Dictionary of Law

maxims :: legal definition

Maxims - n. a collection of legal truisms which are used as "rules of thumb" by both judges and lawyers. They are listed in the codified statutes of most states, and include: "When the reason of a rule ceases, so should the rule itself." "He who consents to an act is not wronged by it." "No one can take advantage of his own wrong." "No one should suffer by the act of another." "He who takes the benefit must bear the burden." "For every wrong there is a remedy." "Between rights otherwise equal, the earliest is preferred." "No man is responsible for that which no man can control." "The law helps the vigilant, before those who sleep on their rights." "The law respects form less than substance." "The law never requires impossibilities." "The law neither does nor requires idle acts." "The law disregards trifles." "Particular expressions qualify those which are general." "That is certain which can be made certain." "Time does not confirm a void act." "An interpretation which gives effect is preferred to one which makes void." "Interpretation must be reasonable." "Things happen according to the ordinary course of nature and the ordinary habits of life."

Related Law Terms

abuse of discretion :: n. a polite way of saying a trial judge has made s ... partner's realistic ability to pay.
administrative law :: n. the procedures created by administrative agenci ... judge Administrative Procedure Act
Administrative Procedure Act :: n. the federal act which established the rules and ... strative hearing administrative law
admiralty :: n. concerning activities which occur at sea, inclu ... "proctors." See also: maritime law
advisory opinion :: n. an opinion stated by a judge or a court upon th ... o: actual controversy friendly suit
answer :: n. in law, a written pleading filed by a defendant ... emurrer general denial verification
antitrust laws :: n. acts adopted by Congress to outlaw or restrict ... so: price fixing restraint of trade
appeal :: 1) v. to ask a higher court to reverse the decisio ... ng, as in "he has filed an appeal."
attachment :: n. the seizing of money or property prior to getti ... bond. See also: writ of attachment
attempt :: v. and n. to actually try to commit a crime and ha ... felt he tried but did not succeed.
Attorney General :: n. in each state and the federal government the hi ... izenry. See also: Solicitor General
bankruptcy :: n. a federal system of statutes and courts which p ... y proceedings trustee in bankruptcy
bar examination :: n. the examination given in each state by either t ... n that district. See also: attorney
brief :: 1) n. a written legal argument, usually in a forma ... another person. See also: precedent
cartel :: n. 1) an arrangement among supposedly independent ... Colombia. See also: antitrust laws
case law :: n. reported decisions of appeals courts and other ... es. See also: case system precedent
case system :: n. the method of studying law generally used in Am ... Langdell and soon became standard.
color of law :: n. the appearance of an act being performed based ... xtort payoffs to forget the ticket.
common law :: n. the traditional unwritten law of England, based ... plied without reference to statute.
consumer protection laws :: n. almost all states and the federal government ha ... rranty product liability securities
contract :: 1) n. an agreement with specific terms between two ... n oral contract unilateral contract
corporation :: n. an organization formed with state governmental ... ation public corporation securities
damages :: n. the amount of money which a plaintiff (the pers ... liquidated damages special damages
descent :: n. the rules of inheritance established by law in ... on inheritance intestate succession
entrapment :: n. in criminal law, the act of law enforcement off ... e drugs if not pressed by the narc?
equal protection of the law :: n. the right of all persons to have the same acces ... laws." See also: due process of law
ex post facto :: adj. Latin for "after the fact," which refers to l ... ted before the new law was adopted.
exclusionary rule :: n. the rule that evidence secured by illegal means ... e poisonous tree motion to suppress
fiduciary :: 1) n. from the Latin fiducia, meaning "trust," a p ... lation fiduciary relationship trust
habeas corpus :: (hay-bee-us core-puss) n. Latin for "you have the ... nality of a state court conviction.
in propria persona :: adj. from Latin "for one's self," acting on one's ... client and an ass for an attorney."
incorporate :: v. 1) to obtain an official charter or articles of ... te by reference incorporation stock
insanity :: n. mental illness of such a severe nature that a p ... M'Naughten rule temporary insanity
issue :: 1) n. a person's children or other lineal descenda ... the body incorporation share stock
Jones Act :: n., adj. a federal law which covers injuries to cr ... ." See also: admiralty maritime law
judge :: 1) n. an official with the authority and responsib ... ice justice of the peace magistrate
jury :: n. one of the remarkable innovations of the Englis ... hallenge sequester venire voir dire
last clear chance :: n. a rule of law in determining responsibility for ... contributory negligence negligence
law :: n. 1) any system of regulations to govern the cond ... um maritime law natural law statute
law book :: n. any of numerous volumes dealing with law, inclu ... : common law law Shepardize statute
libel :: 1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), wr ... libel per se public figure slander
limited partnership :: n. a special type of partnership which is very com ... mited liability partner partnership
malpractice :: n. An act or continuing conduct of a professional ... eed. See also: errors and omissions
mandamus :: (man-dame-us) n. Latin for "we order," a writ (mor ... mandamus. See also: writ of mandate
marriage :: n. the joining of a male and female in matrimony b ... of time without legal formalities.
Miranda warning :: n. the requirement, also called the Miranda rule, ... me such a suspect? See also: rights
no fault insurance :: n: a type of automobile insurance required of car ... ling lawsuits. See also: negligence
official misconduct :: n. improper and/or illegal acts by a public offici ... ty. See also: color of law official
omission :: n. 1) failure to perform an act agreed to, where t ... of contract negligence reformation
paralegal :: n. a non-lawyer who performs routine tasks requiri ... h less than that for the attorneys.
precedent :: 1) n. a prior reported opinion of an appeals court ... to perform. See also: stare decisis
presumption :: n. a rule of law which permits a court to assume a ... resumption at all, but a certainty.
procedure :: n. the methods and mechanics of the legal process. ... cases are tried and judgments made.
prospectus :: n. a detailed statement by a corporation required ... rporation limited partnership stock
proximate cause :: n. a happening which results in an event, particul ... also: intervening cause negligence
prudent man rule :: n. the requirement that a trustee, investment mana ... (1994). See also: fiduciary trustee
rape :: 1) n. the crime of sexual intercourse (with actual ... See also: date rape statutory rape
regulations :: n. rules and administrative codes issued by govern ... es usually have similar procedures.
review :: n. the judicial consideration of a lower court jud ... ate court reversal reversible error
sanction :: n. 1) a financial penalty imposed by a judge on a ... ction." See also: contempt of court
search warrant :: n. a written order by a judge which permits a law ... ble cause search search and seizure
sheriff :: n. the top law enforcement officer for a county, u ... ." See also: bailiff sheriff's sale
sodomy :: n. anal copulation by a man inserting his penis in ... tiality). See also: bestiality rape
status conference :: n. a pre-trial meeting of attorneys before a judge ... g a trial date. See also: discovery
tort :: n. from French for "wrong," a civil wrong or wrong ... nce slander trespass wrongful death
wrongful death :: n. the death of a human being as the result of a w ... ual beneficiaries (family members).

Popular Law Searches

legal definition ministerial act :: n. an act, particularly of a governmental employee ... exercising any individual judgment.
chancery legal definition :: n. a court that can order acts performed. Today ch ... ts in most states. See also: equity
testamentary disposition legal definition :: n. how the terms of a will divide the testator's ( ... named beneficiaries. See also: will
contract of sufferance :: n. a "hold-over" tenancy after a lease has expired ... y tenancy at will unlawful detainer
forthwith legal definition :: adv. a term found in contracts, court orders and s ... mediacy, with no excuses for delay.
forthwith definition legal :: adv. a term found in contracts, court orders and s ... mediacy, with no excuses for delay.
what is to wit in a legal contract :: prep. that is to say. Example: "the passengers in ... tty Bumgartner and Sherry Younger."
mirror wills legal definition :: n. the wills of a husband and wife which are ident ... d each names the other as executor.
clean hands doctrine latin :: n. a rule of law that a person coming to court wit ... ices. See also: affirmative defense
sine qua non only relates to contract law :: (see-nay kwah nahn) prep. Latin for "without which ... qua non of the injury to Playmate.

Other Law Terms - M

M. O. :: n. slang for modus operandi, the way or pattern in ... her crime. See also: modus operandi
magistrate :: n. 1) a generic term for any judge of a court, or ... ce of the peace preliminary hearing
Magna Carta :: n. Latin for "Great Charter," it was a document de ... s. It is also spelled Magna Charta.
mail box rule :: n. in contract law, making a written offer or acce ... nse in hand when the time runs out.
maim :: v. to inflict a serious bodily injury, including m ... to a prison term. See also: mayhem
majority :: n. 1) the age when a person can exercise all norma ... t. See also: child infancy minority
make :: v. 1) to create something. 2) to sign a check, pro ... xchange check maker promissory note
make one whole :: v. to pay or award damages sufficient to put the p ... fault of another. See also: damages
maker :: n. 1) the person who signs a check or promissory n ... : check payee payor promissory note
malfeasance :: n. intentionally doing something either legally or ... sponsibility. See also: misfeasance
malice :: n. a conscious, intentional wrongdoing either of a ... cution murder public figure slander
malice aforethought :: n. 1) the conscious intent to cause death or great ... : first degree murder malice murder
malicious prosecution :: n. filing a lawsuit with the intention of creating ... vor of the victim. See also: malice
malpractice :: n. An act or continuing conduct of a professional ... eed. See also: errors and omissions
malum in se :: (mal-uhm in say) adv. Latin referring to an act th ... hibitum. See also: malum prohibitum
malum prohibitum :: (mal-uhm prohibit-uhm) adj. Latin meaning "wrong d ... lso: malum in se white collar crime
mandamus :: (man-dame-us) n. Latin for "we order," a writ (mor ... mandamus. See also: writ of mandate
mandate :: n. 1) any mandatory order or requirement under sta ... See also: mandamus writ of mandate
mandatory :: adj., adv. absolutely demanded or required. ... v. absolutely demanded or required.
mandatory joinder :: n. the required inclusion of a party in a lawsuit ... sues in the case. See also: joinder