has legal standing

 

FIPS
Federal Information Processing Standards

 

FMS
Financial Management Service

 

Force majeure
French for an act of God; an inevitable, unpredictable act of nature, not dependent on an act of man. Used in insurance contracts to refer to acts of nature such as earthquakes or lightning.

 

Foreclosure
The technical meaning of the word is to wipe out a right of redemption on a property. Generally, this is what happens when someone does not pay their mortgage. Even though there has been no payments, the borrower retains a equitable right of redemption if, some day, he or she were able to find the money and try to exercise their right of redemption. To clear the title of this potential, a lender goes to court, demonstrates the default, requests 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 requirement to redeem the property back to the borrower; the debtor’s right of redemption is said to be forever barred and foreclosed. This 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. The word is frequently used to generally refer to the lender’s actions of repossessing and selling a property for default in mortgage payments.

 

FPLS
Federal Parent Locator Service

 

Franchise Law
the area of law revolving around the right or license that is granted to an individual or group to market a company’s goods or services in a particular territory under the company’s trademark, trade name, or service mark and that often involves the use of rules and procedures designed by the company and services and facilities provided by the company in return for fees, royalties, or other compensation.

 

Fraud
Deceitful conduct designed to manipulate another person to give something of value by (1) lying, (2) by repeating something that is or ought to have been known by the fraudulent party as false or suspect or (3) by concealing a fact from the other party which may have saved that party from being cheated. The 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. There 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).

 

FSA
Family Support Act

 

Fugitive
One who runs away to avoid arrest, prosecution or imprisonment. Many 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.

 

Full Faith and Credit
doctrine under which a State must honor an order or judgment entered in another State

 

Functus officio
Latin: 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
Goods 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.

 

Furiosi nulla voluntas est
A Latin expression that mentally impaired persons cannot validly sign a will.

 

FVI
Family Violence Indicator

 

Garnishment
The seizing 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. The person who possesses the assets of the debtor and is the subject of the seizure is called a “garnishee”. This is frequently used in the enforcement of child support where delinquent debtors will be subjected to salary garnishment. A percentages of their wages is subtracted directly off their pay-check and directed to the person in need of support (the employer being the garnishee).

 

Gavel
A wooden mallet used by a judge to bring proceedings to a start or to an end or to command attention in his or her court.

 

General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
Multilateral international treaty first created in 1947 and frequently amended (most recently in 1994) to which 125 countries subscribe. GATT provides for fair trade rules and the gradual reduction of tariffs, duties and other trade barriers. The 1994 amendment created a World Trade Organization, which oversees the implementation of the GATT.

 

General counsel
The senior lawyer of a corporation. This is normally a full-time employee of the corporation although some corporations contract this position out to a lawyer with a private firm.

 

General Practice
dealing in many or numerous areas of the law.

 

Genetic Testing
analysis of inherited factors (usually by blood or tissue test) of mother, child, and alleged father which can help to prove or disprove that a particular man fathered a particular child

 

Gift 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.

 

Goodwill

An intangible business asset which includes a cultivated reputation and consequential attraction and confidence of repeat customers and connections.

 

Government
the area of law dealing with units of government.

 

Grand Jury
An American criminal justice procedure whereby, in each court district, a group of 16-23 citizens hold an inquiry on criminal complaints brought by the prosecutor and decide if a trial is warranted, in which case an indictment is issued. If a Grand Jury rejects a proposed indictment it is known as a “no bill”; if they accept to endorse a proposed indictment it is known as a “true bill”.

 

Gross negligence
Any action or an omission in reckless disregard of the consequences to the safety or property of another. Sometimes referred to as “very great negligence” and it is more then just neglect of ordinary care towards others or just inadvertence. Also known as the Latin term culpa lata.

 

Guarantor
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. Compare with “surety.”

 

Guardian
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 mentally-disabled person.

 

Guardian ad litem
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.

 

Guidelines
a standard method for setting child support obligations based on the income of the parent(s) and other factors as determined by State law

 

Guillotine
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 neck of a convict.

 

Habeas corpus
Latin: a court petition which orders that a person being detained be produced before a judge for a hearing to decide whether the detention is lawful. Habeas corpus was one of the concessions the British Monarch made in the Magna Carta and has stood as a basic individual right against arbitrary arrest and imprisonment.

 

Habitual 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. Reformation techniques fail to alter the behaviour of the habitual offender. Many countries now have special laws that require the long-term 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.

 

Harassment
Unsolicited words or conduct which tend to annoy, alarm or abuse another person. An excellent alternate definition can be found in Canadian human rights legislation as: “a course of vexatious comment or conduct that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.” Name-calling (“stupid”, “retard” or “dummy”) is a common form of harassment. (See also sexual harassment.)

 

Health Law
the area of law focusing on the health care industry.

 

Hearsay
Any evidence that is offered by a witness of which they do not have direct knowledge but, rather, their testimony is based on what others have said to them. For example, if Bob heard from Susan about an accident that Susan witnessed but that Bob had not, and Bob attempted to repeat Susan’s story in court, it could be objected to as “hearsay.” The basic rule, when testifying in court, is that you can only provide information of which you have direct knowledge. In other words, hearsay evidence is not allowed. Hearsay evidence is also referred to as “second-hand evidence” or as “rumor.” You 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 spoken.

 

Homeowners Associations
the area of law representing the needs of Homeowners Associations, also know as Common Interest Development Associations.

 

Homicide
The word includes all occasions where one human being, by act or omission, takes away the life of another. Murder and manslaughter are different kinds of homicides. Executing a death-row 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 kills a suspect who draws a weapon or shoots at that officer.

 

Hostile witness
During an examination-in-chief, a lawyer is not allowed to ask leading questions of their own witness. But, if that witness openly shows hostility against the interests (or the person) that the lawyer represents, the lawyer may ask the court to declare the witness “hostile”, after which, as an exception of the examination-in-chief rules, the lawyer may ask their own witness leading questions.

 

Hung jury
A jury is required to make a unanimous or near unanimous verdict. When the jurors, after full debate and discussion, are unable to agree on a verdict and are deadlocked with differences of opinion that appear to be irreconcilable, it is said to be a “hung jury”. The result is a mistrial.

 

Husband-wife privilege
A special right that married persons have to keep communications between them secret and even inaccessible to a court of law. While 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. Similar to the client-solicitor privilege.

 

IM
Information Memorandum

 

Immediate Wage Withholding
automatic deductions from income which start as soon as the agreement for support is established (see wage withholding)

 

Immigration Law
the area of law dealing with persons who come into a country of which one is not a native for permanent residence.

 

Immunity
An exemption that a person (individual or corporate) enjoys from the normal operation of the law such as a legal duty or liability, either criminal or civil. For example, diplomats enjoy “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.

 

In limine
Latin: 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.

 

In pari delicto
Latin: both parties are equally 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 equally at wrong, the person in possession of the contested property will retain it (ie. the law will not intervene).

 

In personam
Latin: All legal rights are either in personam or in rem. An in personam right is a personal right attached to a specific person. In rem rights are property rights and enforceable against the entire world.

 

In rem
Latin: All legal rights are either in personam or in rem. In rem 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.

 

Incorporeal
Legal rights which are intangible such as copyrights or patents.

 

Incorporeal hereditament
An incorporeal right which is attached to property and which is inheritable. Easements and profits à prendre are examples of incorporeal hereditaments as are hereditary titles such as those common in the United Kingdom.

 

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 Torrens land titles system is said to be “indefeasible” because the government warrants that no interest burdens the title other than those on the certificate. This makes long and expensive title searches unnecessary.

 

Indictable offence
An offence which, in Canada, is more serious than those which can proceed by summary conviction. This is the Canadian equivalent to the USA “felony”. Murder and treason are examples of crimes committed in Canada which would be indictable offences. These crimes are usually tried by federally-appointed judges and carry heavy sentences.

 

Indictment
USA: a formal accusation returned by a Grand Jury, that charges a person with a serious crime. It is on the basis of an indictment that an accused person must stand trial.

 

Infanticide
Murder of an infant soon after its birth.

 

Injunction
A court order that prohibits a party from doing something (restrictive injunction) or compels them to do something (mandatory injunction).

 

Insolvent
A person not able to pay his or her debts as they become due. “Insolvency” is a prerequisite to bankruptcy.

 

Insurance Law
the area of law that deals with insurance and insurance carriers. Insurance can be defined as coverage by contract whereby for an agreed payment one party agrees to indemnify or guarantee another against loss by a specified contingency or loss.

 

Intellectual Property Law
the area of law dealing with an idea, invention, trade secret, process, program, data, formula, patent, copyright, or trademark or application, right, or registration (often times referred to as copyright, patent or trademark law).

 

Intellectual Property/Technology
a mechanism for resolving disputes that exists outside the state or federal judicial system specifically relating to an idea, invention, trade secret, process, program, data, formula, patent, copyright, or trademark or application, right, or registration (often times referred to as copyright, patent or trademark law). (see also arbitration and mediation).

 

Inter alia
Latin: “among other things”, “for example” or “including”. Legal drafters would use it to precede a list of examples or samples covered by a more general descriptive statement. Sometimes they use an inter alia list to make 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.

 

Inter partes
Latin: between parties.

 

Inter vivos
Latin: from one living person to another living person. For example, an inter vivos trust is one which the settlor sets up to take effect while he or she is still alive. It can be contrasted with the testamentary trust, which is to take 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.

 

Interim order
A temporary court order; intended to be of limited duration, usually just until the court has had an opportunity of hearing the full case and make a final order.

 

Interlineation
An addition of something to a document after it has been signed. Such additions are ignored unless they are initialed by the signatories and, if applicable, witnesses (eg. wills).

 

Interlocutory
Proceedings taken during the course of, and incidental to a trial. Examples include procedures or applications made which are to assist a case in preparing its case or of executing judgment once obtained (eg. garnishment or judicial sale). These decisions intervene after the start of a suit and decide some issue other than the final decision itself.

 

Interlocutory injunction
An injunction which lasts only until the end of the trial during which the injunction 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 group of laws, rules, or principles that are based on custom, treaties, or legislation and that control or affect the duties and rights of sovereign nations in relation to each other.

 

Internet Law
the area of law that focuses on the Internet. The Internet is defined as an electronic communications network that connects computer networks and organizational computer facilities around the world.

 

Intestate
Dying without a will.

 

Inure
To take effect, to result; to come into operation.

 

IRS
Internal Revenue Service

 

Islamic law
The law according to the Muslim faith and as interpreted from the Koran. Islamic law is probably best known for deterrent punishment, which is the basis of the Islamic criminal system and the fact that there is no separation of church and state. Under 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.

 

IV-A
Title IV-A of the Social Security Act

 

IV-E
Title IV-E of the Social Security Act

 

J. D.
Abbreviation for “juris doctor” or “doctor of jurisprudence” and the formal name given to the university law degree in the United States. It is a prerequisite to most bar admission exams.

 

Jactitation
A false boast designed to increase standing at the expense of another. This used to form the basis of an ancient legal petition called “jactitation 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. The tort of slander of title is a form of jactitation.

 

Joint custody
A child custody decision which means that both parents share joint legal custody and joint physical custody. This is not very common and many professionals have taken to referring to “joint legal custody but sole maternal physical custody” as “joint custody”.

 

Joint tenancy
When two or more persons are equally owners of some property. The unique aspect of joint tenancy is that as the joint tenancy owners die, their shares accrue to the surviving owner(s) so that, eventually, the entire share is held by one person. A valid joint tenancy is said to require the “four unities”: unity of interest (each joint tenant must have an equal interest including equality of duration and extent), unity of title (the interests must arise from the same document), unity of possession (each joint tenant must have an equal right to occupy the entire property) and unity of time: the interests of the joint tenants must arise at the same time.

 

Judicial review
When a court decision is appealed, it is known as an “appeal.” But there are many administrative agencies or tribunals which make 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 known as “judicial review” which is essentially a process where a court of law is asked to rule on the appropriateness of the administrative agency or tribunal’s decision. Judicial review is a fundamental principle of administrative law. A distinctive feature of judicial 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.

 

Jure
Latin, from Roman law: by right, under legal authority or by the authority of the law. A variation, “juris” means “of right” or “of the law.” See jurisprudence below which means “science of the law.”

 

Jurisdiction
legal authority which a court has over particular persons, certain types of cases, and in a defined geographical area

 

Jurisprudence
Technically, jurisprudence means the “science of law”. Statutes articulate the bland rules of law, with only rare reference to factual situations. The actual application of these statutes to facts is left to judges who consider not only the statute but also other legal rules which might be relevant to arrive at a judicial decision; hence, the “science”. Thus, jurisprudence” 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.

 

Jury
A group of citizens randomly selected from the general population and brought together to assist justice by deciding which version, in their opinion, constitutes “the truth” given different evidence by opposing parties.

 

Jus
Latin: word which, in Roman law, meant the law or a right. Also spelt “ius” in some English translations. For example, public law was called “jus publicum” and private law was called “jus privatum.”

 

Jus spatiandi et manendi
Latin: referring to a legal right of way, and to enjoyment, granted to the public but only for the purposes of recreation or education, such as upon parks or public squares. Very similar to an easement of which some courts have said a jus spatiandi is a special type.

 

Justice
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. Litigants “seek justice” by asking for compensation for wrongs committed against them; to right the inequity such that, with the compensation, a wrong has been righted and the balance of “good” or “virtue” over “wrong” or “evil” has been corrected.

 

Juvenile Law
the area of law that deals with juvenile delinquency proceedings or other court proceedings involving minors (those under the age of 18).

 

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