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C.I.F.
n. the total of cost, insurance and freight charges to be paid on...
calendar
1) n. the list of cases to be called for trial before a particula...
calendar call
n. the hearing at which a case is set for trial.
call
n. the demand by a corporation that a stockholder pay an installm...
calumny
n. the intentional and generally vicious false accusation of a cr...
cancel
v. to cross out, annul, destroy, void and/or rescind a document. ...
cancellation
cancel
caning
n. a punishment for crimes employed in certain Asian countries (n...
canon law
n. laws and regulations over ecclesiastical (church) matters deve...
cap
n. slang for maximum, as the most interest that can be charged on...
capital
1) n. from Latin for caput, meaning "head," the basic assets of a...
capital account
n. the record which lists all basic assets of a business, not inc...
capital assets
n. equipment, property, and funds owned by a business.
capital expenditure
n. payment by a business for basic assets such as property, fixtu...
capital gains
n. the difference between the sales price and the original cost (...
capital investment
capital expenditure
capital offense
n. any criminal charge which is punishable by the death penalty, ...
capital punishment
n. execution (death) for a capital offense. The U.S. Supreme Cour...
capital stock
n. the original amount paid by investors into a corporation for i...
capitalization
n. 1) the act of counting anticipated earnings and expenses as ca...
capitalized value
n. anticipated earnings which are discounted (given a lower value...
capricious
adv., adj. unpredictable and subject to whim, often used to refer...
caption
n. the first section of any written legal pleading (papers) to be...
care
n. in law, to be attentive, prudent and vigilant. Essentially, ca...
careless
adj., adv. 1) negligent. 2) the opposite of careful. A careless a...
carnal knowledge
n. from Latin carnalis for "fleshly:" sexual intercourse between ...
carrier
n. in general, any person or business which transports property o...
carryback
n. in taxation accounting, using a current tax year's deductions,...
carrying for hire
n. the act of transporting goods or individuals for a fee. It is ...
carrying on business
v. pursuing a particular occupation on a continuous and substanti...
carryover
n. in taxation accounting, using a tax year's deductions, busines...
cartel
n. 1) an arrangement among supposedly independent corporations or...
case
n. short for a cause of action, lawsuit, or the right to sue (as ...
case law
n. reported decisions of appeals courts and other courts which ma...
case of first impression
n. a case in which a question of interpretation of law is present...
case system
n. the method of studying law generally used in American law scho...
cashier's check
n. a check issued by a bank on its own account for the amount pai...
casual
adj. defining something that happens by chance, without being for...
casualty
n. 1) an accident which could not have been foreseen or guarded a...
casualty loss
n. in taxation, loss due to damage which qualifies for a casualty...
cause
from Latin causa 1) v. to make something happen. 2) n. the reason...
cause of action
n. the basis of a lawsuit founded on legal grounds and alleged fa...
caveat
n. (kah-vee-ott) from Latin caveat for "let him beware." 1) a war...
caveat emptor
(kah-vee-ott emptor) Latin for "let the buyer beware." The basic ...
cease and desist order
n. an order of a court or government agency to a person, business...
certificate of deposit (CD)
n. a document issued by a bank in return for a deposit of money w...
certificate of incorporation
n. document which some states issue to prove a corporation's exis...
certificate of title
n. generally, the title document for a motor vehicle issued by th...
certified check
n. a check issued by a bank which certifies that the maker of the...
certiorari
n. (sersh-oh-rare-ee) a writ (order) of a higher court to a lower...
cestui que trust
n. (properly pronounced ses-tee kay, but lawyers popularly pronou...
cestui que use
(pronounced ses-tee kay use or setty kay use) n. an old-fashioned...
chain of title
n. the succession of title ownership to real property from the pr...
challenge
n. the right of each attorney in a jury trial to request that a j...
challenge for cause
n. a request that a prospective juror be dismissed because there ...
chambers
n. the private office of a judge, usually close to the courtroom ...
champerty
n. an agreement between the party suing in a lawsuit (plaintiff) ...
chancellor
n. from the old English legal system, a chancellor is a judge who...
chancery
n. a court that can order acts performed. Today chancery courts a...
change of circumstances
n. the principal reason for a court modifying (amending) an exist...
character witness
n. a person who testifies in a trial on behalf of a person (usual...
charge
n. 1) in a criminal case, the specific statement of what crime th...
charitable contribution
n. in taxation, a contribution to an organization which is offici...
charitable remainder trust (Charitable Remainder Irrevocable Unitrust)
n. a form of trust in which the donor (trustor or settlor) places...
charity
n. 1) in general the sentiment of benevolence, doing good works, ...
charter
n. the name for articles of incorporation in some states, as in a...
chattel
n. an item of personal property which is movable, as distin-guish...
chattel mortgage
n. an outmoded written document which made a chattel (tangible pe...
check
n. a draft upon a particular account in a bank, in which the draw...
Chief Justice
n. the presiding judge of any State Supreme Court and the U.S. Su...
child
n. 1) a person's natural offspring. 2) a person 14 years and unde...
child custody
n. a court's determination of which parent, relative or other adu...
child support
n. court-ordered funds to be paid by one parent to the custodial ...
churning
n. the unethical and usually illegal practice of excessive buying...
circuit courts
n. a movable court in which the judge holds court sessions at sev...
circumstantial evidence
n. evidence in a trial which is not directly from an eyewitness o...
citation
n. 1) a notice to appear in court due to the probable commission ...
cite
v. 1) to make reference to a decision in another case to make a l...
citizen
n. person who by place of birth, nationality of one or both paren...
civil
adj. 1) that part of the law that encompasses business, contracts...
civil action
n. any lawsuit relating to civil matters and not criminal prosecu...
civil calendar
n. the list of lawsuits (cases) that are approaching trial in any...
civil code
n. in many states, the name for the collection of statutes and la...
civil law
n. 1) a body of laws and legal concepts which come down from old ...
civil liability
n. potential responsibility for payment of damages or other court...
civil liberties
n. rights or freedoms given to the people by the First Amendment ...
civil penalties
n. fines or surcharges imposed by a governmental agency to enforc...
civil procedure
n. the complex and often confusing body of rules and regulations ...
civil rights
n. those rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, the 13th and 14...
claim
1) v. to make a demand for money, for property, or for enforcemen...
claim against a governmental agency
n. any time one believes he/she has a right to payment for damage...
claim against an estate
n. upon the death of a person and beginning of probate (filing of...
claim in bankruptcy
n. the written claim filed by persons or businesses owed money (c...
class
n. in legal (not sociological) terms, all those persons in the sa...
class action
n. a lawsuit filed by one or more people on behalf of themselves ...
clean hands doctrine
n. a rule of law that a person coming to court with a lawsuit or ...
clear and convincing evidence
n. evidence that proves a matter by the "preponderance of evidenc...
clear and present danger
n. the doctrine established in an opinion written by Oliver Wende...
clear title
n. holding ownership of real property without any claims by other...
clerk
n. 1) an official or employee who handles the business of a court...
close corporation
n. a corporation which is permitted by state law to operate more ...
closed shop
n. a business that will hire only union members by choice or by a...
closing
n. the final step in the sale and purchase of real estate in whic...
closing argument
n. the final argument by an attorney on behalf of his/her client ...
cloud on title (cloud)
n. an actual or apparent outstanding claim on the title to real p...
co-trustee
n. a trustee of a trust when there is more than one trustee servi...
code
n. a collection of written laws gathered together, usually coveri...
Code of Professional Responsibility
n. a set of rules governing the ethical conduct of attorneys in t...
codefendant
n. when more than one person or entity is sued in one lawsuit, ea...
codicil
n. a written amendment to a person's will, which must be dated, s...
codify
v. to arrange and label a system of laws.
cohabitation
n. living together in the same residence, generally either as hus...
coinsurance
n. an insurance policy in which the insurance company insures onl...
collateral
1) n. property pledged to secure a loan or debt, usually funds or...
collateral attack
n. a legal action to challenge a ruling in another case. For exam...
collateral descendant
n. a relative descended from a brother or sister of an ancestor, ...
collateral estoppel
n. the situation in which a judgment in one case prevents (estops...
collusion
n. where two persons (or business entities through their officers...
collusive action
n. a lawsuit brought by parties pretending to be adversaries in o...
color of law
n. the appearance of an act being performed based upon legal righ...
color of title
n. the appearance of having title to personal or real property by...
comaker
n. when two or more people sign a check or a promissory note, eac...
comity
n. when one court defers to the jurisdiction of another in a case...
commencement of action
n. an action (a lawsuit) commences (begins officially) when the p...
comment
n. a statement made by a judge or an attorney during a trial whic...
commercial frustration
n. an unforeseen uncontrollable event which occurs after a writte...
commercial law
n. all the law which applies to the rights, relations and conduct...
commingling
n. the act of mixing the funds belonging to one party with those ...
commission
n. 1) a fee paid based on a percentage of the sale made by an emp...
commitment
n. a judge's order sending someone to jail or prison, upon convic...
common area
n. in condominium and some cooperative housing projects, the area...
common carrier
n. an individual, a company or a public utility (like municipal b...
common counts
n. claims for debt alleged in a lawsuit (included in the complain...
common law
n. the traditional unwritten law of England, based on custom and ...
common property
n. 1) real property owned by "tenants in common," who each have a...
common stock
n. stock in a corporation in which dividends (payouts) are calcul...
common-law marriage
n. an agreement between a man and woman to live together as husba...
community property
n. property and profits received by a husband and wife during the...
commutation
n. the act of reducing a criminal sentence resulting from a crimi...
commute a sentence
v.
company
n. any formal business entity for profit, which may be a corporat...
comparative negligence
n. a rule of law applied in accident cases to determine responsib...
compensation
n. 1) payment for work performed, by salary, wages, commission or...
compensatory damages
n. damages recovered in payment for actual injury or economic los...
competent
adj. 1) in general, able to act in the circumstances, including t...
complainant
n. a person or entity who begins a lawsuit by filing a complaint ...
complaint
n. the first document filed with the court (actually with the Cou...
compos mentis
n. (com-pose-men-tis) Latin for "having a sound mind."
compound interest
n. payment of interest upon principal and previously accumulated ...
compound question
n. the combination of more than one question into what seems to b...
compounding a felony
n. when a person injured by a felony (being shot, having one's bu...
compromise
1) n. an agreement between opposing parties to settle a dispute o...
compromise verdict
n. a decision made by a jury in which the jurors split the differ...
concealed weapon
n. a weapon, particularly a handgun, which is kept hidden on one'...
concealment
n. fraudulent failure to reveal information which someone knows a...
conclusion
n. 1) in general, the end. 2) in a trial, when all evidence has b...
conclusion of fact
n. in a trial, the final result of an analysis of the facts prese...
conclusion of law
n. a judge's final decision on a question of law which has been r...
concurrent sentences
n. sentences for more than one crime which are to be served at on...
condemn
v. 1) for a public agency to determine that a building is unsafe ...
condemnation
n. the legal process by which a governmental body exercises its r...
condemnation action
n. a lawsuit brought by a public agency to acquire private proper...
condition
n. a term or requirement stated in a contract, which must be met ...
condition precedent
n. 1) in a contract, an event which must take place before a part...
condition subsequent
n. 1) in a contract, a happening which terminates the duty of a p...
conditional bequest
n. in a will, a gift which will take place only if a particular e...
conditional sale
n. a sale of property or goods which will be completed if certain...
condominium
n. title to a unit of real property which, in reality, is the air...
condone
v. 1) to forgive, support, and/or overlook moral or legal failure...
confess
v. in criminal law, to voluntarily state that one is guilty of a ...
confession
n. the statement of one charged with a crime that he/she committe...
confession and avoidance
n. when a defendant admits the allegations in a complaint against...
confession of judgment
n. a written agreement in which the defendant in a lawsuit admits...
confidence game
n. the obtaining of money from others through trick or swindle, g...
confidential communication
n. certain written communications which can be kept confidential ...
confidential relation
n. a relationship in which one person has confidence in and relie...
confiscate
v. to take one's goods or property without legal right, although ...
conflict of interest
n. a situation in which a person has a duty to more than one pers...
conflict of law
n. a situation in which both state and federal laws or courts, or...
confrontation
n. 1) fight or argument. 2) the right of a criminal defendant "to...
confusingly similar
adj. in the law of trademarks, when a trademark, logo or business...
conjugal rights
n. a spouse's so-called "rights" to the comforts and companionshi...
conscientious objector
n. a person who refuses to serve in the military due to religious...
conscious parallelism
n. an undiscussed imitation by a business of a competitor's actio...
consent
1) n. a voluntary agreement to another's proposition. 2) v. to vo...
consent decree
n. an order of a judge based upon an agreement, almost always put...
consent judgment
n. a judgment issued by a judge based on an agreement between the...
consequential damages
n. damages claimed and/or awarded in a lawsuit which were caused ...
conservatee
n. a person whom a court has determined because of physical or me...
conservator
n. a guardian and protector appointed by a judge to protect and m...
consideration
n. 1) payment or money. 2) a vital element in the law of contract...
consign
v. 1) to deliver goods to a merchant to sell on behalf of the par...
consignee
n. a person or business holding another's goods for sale or for d...
consignment
n. the act of consigning goods to one who will sell them for the ...
consortium
n. 1) a group of separate businesses or business people joining t...
conspiracy
n. when people work together by agreement to commit an illegal ac...
conspirator
n. a person or entity who enters into a plot with one or more oth...
constable
n. a law officer for a particular area such as a rural township, ...
constitution
n. the fundamental, underlying document which establishes the gov...
constitutional rights
n. rights given or reserved to the people by the U.S. Constitutio...
construction
n. the act of a lawyer or court in interpreting and giving meanin...
constructive
adj. a legal fiction for treating a situation as if it were actua...
constructive eviction
n. when the landlord does not go through a legal eviction of a te...
constructive fraud
n. when the circumstances show that someone's actions give him/he...
constructive notice
n. a fiction that a person got notice even though actual notice w...
constructive possession
n. when a person does not have actual possession, but has the pow...
constructive trust
n. when a person has title to property and/or takes possession of...
construe
v. to determine the meaning of the words of a written document, s...
consumer protection laws
n. almost all states and the federal government have enacted laws...
contemplation of death
n. the anticipation of death in a relatively short time due to ag...
contempt of court
n. there are essentially two types of contempt: a) being rude, di...
contiguous
adj. connected or "next to", usually meaning adjoining pieces of ...
contingency
n. an event that might not occur.
contingent
adj. possible, but not certain.
contingent beneficiary
n. a person or entity named to receive a gift under the terms of ...
contingent fee
n. a fee to a lawyer which will be due and payable only if there ...
contingent interest
n. an interest in real property which, according to the deed (or ...
contingent remainder
n. an interest, particularly in real estate property, which will ...
continuance
n. a postponement of a date of a trial, hearing or other court ap...
continuing objection
n. an objection to certain questions or testimony during a trial ...
continuing trespass
n. the repeat-ed unauthorized use of anoth- er's real property, a...
contra
adj. Latin for "against" or "opposite to". This usage is usually ...
contract
1) n. an agreement with specific terms between two or more person...
contract of adhesion
n.
contractor
n. 1) a person or entity that enters into a contract. 2) commonly...
contribution
n. 1) donation to a charity or political campaign. 2) the sharing...
contributory negligence
n. a doctrine of common law that if a person was injured in part ...
control
1) n. the power to direct, manage, oversee and/or restrict the af...
controlled substance
n. a drug which has been declared by federal or state law to be i...
controlling law
n. the laws of the state which will be relied upon in interpretin...
controversy
n. 1) disagreement, argument or quarrel. 2) a dispute, which must...
conversion
n. a civil wrong (tort) in which one converts another's property ...
convey
v. to transfer title (official ownership) to real property (or an...
conveyance
n. a generic term for any written document which transfers (conve...
convict
1) v. to find guilty of a crime after a trial. 2) n. a person who...
conviction
n. the result of a criminal trial in which the defendant has been...
cooperative
n. an association of individual businesses, farmers, ranchers or ...
cooperative housing
n. an arrangement in which an association or corporation owns a g...
cop a plea
n. slang for a "plea bargain" in which an accused defendant in a ...
copartner
n. one who is a member of a partnership. The prefix "co" is a red...
copyright
1) n. the exclusive right of the author or creator of a literary ...
coroner
n. a county official with the responsibility to determine the cau...
corporate opportunity
n. a business opportunity which becomes known to a corporate offi...
corporation
n. an organization formed with state governmental approval to act...
corpus
n. 1) Latin for body. 2) the principal (usually money, securities...
corpus delicti
n. (corpus dee-lick-tie) Latin for the substantial fact that a cr...
corpus juris
n. the body of the law, meaning a compendium of all laws, cases a...
corroborate
v. to confirm and sometimes add substantiating (reinforcing) test...
corroborating evidence
n. evidence which strengthens, adds to, or confirms already exist...
cosign
v. to sign a promissory note or other obligation in order to shar...
cost bill
n. a list of claimed court costs submitted by the prevailing (win...
cost of completion
n. the amount of money (damages) required to complete performance...
costs
n. shorthand for court costs.
cotenancy
n. the situation when more than one person has an interest in rea...
cotenant
n. one who holds an interest in real property together with one o...
counsel
1) n. a lawyer, attorney, attorney-at-law, counsellor, counsellor...
counsellor
n. a licensed attorney.
count
n. each separate statement in a complaint which states a cause of...
counter offer
n. an offer made in response to a previous offer by the other par...
counterclaim
n. a retaliatory claim by a defendant against a plaintiff in a la...
counterfeit
1) adj. describing a document, particularly money, which is forge...
counterpart
n. in the law of contracts, a written paper which is one of sever...
course
n. in the midst of or actively involved in at that time, as "in t...
course of employment
adj. actively involved in a person's employment at a particular t...
court
n. 1) the judge, as in "The court rules in favor of the plaintiff...
court calendar
n. the list of matters to be heard or set for trial or hearing by...
court costs
n. fees for expenses that the courts pass on to attorneys, who th...
court docket
n.
court of appeals
n. any court (state or federal) which hears appeals from judgment...
Court of Customs and Patent Appeals
n. a federal court established (1929) to hear appeals from decisi...
court of equity
n. originally in English common law and in several states there w...
court of law
n. any tribunal within a judicial system. Under English common la...
court trial
("non-jury trial"): a trial with a judge but no jury.
court-martial
1) n. a military court for trying offenses in violation of army, ...
covenant
1) n. a promise in a written contract or a deed of real property....
covenant not to compete
n. a common provision in a contract for sale of a business in whi...
covenant that runs with the land
n. a promise contained in a deed to land or real estate which is ...
covenants, conditions and restrictions
n. commonly called "CC and Rs," these are written rules, limitati...
credibility
n. whether testimony is worthy of belief, based on competence of ...
credible witness
n. a witness whose testimony is more than likely to be true based...
creditor
n. a person or entity to whom a debt is owed.
creditor's claim
n. a claim required to be filed in writing, in a proper form by a...
creditor's rights
n. the field of law dealing with the legal means and procedures t...
crime
n. a violation of a law in which there is injury to the public or...
crime against nature
n. an oldfashioned term for sodomy (anal sexual intercourse), whi...
crime of passion
n. a defendant's excuse for committing a crime due to sudden ange...
criminal
1) n. a popular term for anyone who has committed a crime, whethe...
criminal attorney
n. a popular term for an attorney who specializes in defending pe...
criminal calendar
n. the list of criminal cases to be called in court on a particul...
criminal justice
n. a generic term for the procedure by which criminal conduct is ...
criminal law
n. those statutes dealing with crimes against the public and memb...
cross-complaint
n. after a complaint has been filed against a defendant for damag...
cross-examination
n. the opportunity for the attorney (or an unrepresented party) t...
cruel and unusual punishment
n. governmental penalties against convicted criminal defendants w...
cruelty
n. the intentional and malicious infliction of physical or psycho...
cruelty to animals
n. the crime of inflicting physical pain, suffering or death on a...
culpability
culpable
culpable
adj. sufficiently responsible for criminal acts or negligence to ...
cumis counsel
n. an attorney employed by a defendant in a lawsuit when there is...
cumulative sentence
n. when a criminal defendant has been found guilty of more than o...
cumulative voting
n. in corporations, a system of voting by shareholders for direct...
curtesy
n. in old common law, the right of a surviving husband to a life ...
custody
n. 1) holding property under one's control. 2) law enforcement of...
Customs Court
n. a federal court established (1926) to hear appeals from decisi...
cut a check
v. to write (prepare) and sign a check.
cy pres doctrine
n. (see-pray doctrine) from French, meaning "as close as possible...

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications