Dictionary of Law
earnest payment :: n. a deposit paid to demonstrate commitment and to ... (liquidated) or committed damages.
easement :: n. the right to use the real property of another f ... rstandings at the time of creation.
egress :: n. way of departure. A word usually used in conjun ... unction with "access" or "ingress."
EIR :: n. popular acronym for environmental impact report ... e also: environmental impact report
ejectment :: n. a lawsuit brought to remove a party who is occu ... o the property through her parents.
ejusdem generis :: (eh-youse-dem generous) v adj. Latin for "of the s ... t was of land-based transportation.
elder law :: n. a specialty in legal practice, covering estate ... t field. (definition revised: 9/02)
election of remedies :: n. an outmoded requirement that if a plaintiff (pa ... dence has not been fully presented.
election under the will :: n. in those states which have statutes which give ... arries) left to her under his will.
eleemosynary :: (eh-luh-moss-uh-nary) adj. charitable, as applied ... pplied to a purpose or institution.
element :: n. 1) an essential requirement to a cause of actio ... of action crime general plan zoning
emancipation :: n. freeing a minor child from the control of paren ... vorced parent to pay child support.
embezzlement :: n. the crime of stealing the funds or property of ... in trust. See also: embezzler theft
embezzler :: n. a person who commits the crime of embezzlement ... r property of an employer or trust.
emblements :: n. crops to which a tenant who cultivated the land ... ome the property of his/her estate.
emergency :: n. a sudden, unforeseen happening which requires a ... r to protect lives and/or property.
eminent domain :: n. the power of a governmental entity (federal, st ... ngs. See also: condemn condemnation
emolument :: n. salary, wages and benefits paid for employment ... d for employment or an office held.
emotional distress :: n. an increasingly popular basis for a claim of da ... ar value upon it. See also: damages
employee :: n. a person who is hired for a wage, salary, fee o ... ondeat superior scope of employment
employer :: n. a person or entity which hires the services of ... gency. See also: employee principal
employment :: n. the hiring of a person for compensation. It is ... ployment Workers' Compensation Acts
en banc :: (on bonk) French for "in the bench," it signifies ... he case and agreed to by the court.
enabling clause :: n. a provision in a new statute which empowers a p ... ect, including making expenditures.
enclosure :: (inclosure)n. land bounded by a fence, wall, hedge ... oundaries and cause legal problems.
encroach :: v. to build a structure which is in whole or in pa ... wn property. See also: encroachment
encroachment :: n. the act of building a structure which is in who ... hbor's property. See also: encroach
encumbrance :: (incumbrance)n. a general term for any claim or li ... and must be paid for at some point.
endorse (indorse) :: v. 1) to sign one's name to the back of a check, b ... or candidate. See also: endorsement
endorsement :: (indorsement)n. 1) the act of the owner or payee s ... te. See also: negotiable instrument
endowment :: n. the creation of a fund, often by gift or beques ... college, university or scholarship.
enjoin :: v. for a court to order that someone either do a s ... so: injunction temporary injunction
enjoyment :: n. 1) to exercise a right. 2) pleasure. 3) the use ... o be free of noise or interference.
enter a judgment :: v. to officially record a judgment on the "judgmen ... ounced. See also: entry of judgment
entity :: n. a general term for any institution, company, co ... is distinguished from individuals.
entrapment :: n. in criminal law, the act of law enforcement off ... e drugs if not pressed by the narc?
entry of judgment :: n. the placement of a judgment on the official rol ... on the official roll of judgments.
environmental impact report :: n. a study of all the factors which a land develop ... See also: EIR negative declaration
environmental law :: n. a body of state and federal statutes intended t ... imental effects on the environment.
equal opportunity :: 1) n. a right supposedly guaranteed by both federa ... be so. See also: affirmative action
equal protection of the law :: n. the right of all persons to have the same acces ... laws." See also: due process of law
equitable :: adj. 1) just, based on fairness and not legal tech ... es or give relief. See also: equity
equitable estoppel :: n. where a court will not grant a judgment or othe ... also: clean hands doctrine estoppel
equitable lien :: n. a lien on property imposed by a court in order ... lso: constructive trust equity lien
equity :: n. 1) a venerable group of rights and procedures t ... ry enjoin equitable injunction writ
equity of redemption :: n. the right of a mortgagor (person owing on a loa ... so: foreclosure mortgage redemption
equivalent :: : n., adj. equal in value, force or meaning. ... . equal in value, force or meaning.
ergo :: (air-go)conj. Latin for "therefore," often used in ... osopher Rene Descartes (1596-1650).
erroneous :: adj. 1) in error, wrong. 2) not according to estab ... n a legal decision or court ruling.
error :: n. a mistake by a judge in procedure or in substan ... or. See also: harmless error remand
errors and omissions :: n. short hand for malpractice insurance which give ... issions which amount to negligence.
escalator clause :: n. a provision in a lease or other agreement in wh ... instead of inflation. See also: cap
escape clause :: n. a provision in a contract which allows one of t ... ligation if a certain event occurs.
escheat :: n. from old French eschete, which meant "that whic ... the death of the last known owner.
escrow :: 1) n. a form of account held by an "escrow agent" ... w the deal." See also: escrow agent
escrow agent :: n. a person or entity holding documents and funds ... on local practice. See also: escrow
escrow instructions :: n. the written instructions by buyer and seller of ... ir agents. See also: closing escrow
espionage :: n. the crime of spying on the federal government a ... n enemy. See also: sedition treason
esquire :: n. a form of address showing that someone is an at ... or barristers, sheriffs and judges.
estate :: n. 1) all that one owns in real estate and other a ... ife estate probate real estate will
estate by entirety :: n. tenancy by the entirety ... n. tenancy by the entirety
estate tax :: n. generally a federal tax on the transfer of a de ... commonly called an inheritance tax.
estop :: v. to halt, bar or prevent. See also: estoppel ... bar or prevent. See also: estoppel
estoppel :: n. a bar or impediment (obstruction) which preclud ... pel equitable estoppel estop laches
et al. :: n. abbreviation for the Latin phrase et alii meani ... urgatroyd v. Sally Sherman, et al."
et seq. :: (et seek) n. abbreviation for the Latin phrase et ... Vehicle Code Section 1204, et seq."
et ux. :: (et uhks) n. abbreviation for the Latin words et u ... ression a chauvinistic anachronism.
evasion of tax :: n. the intentional attempt to avoid paying taxes t ... rs. See also: estate tax income tax
eviction :: n. a generic word for the act of expelling (kickin ... ve eviction lease unlawful detainer
evidence :: n. every type of proof legally presented at trial ... material object objection relevant
ex delicto :: (ex dee-lick-toe)adj. Latin for a reference to som ... ns which were civil wrongs (torts).
ex officio :: a (ex oh-fish-ee-oh)dj. Latin for "from the office ... ne is president of the corporation.
ex parte :: (ex par-tay, but popularly, ex party) adj. Latin m ... and place of any ex parte hearing.
ex post facto :: adj. Latin for "after the fact," which refers to l ... ted before the new law was adopted.
ex rel. :: conj. abbreviation for Latin ex relatione, meaning ... . Archie Johnson v. Hardy Products.
examination :: n. 1) the questioning of a witness by an attorney. ... irect examination testimony witness
exception :: n. 1) a formal objection during trial ("We take ex ... cluded. See also: exception in deed
exception in deed :: n. a notation in a deed of title to real property ... the transfer (conveyance) of title.
excessive bail :: n. an amount of bail ordered posted by an accused ... ppeal for reduction. See also: bail
exchange :: 1) v. to trade or barter property, goods and/or se ... ins tax. See also: delayed exchange
excise :: n. a tax upon manufacture, sale or for a business ... s redundantly called an excise tax.
exclusionary rule :: n. the rule that evidence secured by illegal means ... e poisonous tree motion to suppress
exculpatory :: adj. applied to evidence which may justify or excu ... t guilty or has no criminal intent.
excusable neglect :: n. a legitimate excuse for the failure of a party ... See also: default default judgment
execute :: v. 1) to finish, complete or perform as required, ... ishment contract executed execution
executed :: 1) adj. to have been completed. (Example: "it is a ... a death sentence. See also: execute
execution :: n. 1) the act of getting an officer of the court t ... so: death penalty writ of execution
executive clemency :: n. the power of a President in federal criminal ca ... ernor. See also: commutation pardon
executive order :: n. a President's or Governor's declaration which h ... the Congress or state legislature.
executive privilege :: n. a claim by the President or another high offici ... the Watergate scandal (1973-1974).
executor :: n. the person appointed to administer the estate o ... sed decedent executrix probate will
executory :: adj. something not yet performed or done. Examples ... een distributed to the beneficiary.
executory interest :: n. an interest in property (particularly real esta ... or never, if certain events occur.
executrix :: (pl. executrices) n. Latin for female executor. Ho ... r is now unisex. See also: executor
exemplary damages :: n. often called punitive damages, these are damage ... See also: damages punitive damages
exemption :: n. 1) in income taxation, a credit given for each ... l children or is a college student.
exhibit :: n. 1) a document or object (including a photograph ... ncorporated into the main document.
expectancy :: n. a possibility of future enjoyment of something ... o: distribution remainder reversion
expense :: n. in business accounting and business taxation, a ... ment. See also: capital expenditure
expert testimony :: n. opinions stated during trial or deposition (tes ... inal case. See also: expert witness
expert witness :: n. a person who is a specialist in a subject, ofte ... sitions. See also: expert testimony
express :: adj. direct, unambiguous, distinct language, parti ... plication to determine the meaning.
express contract :: n. a contract in which all elements are specifical ... e circumstances. See also: contract
expropriation :: n. a taking of property or rights by governmental ... the taker. See also: eminent domain
extension :: n. granting of a specific amount of extra time to ... he original expiration of the term.
extenuating circumstances :: n. surrounding factors (sometimes called mitigatio ... See also: mitigating circumstances
extinguishment :: n. the cancellation or destruction of a right, qui ... urther money or performance is due.
extortion :: n. obtaining money or property by threat to a vict ... . See also: blackmail robbery theft
extradition :: n. the surrender by one state or country of a pers ... ty. See also: fugitive from justice
extrajudicial :: adj. referring to actions outside the judicial (co ... gnized by the judge during a trial.
extraordinary fees :: n. attorneys' fees claimed, usually in the adminis ... n. See also: attorney's fee probate
extreme cruelty :: n. an archaic requirement to show infliction of ph ... ring the suffering spouse (victim).
extrinsic fraud :: n. fraudulent acts which keep a person from obtain ... it. See also: fraud intrinsic fraud
eyewitness :: n. a person who has actually seen an event and can ... event and can so testify in court.