Dictionary of Law
Founded: 187
save harmless :: v. 1) also called hold harmless, to indemnify (pro ... . See also: hold harmless indemnify
indemnify :: v. to guarantee against any loss which another mig ... r harmless. See also: hold harmless
hold harmless :: n. a promise to pay any costs or claims which may ... e other party agrees to cover them.
holder :: n. a general term for anyone in possession of prop ... older in due course promissory note
stockholders' derivative action :: n. See also: derivative action shareholders' deriv ... ion shareholders' derivative action
holder in due course :: n. one holding a check or promissory note, receive ... note. See also: bona fide purchaser
stakeholder :: n. a person having in his/her possession (holding) ... ment or agreement. See also: escrow
stockholder :: n. shareholder in a corporation. See also: shareho ... corporation. See also: shareholder
shareholders' derivative action :: n. a lawsuit by a corporation's shareholders, theo ... gement. See also: derivative action
freehold :: n. any interest in real property which is a life e ... -year variety). See also: leasehold
head of household :: n. 1) in federal income tax law, the person filing ... n or daughter. 3) "head of family."
shareholder :: n. the owner of one or more shares of stock in a c ... : corporation shareholders' meeting
shareholders' agreement :: n. an employment agreement among the shareholders ... re only three or four shareholders.
shareholders' meeting :: n. a meeting, usually annual, of all shareholders ... ctors corporation proxy shareholder
holdover tenancy :: n. the situation when a tenant of real estate cont ... to a lawsuit for unlawful detainer.
harmless error :: n. an error by a judge in the conduct of a trial w ... ar to be harmless." See also: error
leasehold :: n. the real estate which is the subject of a lease ... sehold. See also: condominium lease
holding :: 1) n. any ruling or decision of a court. 2) n. any ... 4) v. keeping in one's possession.
holding company :: n. a company, usually a corporation, which is crea ... gement and policies of all of them.
household :: n. a family living together, all of whom need not ... r, all of whom need not be related.
payment in due course :: n. the giving of funds to the holder of a promisso ... nds. See also: holder in due course
passive :: adj. referring to being inactive. A "passive trust ... ment and interest on bank accounts.
palimony :: n. a substitute for alimony in cases in which the ... the relationship. See also: alimony
magistrate :: n. 1) a generic term for any judge of a court, or ... ce of the peace preliminary hearing
paid into court :: adj. referring to money deposited with the clerk o ... differences. See also: interpleader
peaceable possession :: n. in real estate, holding property without any ad ... to possession or title by another.
liquidate :: v. to sell the assets of a business, paying bills ... other investors. See also: wind up
primogeniture :: n. from Latin for "first born," the ancient rule f ... oes not exist in the United States.
priority :: n. the right to be first or ahead of the rights or ... (in the "race to the courthouse").
pro rata :: (proh rat-ah or proh ray-tah) adj. from Latin for ... e year in which he/she holds title.
preferred stock :: n. a class of shares of stock in a corporation whi ... on stock corporation dividend stock
preferred dividend :: n. a payment of a corporation's profits to holders ... of stock. See also: preferred stock
possess :: v. to own, have title to, occupy, physically hold ... ng the estate. See also: possession
possession :: n. 1) any article, object, asset or property which ... ctive possession. See also: possess
preemptive right :: n. the right of a shareholder in a corporation to ... also: corporation shareholder stock
pierce the corporate veil :: v. to prove that a corporation exists merely as a ... ling with it. See also: corporation
malice aforethought :: n. 1) the conscious intent to cause death or great ... : first degree murder malice murder
merger :: n. 1) in corporate law, the joining together of tw ... and taking one, and wife the other.
negligence :: n. failure to exercise the care toward others whic ... gence per se res ipsa loquitur tort
nominal party :: n. a defendant or a plaintiff included in a lawsui ... ed. See also: necessary party party
murder :: n. the killing of a human being by a sane person, ... premeditation second degree murder
motion to suppress :: n. a motion (usually on behalf of a criminal defen ... eshold." See also: motion in limine
monopoly :: n. a business or inter-related group of businesses ... ust laws license restraint of trade
mortgage :: n. a document in which the owner pledges his/her/i ... losure notice of default trust deed
motion in limine :: (lim-in-nay) n. Latin for "threshold," a motion ma ... o: in limine Miranda warning motion
non-contestability clause :: n. an insurance policy provision which requires th ... claim is made by the policyholder.
non-profit corporation :: n. an organization incorporated under state laws a ... harity corporation cy pres doctrine
mandate :: n. 1) any mandatory order or requirement under sta ... See also: mandamus writ of mandate
original jurisdiction :: n. the authority of a court to hold a trial, as di ... l judgments. See also: jurisdiction
mandamus :: (man-dame-us) n. Latin for "we order," a writ (mor ... mandamus. See also: writ of mandate
marital rights :: n. an old-fashioned expression for the rights of a ... also: consortium loss of consortium
mental anguish :: n. mental suffering which includes fright, feeling ... See also: damages mental suffering
notorious possession :: n. occupation of real property or holding personal ... e is as if the person is the owner.
product liability :: n. the responsibility of manufacturers, distributo ... e known. See also: warrant warranty
minutes :: n. 1) the written record of meetings, particularly ... court reporter if recorded at all.
records :: n. in business, particularly corporations, all the ... s to the "records" of the business.
treasury stock :: n. stock of a private corporation which was issued ... be entitled. See also: share stock
trial :: n. the examination of facts and law presided over ... at a hearing held at a later time.
trial court :: n. the court which holds the original trial, as di ... a court of appeals. See also: trial
trial de novo :: n. a form of appeal in which the appeals court hol ... from small claims court judgments.
toll :: v. 1) to delay, suspend or hold off the effect of ... bridge or take passage on a ferry.
title report :: n. the written analysis of the status of title to ... lso: abstract title title insurance
tenancy at sufferance :: n. a "hold-over" tenancy after a lease has expired ... y tenancy at will unlawful detainer
Thirty-day notice :: n. a notice by a landlord to a tenant on a month-t ... e also: landlord and tenant service
title insurance :: n. a policy issued by an insurance company guarant ... : chain of title title title search
trust :: n. an entity created to hold assets for the benefi ... testamentary trust trustee trustor
trustee :: n. a person or entity who holds the assets (corpus ... es. See also: settlor trust trustor
winding up :: n. liquidating the assets of a corporation or part ... ration cy pres doctrine partnership
error :: n. a mistake by a judge in procedure or in substan ... or. See also: harmless error remand
indemnity :: n. the act of making someone "whole" (give equal t ... or will occur. See also: indemnify
waiver :: n. the intentional and voluntary giving up of some ... ssed on the record. See also: waive
voting trust :: n. a trust which solicits vote proxies of sharehol ... ation proxy shareholder stockholder
vested :: adj. referring to having an absolute right or titl ... ed. See also: vest vested remainder
vicarious liability :: n. sometimes called "imputed liability," attachmen ... r or policeman. See also: liability
vigilante :: n. someone who takes the law into his/her own hand ... lester of her child is a vigilante.
subject to :: adj. referring to the acquisition of title to real ... : assumption deed of trust mortgage
subchapter S corporation :: n. the choice by a small corporation to be treated ... ing attorney. See also: corporation
limited liability :: n. the maximum amount a person participating in a ... ted damages partnership shareholder
register :: n. in corporations, the record of shareholders, an ... corporation. See also: corporation
remand :: v. to send back. An appeals court may remand a cas ... ee also: appeal preliminary hearing
remedy :: n. the means to achieve justice in any matter in w ... gment provisional remedy settlement
reconveyance :: n. in those states which use deeds of trust as a m ... conveyance. See also: deed of trust
quorum :: n. the number of people required to be present bef ... ly set by statute. See also: bylaws
promotional stock :: n. stock issued in a newly formed corporation and ... assets or money. See also: promoter
proxy :: n. 1) someone who is authorized to serve in one's ... d members and convention delegates.
public trust doctrine :: n. the principle that the government holds title t ... interest has been dubious at best.
reorganization :: n. the implementation of a business plan to restru ... also: bankruptcy corporation merger
restraint on alienation :: n. an attempt in a deed or will to prevent the sal ... enant rule against perpetuities use
stock certificate :: n. printed document which states the name, incorpo ... . See also: corporation share stock
straw man :: n. 1) a person to whom title to property or a busi ... a trail will mislead hunting dogs).
strict liability :: n. automatic responsibility (without having to pro ... bility negligence res ipsa loquitur
stock :: 1) n. inventory (goods) of a business meant for sa ... siness. See also: share shareholder
servient estate :: n. real property which has an easement or other us ... See also: dominant estate easement
resulting trust :: n. a trust implied by law (as determined by a cour ... See also: constructive trust trust
self-dealing :: n. in the stock market, using secret "inside" info ... ederal Securities and Exchange Act.
self-executing :: adj. immediately effective without further action, ... party the right to try to collect.
promoter :: n. a person who puts together a business, particul ... y effort and not by assets or cash.
legal separation :: n. a court-decreed right to live apart, with the r ... n is rarely used. See also: divorce
constructive trust :: n. when a person has title to property and/or take ... tence. See also: constructive trust
contingent remainder :: n. an interest, particularly in real estate proper ... contingent interest future interest
conversion :: n. a civil wrong (tort) in which one converts anot ... the crime of theft. See also: theft
coroner :: n. a county official with the responsibility to de ... hology. See also: forensic medicine
constructive :: adj. a legal fiction for treating a situation as i ... ctive possession constructive trust
consignee :: n. a person or business holding another's goods fo ... designated agent. See also: consign
closing :: n. the final step in the sale and purchase of real ... company, escrow holder or attorney.
commingling :: n. the act of mixing the funds belonging to one pa ... rust accounts for funds of another.
common stock :: n. stock in a corporation in which dividends (payo ... oration preferred stock share stock
community property :: n. property and profits received by a husband and ... and distribution separate property
corporate opportunity :: n. a business opportunity which becomes known to a ... ative action fiduciary relationship
corporation :: n. an organization formed with state governmental ... ation public corporation securities
deed of trust :: n. a document which pledges real property to secur ... : foreclosure mortgage reconveyance
defalcation :: v. from Latin for "deduction," withholding or misa ... ailing to make a proper accounting.
defamation :: n. the act of making untrue statements about anoth ... comment libel public figure slander
defective title :: n. an apparent title to real property which fails ... so: chain of title defect defective
custody :: n. 1) holding property under one's control. 2) law ... inor child. See also: child custody
cumulative voting :: n. in corporations, a system of voting by sharehol ... eholders with 1,001 or more shares.
cotenant :: n. one who holds an interest in real property toge ... or more others. See also: cotenancy
covenant :: 1) n. a promise in a written contract or a deed of ... o compete deed restrictive covenant
cruelty to animals :: n. the crime of inflicting physical pain, sufferin ... danger of death. See also: cruelty
close corporation :: n. a corporation which is permitted by state law t ... mily members. See also: corporation
clear title :: n. holding ownership of real property without any ... s which might affect the ownership.
authority :: n. permission, a right coupled with the power to d ... rize ostensible authority principal
Bachelor of Laws :: n. the degree in law from a law school, abbreviate ... troactively. See also: Juris Doctor
bailee :: n. a person, also called a custodian, with whom so ... he goods. See also: bailment bailor
bailment :: n. 1) the act of placing property in the custody a ... "bailment." See also: bailee bailor
attorney's fee :: n. the payment for legal services. It can take sev ... ees in the particular type of case.
arrest :: v. 1) to take or hold a suspected criminal with le ... anda warning probable cause warrant
accomplice :: n. someone who assists in the commission of a crim ... cipal criminal. See also: accessory
adverse possession :: n. a means to acquire title to land through obviou ... o: possession prescriptive easement
American Bar Association :: n. the largest organization of American lawyers, w ... go, IL 60611; tel.: (312) 988-5522.
bearer :: n. anyone holding something, such as a check, prom ... bearer paper negotiable instrument
bill :: n. 1) what is commonly called a "check" by which t ... ions, which is falling into disuse.
call :: n. the demand by a corporation that a stockholder ... assessment on shares already owned.
cease and desist order :: n. an order of a court or government agency to a p ... ing which would damage the ecology.
certificate of title :: n. generally, the title document for a motor vehic ... a "pink slip." See also: pink slip
circuit courts :: n. a movable court in which the judge holds court ... alled the Circuit Courts of Appeal.
buy-sell agreement :: n. a contract among the owners of a business which ... older's interest in the enterprise.
bond :: n. 1) written evidence of debt issued by a company ... good up to the amount of the bond.
board of directors :: n. the policy managers of a corporation or organiz ... he expertise. See also: corporation
bona fide :: adj. Latin for "good faith," it signifies honesty, ... t doubt on the right to hold title.
bona fide purchaser :: n. commonly called BFP in legal and banking circle ... See also: BFP holder in due course
deficiency judgment :: n. a judgment for an amount not covered by the val ... o: foreclosure judicial foreclosure
demand note :: n. a promissory note which is payable any time the ... allments. See also: promissory note
in limine :: (in lim-in-ay) from Latin for "at the threshold," ... otion. See also: motion to suppress
incorporate :: v. 1) to obtain an official charter or articles of ... te by reference incorporation stock
information :: n. an accusation or criminal charge brought by the ... Jury indictment preliminary hearing
insolvency :: n. 1) the condition of having more debts (liabilit ... the property. See also: bankruptcy
in fee simple :: adj. referring to holding clear title to real prop ... property. See also: fee fee simple
hostile possession :: n. occupancy of a piece of real property coupled w ... verse possession quiet title action
grant :: v. to transfer real property from a title holder ( ... deed grantee grantor quitclaim deed
habeas corpus :: (hay-bee-us core-puss) n. Latin for "you have the ... nality of a state court conviction.
hearing :: n. any proceeding before a judge or other magistra ... e hearing preliminary hearing trial
homestead :: 1) n. the house and lot of a homeowner which the h ... s in "he homesteaded the property."
inspection of documents :: n. the right to examine and copy the opposing part ... evidence subpena duces tecum trial
inter se :: (in-tur say)prep. Latin for "among themselves," me ... or only to the trustees as a group.
lease :: 1) n. a written agreement in which the owner of pr ... triple net lease unlawful detainer
accommodation :: n. 1) a favor done without compensation (pay or co ... ke a deal work. See also: guarantor
levy :: 1) v. to seize (take) property upon a writ of exec ... heriff's sale tax writ of execution
libel :: 1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), wr ... libel per se public figure slander
leading :: 1) v. short for "leading the witness," in which th ... tness leading the witness objection
land :: n. real property, real estate (and all that grows ... See also: real estate real property
JD :: n. short for Juris Doctor, identifying the holder ... law degree. See also: Juris Doctor
judge advocate :: n. a military officer with legal training who has ... ourt-martial judge advocate general
kidnapping :: (also spelled kidnaping) n. the taking of a person ... but now applies to adults as well.
Grand Jury :: n. a jury in each county or federal court district ... arge indictment preliminary hearing
garnishment :: n. the entire process of petitioning for and getti ... heriff. See also: garnish garnishee
emancipation :: n. freeing a minor child from the control of paren ... vorced parent to pay child support.
endorsement :: (indorsement)n. 1) the act of the owner or payee s ... te. See also: negotiable instrument
equitable lien :: n. a lien on property imposed by a court in order ... lso: constructive trust equity lien
escrow :: 1) n. a form of account held by an "escrow agent" ... w the deal." See also: escrow agent
duress :: n. the use of force, false imprisonment or threats ... pardoned by President Jimmy Carter.
dividend :: n. a portion of profit, usually based on the numbe ... . See also: corporation shareholder
derivative action :: n. a lawsuit brought by a corporation shareholder ... on director shareholder stockholder
director :: n. a member of the governing board of a corporatio ... lso: board of directors corporation
discount :: n. the payment of less than the full amount due on ... now-the difference is the discount.
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
fee tail :: n. an old feudal expression for a title to real pr ... rest only. See also: fee fee simple
felony murder doctrine :: n. a rule of criminal statutes that any death whic ... arged with murder. See also: murder
forum :: n. a court which has jurisdiction to hold a trial ... f a particular lawsuit or petition.
garnish :: v. to obtain a court order directing a party holdi ... ed. See also: garnishee garnishment
family :: n. 1) husband, wife and children. 2) all blood rel ... ting this economic and social unit.
false imprisonment :: n. depriving someone of freedom of movement by hol ... for damages. See also: false arrest
failure of consideration :: n. not delivering goods or services when promised ... n. See also: consideration contract
fair comment :: n. a statement of opinion (no matter how ludicrous ... amation libel public figure slander
false arrest :: n. physically detaining someone without the legal ... sment. See also: false imprisonment
lienor :: n. a person who holds a lien on another's property ... s property or funds. See also: lien