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FindLaw Legal Dictionary

The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.


A Fortiori
[New Latin, from the stronger (argument)] : all the more certainly : with greater reason : with still more convincing force used in drawing a conclusion that is thought to be even more certain than ...
A Loan Or A Paper
a credit rating where the FICO score is 660 or above. There have been no late mortgage payments within a 12-month period. This is the best credit rating to have when entering into a new loan.
A Reorganization
see reorganization
Ab Inconvenienti
[New Latin] : from inconvenience or hardship used to refer to a rule in law that an argument from inconvenience is a strong argument
Ab Initio
[Latin] : from the beginning [a contract found to be void ab initio]
Ab Intestato
[Latin] in the civil law of Louisiana : from an intestate
American Bar Association
1 : to give up with the intent of never again asserting or claiming an interest in (a right or property) 2 : to disassociate oneself from or forsake in spite of a duty or responsibility to [ one's ...
Abandoned Property
see property
1 : the act of abandoning property or a right: as a : relinquishment by an inventor of the right to enforce a patent see also dedication b : an author's relinquishment to the public domain of his ...
abat·ed abat·ing [Old French abattre, literally, to knock down, from a-, prefix stressing result + battre to beat] vt 1 a : to put an end to or do away with [ a nuisance] b : make void : ...
1 : the act or process of abating or the state of being abated [challenged the of her bequest] [ of a private nuisance by self-help "W. L. Prosser and W. P. Keeton"] 2 : an amount abated : ...
: to carry or lead (a person) away by threat or use of force or often by fraud ;also : to restrain or conceal (a person) for the purpose of preventing escape or rescue see also kidnapping ...
1 a : the action of abducting [ of a robbery victim] b : the tort or felony of abducting a person 2 : the unlawful carrying away of a wife or female child or ward for the purpose of marriage or ...
abet·ted abet·ting : to assist, encourage, instigate, or support with criminal intent in attempting or carrying out a crime often used in the phrase aid and abet abet·ment n ...
[Middle French abeance expectation (of a title or claimant), from abaer to expect, from a-, prefix stressing result + baer to gape, aim at] 1 : a lapse in the succession of property during which ...
abode or: abid·ed abid·ing : to accept without objection abide by : to act or behave in accordance with or in obedience to
ab·jured ab·jur·ing [Latin abjurare, from ab- off + jurare to swear] : renounce ;specif : to disclaim formally or renounce upon oath [solemnly s his allegiance to his former country] ...
1 : possessed of needed powers or of needed resources to accomplish an objective [ to perform under the contract] 2 : having freedom from restriction or obligation or from conditions preventing an ...
Abnormally Dangerous Activity
: an activity esp. that is not common in or appropriate to an area, that creates a high degree of risk of harm to someone or something despite the exercise of due care, and whose value to the ...
past and past part of abide
: to end the observance or effect of : annul
: to induce the expulsion of (a human fetus)
1 : the termination of a pregnancy after, accompanied by, or closely followed by the death of the embryo or fetus ;esp : the medical procedure of inducing expulsion of a human fetus to terminate a ...
: one who induces abortions
1 : higher on the same page or on a preceding page [the discussion ] 2 : higher or superior in rank or authority [the court ] above the line : in calculations that yield adjusted gross income or ...
abridged abridg·ing : to diminish or reduce in scope [no State shall make or enforce any law which shall the privileges and immunities of the citizens of the United States "U.S. Constitution ...
-gat·ed -gat·ing [Latin abrogare, from ab- off + rogare ask, ask for approval of (a law)] : to abolish by authoritative, official, or formal action : annul repeal [a recent addition to ...
: to depart secretly : withdraw and hide oneself ;specif : to evade the legal process of a court by hiding within or secretly leaving its jurisdiction [ed with the funds] [ from New York] [ to ...
Absence Without Leave
:the military offense of being absent without leave
Absent Without Leave
:absent from one's place of duty in the armed forces without authority
: one that is absent: as a : a proprietor who lives away from his or her business or estate b : a potential party to a legal action who is not present or does not have a representative present at a ...
Absentee Ballot
: a ballot submitted (as by mail) in advance of an election by a voter who is unable to be present at the polls
1 a : free from qualification, condition, exception, or restriction [rights that even seem have these qualifications "Long v. Rockwood, 277 U.S. 142 (1927)"] see also absolute ownership at ownership ...
Absolute Assignment
see assignment
Absolute Defense
see defense
Absolute Divorce
see divorce
Absolute Estate
see estate
Absolute Fee
see fee
Absolute Immunity
see immunity
Absolute Liability
see liability
Absolute Nullity
see nullity
Absolute Ownership
see ownership
Absolute Priority Rule
: a rule that provides for the satisfaction in full of claims of senior creditors before any payments can be made to junior creditors under a chapter 11 bankruptcy plan
Absolute Privilege
see privilege
Absolute Right
: an unqualified right : a legally enforceable right to take some action or to refrain from acting at the sole discretion of the person having the right
Absolute Sale
see sale
Absolutely Privileged Communication
: privileged communication
ab·solved ab·solv·ing 1 : to set free or release from some obligation or responsibility [a judgment terminating a parent's rights…s that parent of all future support obligations ...
1 : to make (a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution) applicable to the states 2 a : to bear or assume the burden of [expenses were ed by the company] b : to lessen the tax liability for [has ...
: the application to the states of rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution [while Powell [v. Alabama] was sometimes described as having absorbed the right to counsel, the Court there clearly ...
: to refrain from exercising federal jurisdiction over a case : cause an abstention
: the staying of the exercise of federal jurisdiction in a case that involves a question of state law or policy which the federal court prefers to have resolved by a state court or agency ...
1 : a summary of a legal document 2 : abstract of title ab·stract [ab-strakt, ab-strakt] vt
Abstract Of Title
:a summary statement of the successive conveyances and other facts on which a title to a piece of land rests
also ab·strac·tor [ab-strak-tər] n : a person who searches out and summarizes information to be used as reference or proof ;specif : a person who prepares abstracts of title
var of abstracter
abused abus·ing 1 : to put to a use other than the one intended: as a : to put to a bad or unfair use [abusing the powers of office] b : to put to improper or excessive use [ narcotics] 2 a : ...
Abuse Of Discretion
:an error of judgment by a trial court in making a ruling that is clearly unreasonable, erroneous, or arbitrary and not justified by the facts or the law applicable in the case compare clearly ...
Abuse Of Process
:the tort of bringing and following through with a civil or criminal action for a purpose known to be different from the purpose for which the action was designed compare malicious prosecution
1 : characterized by wrong or improper use or action [ tax shelters] 2 : inflicting verbal or physical abuse [ parents] abu·sive·ly adv
abut·ted abut·ting vi : to touch along a border or with a projecting part used with on, upon, or against [the land s on the road] vt : to border on : reach or touch with an end [two lots ...
: the place at which abutting occurs [at the of two properties]
: a boundary of land with respect to other contiguous lands or roads by which it is bounded
: one that abuts ;specif : the owner of an abutting property [the s on a street]
: that abuts or serves as an abutment
ac·ced·ed ac·ced·ing 1 a : to become a party (as to an agreement) by associating oneself with others [they were invited to to the covenant] b : to express approval or give ...
-at·ed -at·ing vt : to bring about at an earlier time: as a : to advance (the maturity date of a security agreement) so that payment of the debt in full is due immediately see also ...
Accelerated Cost Recovery System
: a method of calculating depreciation introduced in the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 that results in faster recovery of costs for property put into service after 1980 by assigning it a shorter ...
Accelerated Depreciation
see depreciation
the right of the lender to demand payment on the outstanding balance of a loan.
Acceleration Clause
: a clause (as in a loan agreement) that accelerates the date of payment in full under specified circumstances (as default by the debtor)
1 a : to receive with consent [ a gift] [ service] b : to assent to the receipt of and treat in such a way as to indicate ownership of [ed the shipment despite discovering defects in the ...
the written approval of the buyer's offer by the seller.
Acceptance Of Responsibility
:a convicted federal defendant's acknowledgment of and remorse for his or her crime such that the sentencing judge has the discretion under the federal sentencing guidelines to reduce the offense ...
often attrib 1 : permission, liberty, or ability to enter, approach, communicate with, or pass to and from a place, thing, or person [public to federal land] [ to the courts] 2 : opportunity for ...
var of accessory
1 : increase by something added ;specif : the mode of acquiring property by which the owner of property (as a building, land, or cattle) becomes the owner of an addition by growth, improvement, ...
1 : of or relating to an accessory [ acts] 2 : of lesser importance [the principal has the principal or primary duty and the surety an or a secondary duty "Restatement of Security"]
also ac·ces·sa·ry [ik-se-sə-rē, ak-] n pl: -ries [Medieval Latin accessorius subordinate matter, accomplice to a crime, from Latin accedere to go to, agree, assent] 1 : a ...
Accessory Contract
see contract
: an unexpected usually sudden event that occurs without intent or volition although sometimes through carelessness, unawareness, ignorance, or a combination of causes and that produces an ...
Accident Insurance
: insurance against loss to the insured through accidental bodily injury
-dat·ed -dat·ing 1 : to make a change or provision for [ a disability] see also reasonable accommodation 2 : to accept without compensation responsibility for a debt of (another person) in ...
Accommodated Party
see party
A type of visa in which family members travel with the principal applicant, (in immigrant visa cases, within six months of issuance of an immigrant visa to the principal applicant).
[alteration (from incorrect division of a complice) of complice, from Middle French, associate, from Late Latin complic- complex partner, confederate] : one who intentionally and voluntarily ...
1 : to bring into agreement 2 : to grant or give esp. as appropriate, due, or earned vi : to be consistent or in harmony NOTE: Accord in this sense is often used to introduce a case or an authority ...
1 a : a record of debit and credit entries to cover transactions involving a particular item (as cash or notes receivable) or a particular person or concern b : a statement of transactions during a ...
Account Payable
pl: accounts payable : the balance due to a creditor on a current account
Account Receivable
pl: accounts receivable : a balance due from a debtor on a current account
Account Rendered
pl: accounts rendered : an account presented by a creditor to a debtor for examination and settlement
Account Stated
pl: accounts stated : an account presented by a creditor to his or her debtor which by implied or express acceptance has been agreed upon by both parties as correct
1 : liable [ for the burglary] 2 : obliged to accept responsibility [the bank for payment of the check] ac·count·abil·i·ty [ə-kan-tə-bi-lə-tē] n
1 : an often court-ordered presentment or examination of accounts [a complete would be necessary to determine the nature of the expenditures "Case & Comment"] 2 : the settlement by judicial ...
Accounts Receivable
Money due from your customers. Your accounts receivable balance equals the dollar amount of sales that you have made to your customers on credit terms but that have not yet been paid. The accounts ...
Accredited Investor
: an investor that qualifies under the Securities Act of 1933 and related Securities and Exchange Commission regulations as one having at least a specified net worth and a certain level of knowledge ...
ac·cret·ed ac·cret·ing vi : to grow or become attached by accretion vt : to cause to adhere or become attached
1 : the process or a result of growth or enlargement: as a : the increase or extension of the boundaries of land or the consequent acquisition of land accruing to the owner by the gradual or ...
1 : the action or process of accruing [claim must be brought within two years of the date of ] 2 a : something that accrues ;esp : an amount of money that periodically accumulates for a specific ...
Accrual Accounting
Income is reported in the year it is earned, and expenses are deducted in the year they are incurred.
Accrual Basis
see basis
Accrual Basis Accounting
An accounting method that records sales, expenses or other events at the time they occur, rather than when cash changes hands
Accrual Bond
see bond
Accrual Method
: accrual basis at basis
ac·crued ac·cru·ing [Middle French accreue increase, addition to a property, from feminine of accreu, past participle of acreistre to increase] vi 1 : to come into existence as an ...
-lat·ed -lat·ing vt : to gather esp. little by little ;specif : to add (income from a fund) back into the principal vi : to increase gradually in amount or number
Accumulated Earnings Tax
: a tax levied on the taxable income of a corporation that is accumulated by the corporation rather than distributed to shareholders and that is not retained for the reasonable needs of the business
: increase or growth by addition esp. when continuous or repeated ;specif : an increase in the amount of a fund or property by the continuous addition to it of the income or interest it generates ...
Accumulation Trust
see trust
1 : a formal charge of wrongdoing, delinquency, or fault [the accused shall enjoy the right…to be informed of the nature and cause of the "U.S. Constitution amend. VI"] compare allegation, ...
: of, relating to, or being a form of criminal prosecution in which a person is accused of a crime and is tried in public by a judge who is not also the prosecutor compare adversary, inquisitorial ...
1 : containing or expressing an accusation [the pleading] 2 : accusatorial
ac·cused ac·cus·ing [Latin accusare to find fault with, charge with a crime, from ad to, at + causa legal case, trial] vt : to charge with an offense judicially or by a public process ...
pl: accused : a person who has been arrested for or formally charged with a crime : the defendant in a criminal case [the shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial "U.S. Constitution amend. ...
-edged -edg·ing 1 : to indicate recognition and acceptance of [the power of taxation in the general and state governments is acknowledged to be concurrent "McCulloch v. Maryland, 17 U.S. 316 ...
also ac·knowl·edge·ment n 1 a : the act of acknowledging b : the act of admitting paternity compare filiation 2 : a thing done or given in recognition of something received [an ...
American Civil Liberties Union
in the civil law of Louisiana : acquet
[French acquêt acquisition, from Old French acquest, ultimately from Latin acquirere to acquire] in the civil law of Louisiana : property acquired through means other than inheritance
-esced -esc·ing : to accept, comply, or submit tacitly or passively often used with in and sometimes with to ac·qui·es·cence [a-kwē-es-ns] n
ac·quired ac·quir·ing : to come into possession, ownership, or control of : obtain as one's own [the target's directors don't want the company to be acquired "R. C. Clark"] [the court ...
Acquired Citizenship
Citizenship conferred at birth on children born abroad to a U.S. citizen parent(s).
1 : the act or action of acquiring ;specif : the obtaining of controlling interest in a company compare merger, takeover 2 : a thing gained or acquired
Acquisitive Prescription
see prescription
: one that acquires : acquirer
ac·quit·ted ac·quit·ting [Old French acquiter to pay off, absolve, acquit, from a-, prefix marking causation + quite free (of an obligation)] vt : to discharge completely: as a : ...
1 : release or discharge from debt or other liability 2 : a setting free or deliverance from the charge of an offense by verdict of a jury, judgment of a court, or other legal process see also ...
: acquittal
: a person who is acquitted of a criminal charge
Accelerated Cost Recovery System
1 a : something done by a person in accordance with his or her free will [a tortious ] see also actus reus b : the failure to do something that one has a legal duty to do called also negative act 2 ...
Act Of God
often cap A : an extraordinary natural event (as a flood or earthquake) that cannot be reasonably foreseen or prevented compare force majeure, inevitable accident, unavoidable accident NOTE: It is a ...
Act Of State Doctrine
:a court-made doctrine barring U.S. courts from judging the validity of an official act of a foreign country committed within its own borders
Actio De In Rem Verso
[Latin, legal action over something converted to the benefit (of the principal in the law of agency)] in the civil law of Louisiana : a doctrine equivalent to the common-law doctrine of unjust ...
[Latin actio legal proceeding, from agere to do, carry out, initiate legal proceedings] 1 a : a judicial proceeding for the enforcement or protection of a right, the redress or prevention of a wrong, ...
Action On The Case
:trespass on the case at trespass
: subject to or providing grounds for an action or suit at law [slander is ]
1 : characterized or accomplished by action or effort [ concealment] compare passive 2 : engaged or participating in action or activity [paying child support but not otherwise an parent]
Active Trust
see trust
: existing in fact or reality compare constructive ac·tual·ly adv
Actual Agency
see agency
Actual Authority
see authority
Actual Cash Value
1 : the cost of replacing or repairing damaged property less any applicable depreciation 2 : fair market value
Actual Cause
see cause
Actual Controversy
: a real dispute between parties with true adverse legal interests based on facts existing at the time the suit is brought
Actual Damages
see damage
Actual Delivery
see delivery
Actual Eviction
see eviction
Actual Express Authority
see authority
Actual Fraud
see fraud
Actual Implied Authority
see authority
Actual Knowledge
see knowledge
Actual Loss
see loss
Actual Malice
see malice
Actual Notice
see notice
Actual Possession
see possession
1 : of or relating to actuaries 2 : relating to statistical calculation esp. of life expectancy ac·tu·ar·i·al·ly adv
pl: -ar·ies : a person who calculates insurance and annuity premiums, reserves, and dividends
Actus Reus
[New Latin, guilty deed] : the wrongful act that makes up the physical action of a crime see also crime compare mens rea
actual cash value
Ad Damnum
[Latin, in accordance with the loss] : the claim for damages in a civil lawsuit [defendant's motion seeking to reduce the ad damnum demanded in the complaint]
Ad Hoc
[Latin, for this] : for the particular end or case at hand without consideration of wider application
Ad Idem
[Latin, to the same] : in agreement : at a meeting of the minds [the parties were ad idem]
Ad Interim
[Latin, for the intervening time] : made or serving temporarily or for the time being [an ad interim committee]
Ad Litem
[Latin] : for the lawsuit or action [trustee ad litem]
Ad Val
ad valorem
Ad Valorem
[Latin, according to the value] : imposed at a rate based on a percent of value [an ad valorem tax on real estate]
(Americans With Disabilities Act) - Prohibits discrimination against any employee or applicant who could perform a job despite a disability. The act also requires an employer to provide an ...
Aid to Dependent Children
1 : being or able to be added on [ no-fault benefits] 2 : able to be added to [ certificates of deposit]
: to cause (a person) to become physiologically dependent upon a drug
: compulsive physiological need for a habit-forming drug (as heroin)
: causing or characterized by addiction [ drugs]
Additional Insured
An individual or entity who is not specifically named as an insured within the policy itself, but for whom attachments, known as endorsements, to the policy provide a degree of protection. In some ...
Additional Principal Payment
money paid to the lender in addition to the established payment amount used directly against the loan principal to shorten the length of the loan.
[Latin, it is increased] : the increase by a court of the jury's award of damages which the court deems insufficient compare remittitur NOTE: The Supreme Court held in Dimick v. Schiedt, 293 U.S. 474 ...
Short for the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the ADEA is a federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of age for workers over the age of forty. Only employers with more than twenty ...
[from ademption, after such pairs as redemption : redeem] : to revoke or satisfy (as a legacy) by ademption
[Latin ademptio, from adimere to take away, from ad to + emere to buy, obtain] 1 : the revocation of a gift in a will inferred from the disposal (as by sale) of the property by the maker of the will ...
: lawfully and reasonably sufficient [ grounds for a lawsuit]
Adequate Consideration
see consideration
Adequate Protection
: such action as is judicially determined to protect a secured creditor's interest in property that is part of a bankrupt estate NOTE: The U.S. Bankruptcy Code offers a list of examples of actions ...
Adhesion Contract
see contract
Adjective Law
: the portion of the law that deals with the rules of procedure governing evidence, pleading, and practice compare substantive law
: to put off further proceedings of either indefinitely or until a later stated time : close formally [ing the session] vi : to suspend a session or meeting till another time or indefinitely : ...
ad·judged ad·judg·ing 1 : adjudicate 2 : to award, grant, or impose judicially [ costs to the plaintiff] ad·judg·ment n
-cat·ed -cat·ing [Latin adjudicare to award in judgment, from ad to, for + judicare to judge see judge ] vt 1 : to settle either finally or temporarily (the rights and duties of the parties ...
1 a : to determine the amount to be paid under an insurance policy in settlement of (a loss) b : to make new arrangements with creditors for the payment of (the debts of a debtor in bankruptcy) 2 : ...
Adjust Status
1) To change from a nonimmigrant visa status or other status 2) To adjust the status of a permanent resident (green card holder).
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (Arm)
a mortgage loan that does not have a fixed interest rate. During the life of the loan the interest rate will change based on the index rate. Also referred to as adjustable mortgage loans (AMLs) or ...
Adjusted Basis
see basis
Adjusted Gross Income
: an individual's gross income decreased by the amount of deductions allowed esp. for business expenses
Adjustment Bond
see bond
Adjustment Date
the actual date that the interest rate is changed for an ARM.
Adjustment Index
the published market index used to calculate the interest rate of an ARM at the time of origination or adjustment.
Adjustment Interval
the time between the interest rate change and the monthly payment for an ARM. The interval is usually every one, three or five years depending on the index.
Adjustment To Immigrant Status
Procedure allowing certain aliens already in the United States to apply for immigrant status. Aliens admitted to the United States in a nonimmigrant, refugee, or parolee category may have their status ...
Adjustment To Income
An expense that can be deducted even if the taxpayer does not itemize deductions.
-is·tered -is·ter·ing vt 1 : to manage the affairs of (as a government or agency) 2 a : to direct or supervise the execution, use, or conduct of [ a trust fund] b : to settle (an ...
-trat·ed -trat·ing : administer
1 : the act or process of administering [the of justice] 2 a : the management and disposal under court authority of the estate of a deceased person by an executor or an administrator b : the ...
1 : of or relating to the performance of a function : ministerial [ communications include…instructions that encourage a jury to continue its deliberations "National Law Journal"] 2 : of or ...
Administrative Court
: a court sitting in the District Court or Superior Court in Maine that handles matters involving real estate licenses
Administrative Crime
: violation of a regulation of a government agency that is punishable as a crime
Administrative Dissolution
Dissolution of a corporation by the state, usually by the Secretary of State, for such things as failing to pay taxes, failing to deliver an annual report, or operating without a registered agent
Administrative Inspection
: administrative search at search
Administrative Judge
: administrative law judge
Administrative Law
: the branch of the law dealing with government agencies
Administrative Law Judge
: an officer in a government agency with quasi-judicial functions including conducting hearings, making findings of fact, and making recommendations for resolution of disputes concerning the agency's ...
1 : a person appointed by a probate court to manage the distribution of the assets in the estate of a person who has died without leaving a valid will or leaving a will that does not name an executor ...
Administrator Ad Litem
see administrator
Administrator De Bonis Non
see administrator
Administrator Pendente Lite
see administrator
pl: -tra·tri·ces [-strā-trə-sēz] : a woman administrator esp. of an estate
: the court having jurisdiction over questions of maritime law ;also : maritime law
Admiralty Court
A court exercising jurisdiction over all maritime contracts, torts, injuries or offenses. Federal district courts have jurisdiction over admiralty and maritime actions.
: capable of being allowed or permitted [the difficulty would be lessened if entries in books of account were as prima facie evidence "B. N. Cardozo"] ad·mis·si·bil·i·ty ...
1 : the act or process of admitting [ into evidence] 2 a : a party's acknowledgment that a fact or statement is true NOTE: In civil cases admissions are often agreed to and offered in writing to the ...
ad·mit·ted ad·mit·ting vt 1 : to concede as true or valid : make an admission of 2 : to allow to be entered or offered [admitted the document into evidence] [ a will to probate] ...
Admitted Asset
see asset
1 : to take voluntarily (a child of other parents) as one's own child esp. in compliance with formal legal procedures see also equitable adoption 2 : to take or accept as if one's own [[the company] ...
Adopted Child
An unmarried child under age 21, who was adopted while under the age of sixteen, and who has been in legal custody and lived with the adopting parent(s) for at least two years. These rules do not ...
: a person who is adopted
Legal process pursuant to state statute in which a child's legal rights and duties toward his natural parents are terminated and similar rights and duties toward his adoptive parents are substituted.
Adoption By Estoppel
:equitable adoption
Adoption Credit
A nonrefundable credit for qualified adoption expenses.
1 a : having adopted [an parent] b : having been adopted [an child] 2 : made or acquired by accepting as one's own the words or actions of another [to constitute an admission…defendant must ...
1 administrative dispute resolution, alternative dispute resolution 2 asset depreciation range
[Medieval Latin ad sectam] at the suit of
: a person who has reached an age specified by law compare child, infant, minor
-at·ed -at·ing : to corrupt, debase, or make impure by the addition of a foreign or inferior substance or element ;esp : to prepare for sale by omitting a valuable ingredient or by ...
: relating to, characterized by, or given to adultery adul·ter·ous·ly adv
: voluntary sexual activity (as sexual intercourse) between a married man and someone other than his wife or between a married woman and someone other than her husband ;also : the crime of adultery ...
ad·vanced ad·vanc·ing : to supply or provide ahead of time: as a : to give (a gift) by way of or as an advancement b : to supply (as money) beforehand in expectation of repayment or ...
Advance Directive
: a document (as a living will or durable power of attorney) in which a person expresses his or her wishes regarding medical treatment in the event of incapacitation
Advance Earned Income Credit
Prepayments of the earned income credit by an employer to an employee.
Advance Parole
Permission to return to the United States after travel abroad granted by DHS prior to leaving the U.S. The following categories of people may need advance parole
Advance Sheet
: the published opinions of a court available in a temporary form (as in loose pages held in a binder) compare reporter
: something given in advance ;specif : money or property given as a gift by a living person (as by a parent to a child) with the intention that the amount the recipient inherits under the law from ...
: of, relating to, or characteristic of an adversary or adversary procedures : adversary
: one that contends with or opposes another ;esp : any of the opposing parties in a legal action
Adversary Proceeding
A lawsuit arising in or related to a bankruptcy case that is commenced by filing a complaint with the court.
Adversary Process
the method courts use to resolve disputes. Through the adversary process, each side in a dispute has the right to present its case as persuasively as possible, subject to the rules of evidence, and an ...
: opposed to one's interests : operating to one's detriment [an verdict]
Adverse Party
see party
Adverse Possession
see possession
Adverse Witness
see witness
1 : recommendation regarding a decision or course of conduct [he shall have power, by and with the and consent of the Senate, to make treaties "U.S. Constitution art. II"] [ of counsel] 2 : an ...
ad·vised ad·vis·ing vt 1 : to give advice to : counsel [ them to draw up a will] 2 : to give information or notice to [ them of their rights] vi 1 : to give advice [ on legal ...
1 : careful consideration : deliberation [take the matter under ] 2 : the act or process of advising [ of the debtor on matters relating to…his debts "J. H. Williamson"]
1 : having or exercising power to advise [an committee] 2 : containing or giving advice [an verdict]
Advisory Jury
: a jury impaneled at the discretion of a trial judge to assist the judge in deciding a case NOTE: Advisory juries are allowed in cases in which there is no right to a jury or in which the right to a ...
Advisory Opinion
see opinion
1 : the profession or work of an advocate 2 : the action of advocating, pleading for, or supporting a cause or proposal [a consequence of his moving "W. O. Douglas"]
[Latin advocatus adviser to a party in a lawsuit, counselor, from past participle of advocare to summon, employ as counsel, from ad to + vocare to call] 1 : a person (as a lawyer) who works and ...
Aid to Families with Dependent Children
[Middle French, from present participle of affier to pledge faith, swear, from Medieval Latin affidare, ultimately from Latin ad to + fidere to trust] : a person who swears to an affidavit compare ...
[Medieval Latin, he/she has pledged faith, third singular perfect of affidare see affiant ] : a sworn statement in writing made esp. under oath or on affirmation before an authorized magistrate or ...
Affidavit Of Support
A document promising that the person who completes it will support an applicant financially in the United States. Family and certain employment immigration cases require the I-864 Affidavit of ...
-at·ed -at·ing vt 1 : to bring or receive into close association as a member or division 2 : to join or associate as a member or division vi : to connect or associate oneself usually used ...
Associated or controlled by the same owner or authority.
[Middle French affin, from Latin affinis, from affinis related, from ad to + finis end, border] : a relative by marriage compare blood relative af·fi·nal [-fī-nəl] adj
pl: -ties : relationship by marriage compare consanguinity
1 : to assert as true or factual 2 : to assert (as a judgment) as valid or confirmed [ed the lower court's ruling] compare remand, reverse vi 1 : to make a solemn declaration under the penalties of ...
1 : asserting the existence of certain facts esp. in support of a cause of action [ proof] 2 : resulting from an intentional act [ concealment] 3 : involving or requiring application of effort [an ...
Affirmative Action
: an active effort (as through legislation) to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups or women
Affirmative Defense
see defense
Affirmative Easement
see easement
Affirmative Injunction
see injunction
Affirmative Relief
: relief requested by the defendant to a lawsuit for injury which he or she claims to have suffered during the same factual situation the plaintiff claims to have been injured in and for which he or ...
Affirmative Warranty
see warranty
1 : to attach physically 2 : to attach or add in any way [ a signature to a document] 3 : to make by or as if by pressure [ my seal]
[Middle French affrai effrai fright, disturbance, from affraier effreer to terrify] : a fight between two or more people in a public place that disturbs the peace
American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organization
: previously in mind : premeditated
: acquired after a certain event (as the perfection of a security interest)
: born after a certain event (as a father's death or the execution of a will)
Short for "Attorney General," usually referring to the U.S. Attorney General. The AG often becomes involved in civil rights and discrimination claims, as in some situations the U.S. Attorney General's ...
: the time of life at which some particular qualification, power, or capacity arises [the voting is 18] see also legal age, majority
Age Discrimination
: unfair or unequal treatment of an employee by an employer because of the employee's age see also Age Discrimination in Employment Act in the Important Laws section
Age Discrimination In Employment Act
Federal legislation prohibiting unfair and discriminatory treatment in employment on the basis of age. The Act generally covers individuals at least 40 years of age. (29 U.S.C. Sec. 621)
Age Discrimination In Employment Act (Adea)
A federal law that protects older employees from employment discrimination on the basis of age
Age Of Consent
:the age at which a person is deemed competent by law to give consent esp. to sexual intercourse or marriage see also statutory rape compare emancipation, legal age
Age Of Majority
:the age at which a person is granted by law the rights (as ability to sue) and responsibilities (as liability under contract) of an adult compare emancipate NOTE: At common law, the age of majority ...
pl: -cies 1 : the person or thing through which power is exerted or an end is achieved [death by criminal "W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr."] 2 a : a consensual fiduciary relationship in which one ...
Agency By Estoppel
see agency
Agency Shop
: a shop in which the labor union serves as the bargaining agent for and receives dues from all employees in the bargaining unit regardless of union membership compare open shop, union shop
1 : someone or something that acts or exerts power : a moving force in achieving some result 2 : a person guided or instigated by another in some action [where the heads of departments are the ...
-vat·ed -vat·ing : to make more serious, more severe, or worse [maliciousness aggravated the offense] [aggravated her preexisting condition] [aggravating factors] compare mitigate ...
: characterized by aggravating elements (as the use of a deadly weapon) [ kidnapping]
Aggravated Assault
see assault
Aggravated Battery
see battery
Aggravated Robbery
see robbery
Aggravating Circumstance
: a circumstance relating to the commission of an act that increases the degree of liability or culpability [punitive damages are recoverable in a conversion case when the evidence shows legal ...
: one that aggravates ;esp : aggravating circumstance [weigh the s and the mitigators in fixing a sentence]
: taken as a total [ liability]
1 : the collecting of individual units (as damages) into a whole 2 : a collection of separate parts that is unpatentable because no integrated mechanism or new and useful result is produced compare ...
ag·grieved ag·griev·ing : to inflict injury on: as a : to adversely affect the interests of [was not the party aggrieved by the exemption] b : to infringe or deny the rights of [a ...
: having a grievance: as a : suffering from an infringement or denial of rights b : having interests adversely affected [ creditors]
Aggrieved Party
see party
Aggrieved Person
: aggrieved party at party
adjusted gross income
agreed agree·ing vt : to share an opinion that [agreed the terms were fair] vi 1 : to share an opinion, understanding, or intent [unable to on a verdict "New York Law Journal"] 2 : to indicate ...
1 a : the act or fact of agreeing [by mutual ] b : unity of opinion, understanding, or intent ;esp : the mutual assent of contracting parties to the same terms [if they reach ] NOTE: Under common ...
Agricultural Worker
As a nonimmigrant class of admission, an alien coming temporarily to the United States to perform agricultural labor or services, as defined by the Secretary of Labor.
: to provide with what is useful in achieving an end [conspiracy to counsel or draft resisters "K. A. Cohen"] often used in the phrase aid and abet; see also abet vi : to be of use [aided in the ...
Aider By Verdict
: the presumption after a verdict that all facts necessary to the verdict were proven : the correcting of a pleading defect (as failing to allege a fact) by the verdict in order to conform to the ...
Air Right
: a property right to the space above a surface or object (as a building) that may be sold or leased for development purposes [make use of the air rights above the Terminal "Penn Central ...
Aircraft Piracy
1 : the hijacking of an aircraft esp. in flight ;specif : the act of seizing control of an aircraft by force, violence, threat, or intimidation with wrongful intent 2 : the felony of hijacking or ...
Administrative Judge
also known as
: a member of a city legislative body
: a female member of a city legislative body
[Latin aleatorius of a gambler, from aleator gambler, dice player, from alea, a dice game] : depending on an uncertain event or contingency as to both profit and loss [the nature of a lawyer's ...
Aleatory Contract
see contract
Aleatory Promise
see promise
American Law Institute
Ali Test
: substantial capacity test
[Latin, otherwise, from alius other] : otherwise called : also known as [John Thomas Nolan, Legs Diamond]
Alias Writ
see writ
[Latin, elsewhere, from alius other] : a defense of having been somewhere other than at the scene of a crime at the time the crime was committed ;also : the fact or state of having been elsewhere at ...
Alibi Witness
see witness
[Latin alienus not one's own, foreign] : relating, belonging, or owing allegiance to another country or government
: that may be changed over to another's ownership [an interest in property] alien·abil·i·ty [āl-yə-nə-bil-ə-tē, ā-lē-ə-] n
: the status of an alien
-at·ed -at·ing [Latin alienare, from alienus not one's own] : to give away or sell (property or a property right) to another [will not sell, transfer, assign, hypothecate or otherwise any ...
Alienation Of Affections
:the diversion of a person's affection from someone (as a spouse) who has certain rights or claims to such affection usu. to a third person who is held to be the instigator or cause of the diversion ...
: a person to whom property or a property right has been alienated
: a psychiatrist who specializes in the legal aspects of psychiatry (as determining sanity or capacity to stand trial)
: a person who alienates property or a property right to another
[Latin alimonia sustenance, from alere to nourish] 1 : an allowance made to one spouse by the other for support pending or after legal separation or divorce compare child support alimony in gross : ...
Alimony In Gross
see alimony
Alimony Pendente Lite
see alimony
Alimony Trust
see trust
[Medieval Latin aliquotus contained an exact number of times in something else, from Latin aliquot some, several] : of, relating to, or being a fraction or percentage of a whole [may deduct an part ...
[Latin, from alius other + unde whence] : from another source [must be proven ] [proof ]
Aliunde Rule
: a rule of evidence that a verdict may not be challenged by a juror's testimony without evidence from another source used primarily in Ohio
administrative law judge
[New Latin, plural of allegatum, from Medieval Latin allegare to allege, from Latin, to dispatch, adduce in support] : facts alleged or allegations made in a pleading compare probata
1 : the act of alleging 2 a : a statement not yet proven [s in an affidavit] b : a statement by a party to a lawsuit of what the party will attempt to prove : averment compare accusation, ...
Allegation Of Use
a sworn statement signed by a trademark applicant (or a person authorized to sign on behalf of the applicant) attesting to use of the mark in commerce. The allegation of use must include one ...
al·leged al·leg·ing [Old French alegier to alleviate, free, confused with Old French alleguer to allege, from Medieval Latin allegare see allegata ] 1 : to state without proof or ...
1 : asserted to be true ;esp : stated in an allegation [ crimes] 2 : accused but not yet proven or convicted [trial of war criminals "R. G. Neumann"]
: by or according to an allegation [defendant's response showed malice]
Allen Charge
[from the Supreme Court case Allen v. United States, 164 U.S. 492 (1896), which upheld the right of a trial judge to make such a charge] : a charge to a deadlocked jury to make a further effort to ...
Allied Line
: insurance (as for earthquake or water damage) provided by policies separate from a fire policy
: capable of being allocated or assigned
[Medieval Latin, it is allowed] : permission to appeal [granted in order to determine whether the lower courts were in error "City of Pittsburgh v. Commonwealth, 653 A.2d 1210 (1995)"] used primarily ...
-cut·ed -cut·ing : to make an allocution
[Latin allocutio, from alloqui to speak to, from ad to + loqui to speak] : a formal speech ;esp : one made by a defendant at the time of sentencing
[French, literally, something that lengthens, from Old French alonge, from alongier to make long, ultimately from Latin longus long] : a paper attached to an instrument to provide space for ...
: to give approval of or permission for: as a : to grant fulfillment of [ed her petition for relief] b : to decide in favor of [ a deduction on a tax return] c : to permit to be presented [s his ...
1 : an allotted share: as a : a sum granted as a reimbursement or payment for expenses [an to support the deceased's family] [deduction for a moving ] b : a sum granted as a reduction or increase ...
Allowance For Bad Debts
Your best guess at how much of your accounts receivable will not be collectable. In other words, your best guess at how much of your accounts receivable will be "bad debts." An "allowance for bad ...
: material (as clay, silt, sand, or gravel) deposited by running water ;esp : the land added by the gradual or imperceptible accumulation of such material along a bank or shore [ formed in front of ...
Alter Ego
[Latin, literally, second I] : second self ;esp : a person or entity vicariously liable for another (as an agent) [had the officer been the alter ego of the corporation "J. J. White and R. S. ...
1 : occurring or succeeding by turns 2 : being an alternative [ juror]
Alternate Juror
a juror who is selected in the same manner as a regular juror and hears the evidence in a case along with the regular jurors, but does not help decide the case unless called upon to replace a regular ...
Alternate Valuation
: the appraisal of a deceased person's gross estate at the fair market value six months after the person's death
1 : alternate 2 : offering or expressing a choice [an contract] see also alternative pleading at pleading 3 : existing or functioning outside the established system ;also : different from the ...
Alternative Dispute Resolution
: a forum or means for resolving disputes (as arbitration or private judging) that exists outside the state or federal judicial system
Alternative Dispute Resolution (Adr)
Methods of resolving legal disputes without going to trial, in a less adversarial manner, such as through arbitration or mediation.
Alternative Liability
see liability
Alternative Minimum Tax
: a federal tax that prevents a person or entity (as a corporation) with taxable income from avoiding tax liability and that imposes tax liability in the amount of the excess of the tentative minimum ...
Alternative Order
see order
Alternative Pleading
see pleading
Alternative Writ
see writ
A public officer clothed with high diplomatic powers, commissioned by a government to transact the international business of his government with a foreign government.
Ambulance Chaser
: a lawyer or lawyer's agent who solicits accident victims to sue for damages
[Latin ambulatorius, literally, movable, transferable, from ambulare to walk, move, be transferred] : capable of being altered [a will is until the testator's death]
Ameliorating Waste
see waste
Ameliorative Waste
: ameliorating waste at waste
1 : legally subject or answerable [the corporation is not to suit in New York] 2 a : suited by nature [an adult is not to a juvenile treatment program] b : readily yielding, submitting, or ...
1 : to change or modify for the better 2 : to alter esp. in the wording ;esp : to alter formally by modification, deletion, or addition [ed the statute] [ the complaint to cure the defect] ...
: intended or serving to amend [an endorsement]
Amended Pleading
see pleading
1 : an act of amending ;esp : an alteration in wording [s to cure the defect in the pleading] 2 : an alteration proposed or put into effect by legislative or constitutional procedure [the ...
a feature of the home or property that serves as a benefit to the buyer but that is not necessary to its use; may be natural (like location, woods, water) or man-made (like a swimming pool or garden).
Amerasian (Vietnam)
Immigrant visas are issued to Amerasians under a law which provides for the admission of aliens born in Vietnam after January 1, 1962, and before January 1, 1976, if the alien was fathered by a U.S. ...
Amerasian Act
The law provides for the immigration to the United States of certain Amerasian children. In order to qualify for benefits under this law, an alien must have been born in Cambodia, Korea, Laos, ...
[Anglo-French amerciment, from amercier to fine, from Old French a merci at one's mercy] : a fine or damages imposed at the discretion of the court
American Society Of Home Inspectors
the American Society of Home Inspectors is a professional association of independent home inspectors. Phone: (800) 743-2744
Americans With Disabilities Act (Ada)
A federal law that protects employees from discrimination on the basis of disability, and imposes upon employers the requirement that they make "reasonable accommodations" for their employees' ...
Amicable Action
: a case brought before a court by consent of the parties in order to get a ruling on a point of law used esp. in Pennsylvania
pl of amicus
pl: ami·ci [-mē-kē, -mī-sī] : amicus curiae
Amicus Curiae
pl: amici curiae [New Latin, literally, friend of the court] : one (as an individual or organization) that is not a party to a particular lawsuit but is allowed to advise the court regarding a point ...
pl: -ties : an act of clemency by an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted esp. to a group of individuals [illegal-alien farm workers seeking "National Law Journal"]
The gradual payment of a debt through a schedule of payments or the writing off of an intangible asset against expenses over the period of its useful life
-tized -tiz·ing : to reduce (an amount) gradually: as a : to pay off (as a loan) gradually usually by periodic payments of principal and interest or payments to a sinking fund b : to gradually ...
average monthly wage
1 a : a person from whom an individual is descended : ascendant b : a person from whom an estate descends compare heir 2 : one that precedes [ in title]
: existing from a long past date ;specif : having had an uninterrupted existence of 20 to 30 or more years NOTE: Things and esp. documents that are ancient benefit from a presumption that they are ...
1 : having a subordinate, subsidiary, or secondary nature [ functions] [an agreement] 2 : serving as a supplement or addition [ documents] 3 : directly related [ claims]
Ancillary Administrator
see administrator
Ancillary Jurisdiction
see jurisdiction
[Latin, mind, soul] : intent [discriminatory ] compare mens rea
Animus Furandi
[New Latin] : the intent to steal
Animus Testandi
[New Latin] : the intent to make a testament or will
1 : attach [correspondence ed to the petition] [a greenhouse ed to the building] 2 : to incorporate (as a territory) within a political domain [the district es only shards of 24 additional parishes ...
-tat·ed -tat·ing vi : to make or write an annotation vt : to make or write annotations for an·no·ta·tor [-tā-tər] n
1 : a note added (as to a statute) by way of comment or explanation often furnishing summaries of relevant court decisions 2 cap : an informational and descriptive note or essay (as about a case or ...
Annual Exclusion
: the maximum amount that a person can give each year as a gift without having to pay a gift tax NOTE: The annual exclusion is currently $10,000 per donee.
Annual Meeting
: a meeting of shareholders that the law requires a corporation to hold each year for the election of directors and the transaction of other business compare special meeting NOTE: In order for a vote ...
Annual Mortgagor Statement
yearly statement to borrowers detailing the remaining principal and amounts paid for taxes and interest.
Annual Percentage Rate (Apr)
a measure of the cost of credit, expressed as a yearly rate. It includes interest as well as other charges. Because all lenders, by federal law, follow the same rules to ensure the accuracy of the ...
Annual Report
: a written report distributed to shareholders each year by a corporation that sets forth financial information (as an auditor's report, the selling prices of the corporation's stock, and the yearly ...
: a person entitled to receive benefits or payments from an annuity
pl: -ities [Medieval Latin annuitas, from Latin annuus yearly] 1 : an amount payable at regular intervals (as yearly or quarterly) for a certain or uncertain period 2 : the grant of or the right to ...
Annuity Certain
see annuity
Annuity Due
see annuity
an·nulled an·nul·ling 1 : to declare (a marriage) to have never validly existed compare divorce 2 a : to make legally void b : to declare to no longer have legal effect
1 : the act of annulling : the state of being annulled 2 : a declaration by a court that a marriage is invalid compare divorce
1 : the defendant's written response to the plaintiff's complaint in a civil suit in which he or she may deny any of plaintiff's allegations, offer any defenses, and make any counterclaims against ...
: earlier in time or order
Antecedent Debt
see debt
: made or occurring before marriage [an obligation]
Antenuptial Agreement
: an agreement made between a man and a woman before marrying in which they give up future rights to each other's property in the event of a divorce or death called also prenuptial agreement
Antenuptial Will
see will
Anti-Lapse Statute
: a statute providing that in the event a person who would have received a gift under a will dies before the person who made the will dies then the gift is distributed to the heirs of the person who ...
[New Latin, from Greek, from anti- opposite + chrēsis use, from chrēsthai to use, need] in the civil law of Louisiana : a written pledge and transfer from a debtor to a creditor of ...
-pat·ed -pat·ing 1 : to bar or invalidate (a patent) by anticipation [the patent on the compound had been anticipated by the Beilstein reference "Misani v. Ortho Pharm. Corp., 210 A.2d 609 ...
: the knowledge or use of an invention in the U.S. or the patenting or describing of the invention in a publication in the U.S. or a foreign country before the discovery by a patent applicant NOTE: ...
: of or relating to a prior action that takes into account or forestalls a later action [an challenge brought for declaratory and injunctive relief "L. H. Tribe"] ...
Anticipatory Breach
see breach
Anticipatory Repudiation
: a refusal by one party to a contract to perform his or her future obligations under the contract that is expressed either by a clear statement of refusal or by a statement or action that clearly ...
Anticipatory Warrant
: anticipatory search warrant at warrant
: of, relating to, or being legislation against or opposition to business trusts or combinations ;specif : consisting of laws to protect trade and commerce from unlawful restraints and monopolies or ...
Affidavit of Support, Form I-864. A document promising that the person who completes it will support an applicant financially in the United States. Family and certain employment immigration cases ...
(Administrative Procedure Act) A federal law enacted in 1946 governing practice and proceedings before federal administrative agencies. (5 U.S.C. 551)
1 : capable of being easily seen, perceived, or discovered [ defects] [ ambiguity] 2 : having a right to succeed to a title or estate that cannot be defeated 3 : appearing to one's senses and esp. ...
Apparent Agency
see agency
Apparent Agent
see agent
Apparent Authority
see authority
Apparent Easement
see easement
Apparent Heir
see heir
Apparent Servitude
see servitude
[Old French apel, from apeler to call, accuse, appeal, from Latin appellare] : a proceeding in which a case is brought before a higher court for review of a lower court's judgment for the purpose of ...
Appeal Bond
see bond
Appeals Court
: a court that hears appeals ;esp : an intermediate level appellate court
1 : to present oneself before a person or body having authority [to before the officer who is to take the deposition "Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 37(d)"]: as a : to present oneself in ...
1 : the presentation of oneself in court as a party to or as an attorney for a party to a lawsuit ;also : a document filed in court by an attorney declaring his or her representation of a party to a ...
Appearance Bond
see bond
: a person or party who appeals a court's judgment compare appellee
: of or relating to appeals or the power to hear appeals [the process] [an court]
Appellate Brief
Written arguments by counsel required to be filed with appellate court on why the trial court acted correctly (appellee's brief) or incorrectly (appellant's brief).
Appellate Court
a court that reviews decisions of lower courts. In the federal courts, the primary appellate courts are the U.S. courts of appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. State courts also have a court of appeals ...
Appellate Jurisdiction
see jurisdiction
: the party to an appeal arguing that the lower court's judgment was correct and should stand compare appellant
An applet is a small application. In terms of the Internet, an applet is a little program that can be sent with a Web page to a user. Using Java programming language, applets can perform animation and ...
Applicant (Visa)
A foreign citizen who is applying for a nonimmigrant or immigrant U.S. visa. The visa applicant may also be referred as a beneficiary for petition based visas
: a request for action or relief [most s request bail…or an extension of time to file "W. J. Brennan, Jr."] ;also : a form used to make such a request [an insurance ]
Application (Trademark)
Document by which a person requests a federal trademark registration. To receive a filing date, an application must include (1) the applicant's name, (2) a name and address for correspondence, (3) a ...
Application Fee
a fee charged by lenders to process a loan application.
Application Integration
The process of merging information from one application with that of another application.  Achieving application integration varies in difficulty depending on the software capabilities.
1 : to name officially to a position [ed to the agency's top post] [ed conservator of the estate] 2 : to determine the distribution of (property) by exercising the authority granted by a power of ...
1 : a person who is appointed to a position 2 : a person to whom property is appointed under a power of appointment
Appointive Asset
see asset
Appointment Package
The letter and documents that tell an applicant of the date of the immigrant visa interview. It includes forms that the applicant must complete before the interview and instructions for how to get ...
: to make a usually proportionate division or distribution of (an amount due) according to a plan: as a : to divide (an amount due in tax or other liability) among the parties responsible for ...
: highly pertinent or appropriate
: a valuation of property by the estimate of an authorized person: as a : the determination of the fair value of a corporation's stock by a judicial proceeding that a dissenting shareholder is ...
Appraisal Clause
: a provision in an insurance policy for a procedure to be followed in determining the amount of a loss when the insured and the insurer cannot agree
Appraisal Fee
fee charged by an appraiser to estimate the market value of a property.
ap·praised ap·prais·ing : to estimate the value of : make an appraisal of ap·prais·er n
Appraised Value
an estimation of the current market value of a property.
a qualified individual who uses his or her experience and knowledge to prepare the appraisal estimate.
-at·ed -at·ing vt 1 : to judge or understand the significance of [incapable of appreciating the difference between right and wrong "B. N. Cardozo"] 2 : to raise the market value of compare ...
an increase in property value.
[Latin apprehendere to seize, arrest, from ad to + prehendere to seize] : arrest
: arrest
-at·ed -at·ing [Late Latin appropriare to take possession of, from ad to, for + proprius one's own] 1 : to set apart for or assign to a particular recipient, purpose, or use [the ...
In governmental accounting, an expenditure authorized for a specified amount, purpose and time.
Approval Notice
A U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) immigration form, Notice of Action Form I-797, that says that USCIS has approved a petition, or request for extension of stay or change of status.
ap·proved ap·prov·ing : to give formal or official sanction to : ratify [Congress approved the proposed budget]
[Anglo-French apurtenance, alteration of Old French apartenance, from apartenant appurtenant] : property (as an outbuilding or fixture) or a property right (as a right of way) that is incidental to a ...
[Anglo-French apurtenant, alteration of Old French apartenant, present participle of apartenir to belong, appertain] : annexed or belonging to a more important property
Appurtenant Easement
see easement
annual percentage rate
[Latin, onlooker, arbitrator] : arbitrator
[French, literally, arbitration, decision-making] 1 : the purchase of a security, commodity, or foreign currency in one market for the purpose of immediately selling it at a higher price in another ...
or ar·bi·trag·er [Ä r-bə-trÄ -zhər] n : one that practices arbitrage
: of or relating to arbitrators or arbitration
1 : the settling of a dispute by an arbitrator 2 : arbitrator's award
1 : depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by standards, rules, or law [the manner of punishment is ] 2 a : not restrained or limited in the exercise of power [an ...
Arbitrary Mark
: a trademark, service mark, or trade name that is not indicative of the nature of the goods or services
Arbitrary Marks
Comprise words that are in common linguistic use but, when used to identify particular goods or services, do not suggest or describe a significant ingredient, quality or characteristic of the goods or ...
-trat·ed -trat·ing vt 1 : to act as arbitrator for 2 : to bring to arbitration for settlement [agreed to their dispute] vi : to act as arbitrator ar·bi·tra·tive ...
[Latin arbitratio, from arbitrari to judge, arbitrate, from arbiter onlooker, arbitrator] : the process of resolving a dispute (as between labor and management) or a grievance outside of the court ...
: an impartial person or group that is given the power by disputing parties to resolve their dispute compare mediator
Arbitrator's Award
: the decision an arbitrator makes concerning a dispute called also arbitrament
ar·gued ar·gu·ing vi 1 : to give reasons for or against a matter in dispute [arguing for an extension] 2 : to present a case in court [will for the defense] vt 1 a : to give reasons ...
[New Latin] : for the sake of argument [assuming that the allegations are true]
1 : a reason or the reasoning given for or against a matter under discussion compare evidence, proof 2 : the act or process of arguing, reasoning, or discussing ;esp : oral argument
Adjustable Rate Mortgage; a mortgage loan subject to changes in interest rates; when rates change, ARM monthly payments increase or decrease at intervals determined by the lender; the change in ...
Arm's Length
: the condition of the parties to a business deal in which each has independent interests and one does not dominate the other often used in the phrase at arm's length [a contract made at arm's ...
1 : having a weapon [an assailant] 2 : involving the use of a weapon [an attack]
Armed Robbery
see robbery
[Anglo-French arrainer, from Old French araisnier to address, call to account, from a-, prefix stressing goal of an action + raisnier to speak] : to bring (a defendant) before a judge or magistrate ...
a proceeding in which a person accused of committing a crime is brought into court, told of the charges, and asked to plead guilty or not guilty.
Arraignment On The Warrant
:initial appearance
: to set (a jury) for trial ;specif : to set (a jury) by calling out the names of the jurors one at a time compare impanel
1 a : the condition of being behind in one's duties or esp. financial obligations usually used in pl. [in s with the rent] b : the condition of being due at the end of a term rather than the ...
1 : the condition of being in arrears 2 : something that is in arrears ;esp : something unpaid and overdue : arrear often used in pl. [the Virginia court reduced the s to a final judgment ...
[Middle French arest, from arester to stop, seize, arrest, ultimately from Latin ad to, at + restare to stay] : the restraining and seizure of a person whether or not by physical force by someone ...
Arrest Of Judgment
[arrest stoppage] : a judge's stopping of a judgment because of a defect (as that the acts proven do not constitute a crime) for which the judgment could be reversed
Arrest Warrant
see warrant
: a person who is or was under arrest
Arrival-Departure Card
Also known as Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection official at the port-of-entry gives foreign visitors (all non-U.S. citizens) an Arrival-Departure Record, (a ...
[Anglo-French arsoun, alteration of Old French arsin, literally, conflagration, from ars, past participle of ardre to burn] : the act or crime of willfully, wrongfully, and unjustifiably setting ...
1 a : a separate and usually numbered or otherwise marked section (as of a statute, indictment, will, or other writing) b : a separate point, charge, count, or clause c : a condition or stipulation ...
Article I Court
: legislative court
Article Iii Court
: a court created in accordance with Article III of the U.S. Constitution whose judges have positions for life and cannot have their salaries reduced compare legislative court NOTE: The purpose of ...
Articles Of Association
1 : the instrument under which an association is organized 2 : articles of incorporation
Articles Of Dissolution
The document that a corporation files with the secretary of state that causes the dissolution of the corporation
Articles Of Incorporation
:a document by which a corporation is formed that sets forth basic information (as the corporation's name, purpose, directors, and stock) usu. as required by statute see also certificate of ...
: capable of being expressed, explained, or justified [police had observed drug sale and stopped defendant on reasonable suspicion that he was dealing drugs "National Law Journal"]
: a clever strategy usually intended to deceive or defraud
1 a : made by humans [ accessions] compare natural b : caused or produced by a human and esp. social or political agency [an price advantage] 2 : arising through operation of law ...
Artificial Person
: legal person compare natural person
As Is Clause
: a clause in an agreement providing that the buyer accepts the item for sale in its presently existing condition without modification or repair NOTE: Under Uniform Commercial Code section 2-316, an ...
As-Is Condition
the purchase or sale of a property in its existing condition without repairs.
: ancestor
Asking Price
a seller's stated price for a property.
[Latin asportatio, from asportare to carry off, from abs- away + portare to carry] : a carrying away ;specif : the carrying away of someone else's property that is an element of larceny
: a person who commits criminal assault
[Old French assaut, literally, attack, ultimately from Latin assultus, from assilire to leap (on), attack] 1 : the crime or tort of threatening or attempting to inflict immediate offensive physical ...
Assault With Intent
see assault
-bled -bling vt : to bring or summon together into a group esp. in a particular place for a particular purpose vi : to come or meet together in a group often formally or for a common purpose [the ...
pl: -blies 1 a : a company of persons collected together in one place usually for some common purpose b cap : a legislative body esp. that makes up the lower house of a legislature see also general ...
: to agree to something esp. freely and with understanding : give one's assent
: to present and demand recognition of [ a claim] as·ser·tion [ə-sər-shən] n
1 : to determine the rate or amount of (as a tax) 2 a : to impose (as a tax) according to an established rate b : to subject to a tax, charge, or levy [each property owner was ed an additional five ...
Assessed Value
the value that a public official has placed on any asset (used to determine taxes).
Assessment Lien
see lien
the method of placing value on an asset for taxation purposes.
1 : one appointed or elected to assist a judge or magistrate ;esp : one with special knowledge of the subject to be decided see also master 2 : one that assesses ;specif : one that is authorized ...
[back-formation from assets, singular, sufficient property to pay debts and legacies, from Anglo-French asetz, from Old French asez enough] 1 : the entire property of a person, business organization, ...
Asset Depreciation Range
: a range of useful lives assigned to types of property under the Internal Revenue Code for purposes of depreciation
Asset-Backed Security
see security
any item with measurable value.
1 : to transfer (property or rights) to another [the general practice by inventors of ing patent rights "J. K. Owens"] 2 : to appoint to a post or duty [ed to represent the defendant] 3 : to fix or ...
Assigned Risk
: a poor risk (as an accident-prone driver) that insurance companies would normally reject but are forced to insure by state law
: a person to whom a right or property is transferred
1 : the act of assigning 2 a : a position, post, or office to which one is assigned b : a task assigned 3 : a present transfer of property or rights absolute assignment : an assignment in which ...
Assignment Of Error
:a declaration by a party to a legal action specifying the errors made by the court during the trial that the party seeks to have corrected (as by a new trial)
Assignment Of Income
see assignment
Assignment Of Lease
see assignment
Assistance Of Counsel
:the help of a lawyer which a defendant in a criminal prosecution is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution see also ineffective assistance of counsel Powell v. Alabama in the ...
: a lawyer employed by a law firm compare partner
Associate Justice
: a justice of a court of last resort who is not the chief justice
1 : a group of persons who share common interests or a common purpose and who are organized with varying degrees of formality compare corporation 2 : the act of having contact or communication with ...
Assumable Mortgage
when a home is sold, the seller may be able to transfer the mortgage to the new buyer. This means the mortgage is assumable. Lenders generally require a credit review of the new borrower and may ...
as·sumed as·sum·ing 1 : to voluntarily take upon oneself [ a risk] 2 : to take over (the debts or obligations of another) as one's own [ a mortgage]
[Medieval Latin, he/she undertook] : an express or implied promise or contract or quasi contract the breach of which may be grounds for a suit ;also : a common-law action that may be brought for ...
Assumption Clause
a provision in the terms of a loan that allows the buyer to take legal responsibility for the mortgage from the seller.
Assumption Of Risk
:a doctrine that a person may in advance relieve another person of the obligation to act towards him or her with due care and may accept the chance of being injured ;also : an affirmative defense ...
1 a : the act of assuring b : guarantee 2 : the act of conveying real property ;also : the document by which it is conveyed 3 chiefly Brit : insurance
as·sured as·sur·ing 1 chiefly Brit : insure 2 a : to inform positively [the seller assured the buyer of his honesty] b : to provide a guarantee of
pl: assured or: assureds : insured
A person who cannot return to his home country because of a well-founded fear of persecution. An application for asylum is made in the United States to the DHS. Go to the U. S. Citizenship and ...
: protection from arrest and extradition given esp. to political refugees by a nation or by an embassy or other agency that has diplomatic immunity
Asylum State
: a state that is holding a fugitive from justice from another state pending extradition
At-Risk Rule
: any of several rules enacted by the Tax Reform Act of 1976 that restrict the deduction from income a taxpayer may take for a loss to the amount for which the taxpayer is personally liable
A term used to describe many employment relationships. In a nutshell, "at-will" means that an employee can be fired for any reason, or for no reason at all. However, even an at-will employee is ...
At-Will Employment
A type of employment relationship in which there is no contractual agreement and either party may end the employment relationship at any time, for any reason or for no reason at all, without incurring ...
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms see also the Important Agencies section
: characterized by extreme cruelty or viciousness [ assault and battery]
[Anglo-French attacher to lodge (an action in court), seize (a person or property) by legal authority, from Old French atachier to fasten, fix, alteration of estachier, from estache stake] vt 1 : to ...
Attachment Bond
see bond
Attachment Lien
see lien
: an attempt to prove something invalid or incorrect esp. through judicial procedures [made an on the will as not properly witnessed] ;specif : an attempt to have the judgment of a court corrected ...
[Anglo-French atteinder, from ateindre to convict, sentence, literally, to reach, attain, ultimately from Latin attingere to reach, from ad to + tangere to touch] : the termination of the civil ...
[Anglo-French ateint, past participle of ateindre see attainder ] : to subject (a person) to the consequences of attainder
: the crime of having the intent to commit and taking action in an effort to commit a crime that fails or is prevented called also criminal attempt see also impossibility NOTE: There is no settled ...
: characterized by an intent to commit and effort taken to commit a specified crime that fails or is prevented [ forgery]
: a lessening of the amount, force, or magnitude of something ;specif : a weakening of the connection between an illegal police procedure and the evidence obtained by it such that the evidence is ...
[Latin attestari, from ad to + testari to call to witness, from testis witness] vt : to bear witness to : affirm to be true or genuine ;specif : to authenticate (as a will) by signing as a witness ...
Attestation Clause
: a clause at the end of a will in which the witnesses state that the will was signed and witnessed with all the formalities required by law and which often sets forth those requirements
[Anglo-French aturner to transfer (allegiance of a tenant to another lord), from Old French atorner to turn (to), arrange, from a- to + torner to turn] : to agree to be the tenant of a new landlord ...
pl: -neys [Anglo-French atorné legal representative, from past participle of atorner to designate, appoint, from Old French, to prepare, arrange see attorn ] : a person authorized to act on ...
Attorney General
pl: attorneys general or: attorney generals : the chief law officer of a nation or state who represents the government in litigation and serves as its principal legal advisor
pl: attorneys-at-law : lawyer compare attorney-in-fact
Attorney-Client Privilege
the doctrine that ensures that communications between an attorney and his or her client remain confidential and that the attorney cannot be compelled to disclose them.
pl: attorneys-in-fact : an attorney who may or may not be a lawyer who is given written authority to act on another's behalf esp. by a power of attorney compare attorney-at-law
Attractive Nuisance
see nuisance
: a rule in tax law that in certain cases deems property owned by one person or business entity to be owned by another or others
Atty Gen
attorney general
: a public sale of property to the highest bidder see also reserve
1 : a formal examination of an organization's or an individual's financial records often for the purpose of uncovering fraud or inaccurate tax returns ;also : the final report of such an examination ...
Audit Committee
: a corporate committee made up of usually outside directors who review audits and evaluations of the corporation and its officers
1 : a person qualified and authorized to examine and verify financial records 2 : a referee appointed by a court in a civil action ;esp : one designated to prepare an account for the court see also ...
Augmented Estate
see estate
Authentic Act
in the civil law of Louisiana : a writing executed in accordance with law which requires that each party to the writing sign it before a public officer (as a notary public) and two witnesses and that ...
-cat·ed -cat·ing 1 : to prove or serve to prove that (something) is genuine ;esp : to prove that (an item of evidence) is genuine for the purpose of establishing admissibility 2 : to make ...
pl: -ties 1 : an official decision of a court used esp. as a precedent 2 a : a power to act esp. over others that derives from status, position, or office [the of the president] ;also : ...
Authority By Estoppel
:apparent authority at authority
-rized -riz·ing 1 : to give permission to 2 : to give authority to act to au·tho·ri·za·tion [ȯ-thə-rə-zā-shən] n
Automated Underwriting
loan processing completed through a computer-based system that evaluates past credit history to determine if a loan should be approved. This system removes the possibility of personal bias against the ...
: happening or existing through the operation of a preexisting arrangement that is triggered by some event ;specif : happening or existing through the operation of law [ reversal] [an appeal] ...
Automatic Stay
: a stay that comes into operation upon the filing of a bankruptcy petition in accordance with bankruptcy law that prevents creditors from attempting to collect from the debtor for debts incurred ...
Automobile Exception
: an exception to the prohibition on warrantless searches that allows a police officer to search an automobile without a search warrant in cases where the officer has probable cause to believe that ...
Automobile Guest Statute
: guest statute
Automobile Liability Insurance
Protection against payment for injury to other persons or their property from an accident involving your car.
: the quality or state of being self-governing ;esp : the right of self-government au·ton·o·mous [-məs] adj au·ton·o·mous·ly adv
pl: -sies : an examination of a body after death usually involving dissection esp. to determine the cause of death called also post mortem post mortem examination autopsy vt
Autrefois Acquit
[Anglo-French, formerly acquitted] : a defendant's plea stating that he or she has already been tried for and acquitted of the same offense
Autrefois Convict
[Anglo-French, formerly convicted] : a defendant's plea stating that he or she has already been tried for and convicted of the same offense
averred aver·ring : to assert or declare positively esp. in a pleading : allege [not necessary to the capacity of a party to sue "Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 9(a)"] NOTE: Federal ...
Average Daily Wage (Adw)
The ADW is a calculation of an injured employee's average daily earnings and is sometimes used to determine entitlement to wage loss benefits following an injury, particularly where the AWW would not ...
Average Price
determining the cost of a home by totaling the cost of all houses sold in one area and dividing by the number of homes sold.
Average Weekly Wage (Aww)
The AWW is another method which may be utilized in calculating entitlement to wage loss benefits. The average earnings, by week, for a fixed period of time are calculated and wage loss benefits are ...
[modification of Old French esvuider to destroy, literally, to empty, from es- out + vuider to empty] 1 : to make void or undo : annul [the trustee may any transfer of interest of the debtor in ...
Avoidable Consequences
: mitigation of damages
[Latin avulsio act of tearing away, from avellere to tear away, from a- off, away + vellere to pull, pluck] : a sudden cutting off of land by flood or change in the course of a body of water ;esp : ...
[Anglo-French awarder agarder to look at, decide on, impose, alteration of Old French esguarder to look at, from es-, intensive prefix + guarder to guard] 1 : to give in accordance with a judicial or ...
absent without leave
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