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D.A.
n. slang for District Attorney.
d.b.a.
n. short for "doing business as," when a person or entity uses a ...
D.U.I.
n. short for driving under the influence of alcohol.
D.W.I.
n. 1) short for driving while intoxicated. 2) abbreviation for dy...
damages
n. the amount of money which a plaintiff (the person suing) may b...
dangerous
adj. unsafe, hazardous, fraught with risk. It can be negligence f...
dangerous weapon
n. any gun, knife, sword, crossbow, slingshot or other weapon whi...
date rape
n. forcible sexual intercourse by a male acquaintance of a woman,...
day in court
n. popular term for everyone's opportunity to bring a lawsuit or ...
de facto
adj. Latin for "in fact." Often used in place of "actual" to show...
de facto corporation
n. a company which operates as if it were a corporation although ...
de jure
adj. Latin for "lawful," as distinguished from de facto (actual).
de jure corporation
n. a corporation in good standing under the law, as compared to a...
de minimis
adj. (dee-minnie-miss) Latin for "of minimum importance" or "trif...
de novo
adj. Latin for "anew," which means starting over, as in a trial d...
deadly weapon
n. any weapon which can kill. This includes not only weapons whic...
dealer
n. anyone who buys goods or property for the purpose of selling a...
death penalty
n. the sentence of execution for murder and some other capital cr...
death row
n. nickname for that portion of a prison in which prisoners are h...
debenture
n. a form of bond certificate issued by a corporation to show fun...
debt
n. 1) a sum of money due to another. 2) obligation to deliver par...
debtor
n. 1) a person or entity that owes an amount of money or favor to...
debtor in possession
n. in bankruptcy proceedings when a debtor has filed for the righ...
deceased
1) adj. dead. 2) n. the person who has died, as used in the handl...
decedent
n. the person who has died, sometimes referred to as the "decease...
deceit
n. dishonesty, fraudulent conduct, false statements made knowing ...
deception
n. the act of misleading another through intentionally false stat...
decide
v. for a judge, arbitrator, court of appeals or other magistrate ...
decision
n. judgment, decree or determination of findings of fact and/or o...
declarant
n. the person making a statement, usually written and signed by t...
declaration
n. 1) any statement made, particularly in writing. 2) a written s...
declaration of mailing
n. a form stating that a particular document has been mailed to a...
declaration of trust
n. the document signed by a trustor (settlor) creating a trust in...
declaratory judgment
n. a judgment of a court which determines the rights of parties w...
declaratory relief
n. a judge's determination (called a "declaratory judgment") of t...
decree
n. in general, synonymous with judgment. However, in some areas o...
decriminalization
n. the repeal or amendment of statutes which made certain acts cr...
dedication
n. the giving of land by a private person or entity to the govern...
deduction
n. an expenditure which an income tax payer may subtract from gro...
deed
1) n. the written document which transfers title (ownership) or a...
deed of trust
n. a document which pledges real property to secure a loan, used ...
defalcation
v. from Latin for "deduction," withholding or misappropriating fu...
defamation
n. the act of making untrue statements about another which damage...
default
1) n. failure to respond to a summons and complaint served on a p...
default judgment
n. if a defendant in a lawsuit fails to respond to a complaint in...
defeasance
n. an antiquated word for a document which terminates the effect ...
defect
n. an imperfection, quite often so great that the machinery or wr...
defective
adj. not being capable of fulfilling its function, ranging from a...
defective title
n. an apparent title to real property which fails because a claim...
defendant
n. 1) the party sued in a civil lawsuit or the party charged with...
defense
n. 1) a general term for the effort of an attorney representing a...
defense attorney
n. 1) the attorney representing the defendant in a lawsuit or cri...
deficiency judgment
n. a judgment for an amount not covered by the value of security ...
deficit
n. a shortage, less than is due, or in the case of a business or ...
defraud
v. to use deceit, falsehoods or trickery to obtain money, an obje...
degree of kinship
n. the level of relationship between two persons related by blood...
delayed exchange
n. an exchange of property to put off capital gain taxes, in whic...
delegate
1) v. to assign authority to another. 2) n. a person chosen to at...
deleterious
adj. harmful.
deliberate
1) adj. (dee-lib-er-et) done with care and intention or premedita...
deliberation
n. the act of considering, discussing and, hopefully, reaching a ...
delinquent
1) adj. not paid in full amount or on time. 2) n. short for an un...
deliver
v. to actually hand an object, money or document to another.
delivery
n. the actual handing to another of an object, money or document ...
demand
1) v. to claim as a need, requirement or entitlement, as in to de...
demand note
n. a promissory note which is payable any time the holder of the ...
demise
1) v. an old-fashioned expression meaning to lease or transfer (c...
demonstrative evidence
n. actual objects, pictures, models and other devices which are s...
demurrer
n. (dee-muhr-ur) a written response to a complaint filed in a law...
denial
n. a statement in the defendant's answer to a complaint in a laws...
dependent
1) n. a person receiving support from another person (such as a p...
depletion
n. when a natural resource (particularly oil) is being used up. T...
deponent
n. a person testifying (stating answers in response to questions)...
deportation
n. the act of expelling a foreigner from a country, usually becau...
depose
v. 1) to ask questions of a witness or a party to a lawsuit at a ...
deposition
n. the taking and recording of testimony of a witness under oath ...
depreciate
v. in accounting, to reduce the value of an asset each year theor...
depreciation
n. the actual or theoretical gradual loss of value of an asset (p...
depreciation reserve
n. a business fund in which the probable replacement cost of equi...
derelict
n. something or someone who is abandoned, such as a ship left to ...
dereliction
n. 1) abandoning possession, which is sometimes used in the phras...
derivative action
n. a lawsuit brought by a corporation shareholder against the dir...
descent
n. the rules of inheritance established by law in cases in which ...
descent and distribution
n. the system of laws which determine who will inherit and divide...
desert
v. to intentionally abandon a person or thing.
desertion
n. the act of abandoning, particularly leaving one's spouse and/o...
determinable
adj. defining something which may be terminated upon the occurren...
deuce
n. slang term for a drunk driving conviction. The term originated...
devise
1) v. an old-fashioned word for giving real property by a will, a...
devisee
n. a person who receives a gift of real property by a will. The d...
devolution
n. 1) the transfer of title to real property by the automatic ope...
devolve
v. when property is automatically transferred from one party to a...
dicta
n. the plural of dictum.
dictum
n. Latin for "remark," a comment by a judge in a decision or ruli...
diligence
n. reasonable care or attention to a matter, which is good enough...
diminished capacity
n. essentially a psychological term which has found its way into ...
diminution in value
n. in the event of a breach of contract, the decrease in value of...
direct and proximate cause
n. the immediate reason damage was caused by an act or omission (...
direct evidence
n. real, tangible or clear evidence of a fact, happening or thing...
direct examination
n. the first questioning of a witness during a trial or depositio...
directed verdict
n. a verdict by a jury based on the specific direction by a trial...
director
n. a member of the governing board of a corporation or associatio...
disability
n. 1) a condition which prevents one from performing all usual ph...
disbar
v. to remove an attorney from the list of practicing attorneys fo...
disbarment
n. the ultimate discipline of an attorney, which is taking away h...
discharge
v. 1) to perform one's duties. 2) to dismiss someone from a job. ...
discharge in bankruptcy
n. an order given by the bankruptcy judge, at the conclusion of a...
disclaimer
n. 1) denial or renunciation by someone of his/her title to prope...
discount
n. the payment of less than the full amount due on a promissory n...
discovery
n. the entire efforts of a party to a lawsuit and his/her/its att...
discretion
n. the power of a judge, public official or a private party (unde...
discrimination
n. unequal treatment of persons, for a reason which has nothing t...
disfigure
v. to cause permanent change in a person's body, particularly by ...
dishonor
v. to refuse to pay the face amount of a check or the amount due ...
disinherit
v. to intentionally take actions to guarantee that a person who w...
disinheritance
n. the act of disinheriting.
disjunctive allegations
n. the attempt to claim in a civil lawsuit that one thing "or" an...
dismiss
v. the ruling by a judge that all or a portion (one or more of th...
dismissal
n. 1) the act of voluntarily terminating a criminal prosecution o...
dismissal with prejudice
n.
dismissal without prejudice
n.
disorderly conduct
n. 1) actions that disturb others. 2) minor criminal offenses, su...
disorderly house
n. 1) polite term for house of prostitution. 2) place of illegal ...
disposing mind and memory
n. the mental ability to understand in general what one possesses...
disposition
n. the court's final determination of a lawsuit or criminal charg...
dispossess
v. to eject someone from real property, either legally or by self...
dissent
n. 1) the opinion of a judge of a court of appeals, including the...
dissenting opinion
n.
dissolution
n. modern, gentler sounding, term for divorce, officially used in...
dissolution of corporation
n. termination of a corporation, either a) voluntarily by resolut...
distinguish
v. to argue that the rule in one appeals court decision does not ...
distress
1) n. the self-help taking of another's possessions in order to f...
distribute
v. 1) the dividing up of those assets of an estate or trust when ...
distribution
n. the act of dividing up the assets of an estate or trust, or pa...
District Attorney (D.A.)
n. an elected official of a county or a designated district with ...
district court
n. 1) in the federal court system, a trial court for federal case...
disturbing the peace
n. upsetting the quiet and good order particularly through loud n...
diversion
n. in criminal procedure, a system for giving a chance for a firs...
diversity of citizenship
n. when opposing parties in a lawsuit are citizens of different s...
divestiture
n. the court-ordered or voluntary giving up of a possession or ri...
divestment
n. the act of stripping one's investment from an entity.
dividend
n. a portion of profit, usually based on the number of shares of ...
divorce
1) n. the termination of a marriage by legal action, requiring a ...
DNA
n. scientifically, deoxyribonucleic acid, a chromosomal double ch...
docket
1) n. the cases on a court calendar. 2) n. brief notes, usually w...
document
n. a popular generic word among lawyers for any paper with writin...
documentary evidence
n. any document (paper) which is presented and allowed as evidenc...
doing business
v. carrying on the normal activities of a corporation on a regula...
domestic partners
n. unmarried couples, including homosexuals, living together in l...
domestic relations
n. a polite term for the legal field of divorce, dissolution, ann...
domestic violence
n. the continuing crime and problem of the physical beating of a ...
domicile
n. the place where a person has his/her permanent principal home ...
dominant estate
n. in real estate law, the property retained when the owner split...
dominant tenement
n.
donation
n. gift. If made to a qualified non-profit charitable, religious,...
donative intent
n. conscious desire to make a gift, as distinguished from giving ...
donee
n. a person or entity receiving an outright gift or donation.
donor
n. a person or entity making a gift or donation.
double jeopardy
n. placing someone on trial a second time for an offense for whic...
double taxation
n. taxation of the same property for the same purpose twice in on...
dower
n. an old English common law right of a widow to one-third of her...
dowry
n. from the days when a groom expected to profit from a marriage,...
draft
1) n. a bill of exchange or check in which one party (including a...
dram shop rule
n. a statute (Dram Shop Act) or case law in 38 states which makes...
draw
v. 1) to prepare any document. 2) specifically to have prepared a...
drawee
n. the party who is to be paid on a bill of exchange or check.
drawer
n. the person who signs a bill of exchange.
driving under the influence (DUI)
n. commonly called "drunk driving," it refers to operating a moto...
driving while intoxicated
n.
drop dead date
n. a provision in a contract or a court order which sets the last...
due
n. and adj. owed as of a specific date. A popular legal redundanc...
due and owing
adj.
due care
n. the conduct that a reasonable man or woman will exercise in a ...
due process of law
n. a fundamental principle of fairness in all legal matters, both...
due, owing and unpaid
adj.
duress
n. the use of force, false imprisonment or threats (and possibly ...
duty
n. 1) a legal obligation, the breach of which can result in liabi...
duty of care
n. a requirement that a person act toward others and the public w...
dying declaration
n. the statement of a mortally injured person who is aware he/she...

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