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paid into court
adj. referring to money deposited with the clerk of the court by ...
pain and suffering
n. the physical and mental distress suffered from an injury, incl...
palimony
n. a substitute for alimony in cases in which the couple were not...
pander
1) v. to solicit customers for a prostitute. 2) n. a pimp, who pr...
panderer
n. 1) a person who panders or solicits for a prostitute. 2) some ...
panel
n. the list of people selected to appear for jury duty.
paper hanger
n. slang for a person who criminally writes and cashes "bad" chec...
par
n. 1) an equal level. 2) the face value of a stock or bond, print...
paralegal
n. a non-lawyer who performs routine tasks requiring some knowled...
paramount title
n. a right to real property which prevails over any other person'...
parcel
n. a defined piece of real estate, usually resulting from the div...
pardon
1) v. to use the executive power of a Governor or President to fo...
parens patriae
(paa-rens pat-tree-eye) n. Latin for "father of his country," the...
parent
n. the lawful and natural father or mother of a person. The word ...
parental neglect
n. a crime consisting of acts or omissions of a parent (including...
pari delicto
adj. equal fault.
parish
n. 1) a geographic area served by a church (particularly Catholic...
parody
n. the humorous use of an existing song, play, or writing which c...
parol
adj. oral.
parol evidence rule
n. if there is evidence in writing (such as a signed contract) th...
parole
n. 1) the release of a convicted criminal defendant after he/she ...
partial
adj. not complete or entire.
partial breach
n. the failure to meet a term of a contract which is so minimal t...
partial disability
n. the result of an injury which permanently reduces a person's a...
partial verdict
n. in a criminal trial, the result when the jury finds the defend...
participate
v. to invest and then receive a part or share, as in business pro...
partition
n. a lawsuit which one co-owner of real property can file to get ...
partner
n. 1) one of the co-owners and investors in a "partnership" which...
partnership
n. a business enterprise entered into for profit which is owned b...
party
n. 1) one of the participants in a lawsuit or other legal proceed...
party of the first part
n. reference in a written contract to identify one of the people ...
party of the second part
n. a reference to a party to a written contract, as distinguished...
party wall
n. a wall shared by two adjoining premises which is on the proper...
passenger
n. a rider who has paid a fare on a train, bus, airline, taxi, sh...
passion
n.
passive
adj. referring to being inactive. A "passive trustee" is one who ...
patent
1) adj. obvious. Used in such expressions as a "patent defect" in...
patent ambiguity
n. an obvious inconsistency in the language of a written document...
patent defect
n. an obvious flaw in a product or a document (such as leaving ou...
patent infringement
n. the manufacture and/or use of an invention or improvement for ...
patent pending
n. often abbreviated to "pat. pend." or "pat. pending," the term ...
paternity suit
n. a lawsuit, usually by a mother, to prove that a named person i...
pawn
v. to pledge an item of personal property as security for a loan,...
pay
v. to deliver money owed.
payable
1) adj. referring to a debt which is due. A debt may be owed, but...
payable on demand
adj. a debt on a promissory note or bill of exchange which must b...
payee
n. the one named on a check or promissory note to receive payment...
payment in due course
n. the giving of funds to the holder of a promissory note or bill...
payment in full
n. the giving of all funds due to another. This language is often...
payor
(payer) n. the party who must make payment on a promissory note.
peace bond
n. a bond required as part of a court order to guarantee that a p...
peaceable possession
n. in real estate, holding property without any adverse claim to ...
peculation
n. misappropriation of public (government) funds or property.
pecuniary
adj. relating to money, as in "pecuniary loss."
pedophilia
n. an obsession with children as sex objects. Overt acts, includi...
peeping tom
n. a person who stealthily peeks into windows, holes in restroom ...
peer
n. an equal. A "jury of one's peers," to which criminal defendant...
peer review
n. an examination and evaluation of the performance of a professi...
penal
adj. referring to criminality, as in defining "penal code" (the l...
penalty
n. 1) in criminal law, a money fine or forfeiture of property ord...
pendent jurisdiction
n. in federal procedure, the policy that allows a federal court t...
pendente lite
(pen-den-tay lee-tay) adj. Latin for awaiting the litigation (law...
penitentiary
n. a state or federal prison in which convicts are held for commi...
people
n. the designation for the prosecuting government in a criminal t...
per
prep. from Latin for "by means of" or simply, "by" as in "per day...
per capita
adj. Latin for "by head," meaning to be determined by the number ...
per curiam
adj. Latin for "by the court," defining a decision of an appeals ...
per diem
adj. or n. Latin for "per day," it is short for payment of daily ...
per se
(purr say) adj. Latin for "by itself," meaning inherently. Thus, ...
per stirpes
(purr stir-peas) adj. Latin for "by roots," by representation. Th...
peremptory
adj. absolute, final and not entitled to delay or reconsideration...
peremptory challenge
n. the right of the plaintiff and the defendant in a jury trial t...
peremptory writ of mandate
(or mandamus) n. a final order of a court to any governmental bod...
perfect
: (with stress on the second syllable) v. 1) to complete; to take...
perfected
adj. having completed all necessary legal steps to achieve a resu...
perform
v. 1) to fulfill one's obligations under a contract. 2) to comply...
performance
n. fulfillment of one's obligations required by contract. Specifi...
perjurer
n. a person who intentionally lies while under an oath administer...
perjury
n. the crime of intentionally lying after being duly sworn (to te...
permanent disability
n. an injury which impairs the physical and/or mental ability of ...
permanent injunction
n. a final order of a court that a person or entity refrain from ...
permanent injury
n. physical or mental damage which will restrict the employment a...
permissive
adj. 1) referring to any act which is allowed by court order, leg...
permit
1) v. to allow by silence, agreement or giving a license. 2) n. a...
perpetuity
n. forever.
person
n. 1) a human being. 2) a corporation treated as having the right...
personal effects
n. things which include clothes, cosmetics and items of adornment...
personal property
n. same as "personalty."
personal service
n. delivering a summons, complaint, notice to quit tenancy or oth...
personal services
n. in contract law, the talents of a person which are unusual, sp...
personalty
n. movable assets (things, including animals) which are not real ...
petit jury
n. old-fashioned name for the jury sitting to hear a lawsuit or c...
petition
1) n. a formal written request to a court for an order of the cou...
petitioner
n. one who signs and/or files a petition.
petty larceny
n. a term used in many states for theft of a small amount of mone...
physician-patient privilege
n. the right and obligation of a physician to refuse to testify i...
picketing
n. standing or parading near a business or government office usua...
pierce the corporate veil
v. to prove that a corporation exists merely as a completely cont...
pilferage
n. a crime of theft of little things, usually from shipments or b...
pimp
n. a person who procures a prostitute for customers or vice versa...
pink slip
n. 1) slang for official automobile registration certificate, due...
piracy
n. the crime of robbery of ships or boats on the oceans. Accusati...
plagiarism
n. taking the writings or literary concepts (a plot, characters, ...
plain error
n. a mistake by the trial court found by a court of appeals to be...
plain view doctrine
n. the rule that a law enforcement officer may make a search and ...
plaintiff
n. the party who initiates a lawsuit by filing a complaint with t...
plaintiff's attorney
n. the attorney who represents a plaintiff (the suing party) in a...
plea
n. 1) in criminal law, the response by an accused defendant to ea...
plea bargain
n. in criminal procedure, a negotiation between the defendant and...
plea in abatement
n.
plead
v. 1) in civil lawsuits and petitions, to file any document (plea...
pleading
n. 1) every legal document filed in a lawsuit, petition, motion a...
pledge
v. to deposit personal property as security for a personal loan o...
plenary
adj. full, complete, covering all matters, usually referring to a...
police court
n. in some states a type of municipal court which handles misdeme...
police powers
n. from the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which reserves to...
political question
n. the determination by a court (particularly the Supreme Court) ...
polygamy
n. having more than one wife or husband at the same time, usually...
polygraph
n. a lie detector device, from Greek for "many" (poly) "message" ...
pornography
n. pictures and/or writings of sexual activity intended solely to...
positive law
n. statutory man-made law, as compared to "natural law," which is...
posse comitatus
(pahs-see coh-mitt-tah-tus) n. from Latin for "possible force," t...
possess
v. to own, have title to, occupy, physically hold or have under e...
possession
n. 1) any article, object, asset or property which one owns, occu...
possession of stolen goods
n. the crime of possession of goods which one knows or which any ...
possessory interest
n. in real estate, the intent and right of a person to occupy and...
possibility of a reverter
n. the potential that the title to a real property interest will ...
post
v. 1) to place a notice on the entrance or a prominent place on r...
post mortem
n. Latin for "after death," an examination of a dead body to dete...
postdated check
n. a check delivered now with a written date in the future, so th...
pot
n. slang for marijuana, an illeg- al narcotic.
pour over will
n. a will of a person who has already executed a trust in which a...
power
n. the right, authority and ability to take some action or accomp...
power of acceptance
n. the ability to accept an offer and thus create a binding contr...
power of appointment
n. the right to leave property by will, transfer, gift or distrib...
power of attorney
n. a written document signed by a person giving another person th...
practicable
adj. when something can be done or performed.
practice
1) n. custom or habit as shown by repeated action, as in "it is t...
pray
v. to formally request judicial judgment, relief and/or damages a...
prayer
n. the specific request for judgment, relief and/or damages at th...
precatory
adj. referring to a wish or advisory suggestion which does not ha...
precedent
1) n. a prior reported opinion of an appeals court which establis...
predecease
v. to die before someone else, as "if my brother, Harry, should p...
preemption
n. the rule of law that if the federal government through Congres...
preemptive right
n. the right of a shareholder in a corporation to have the first ...
preference
n. in bankruptcy, the payment of a debt to one creditor rather th...
preferred dividend
n. a payment of a corporation's profits to holders of preferred s...
preferred stock
n. a class of shares of stock in a corporation which gives the ho...
preliminary hearing
n. in criminal law, a hearing to determine if a person charged wi...
preliminary injunction
n. a court order made in the early stages of a lawsuit or petitio...
premeditation
n. planning, plotting or deliberating before doing something. Pre...
premises
n. 1) in real estate, land and the improvements on it, a building...
premium
n. 1) payment for insurance coverage either in a lump sum or by i...
prenuptial agreement
n. also called an antenuptial agreement, a written contract betwe...
preponderance of the evidence
n. the greater weight of the evidence required in a civil (non-cr...
prerogative writ
n. an historic generic term for any writ (court order) directed t...
prescription
n. the method of acquiring an easement upon another's real proper...
prescriptive easement
n. an easement upon another's real property acquired by continued...
presentment
n. 1) making a demand for payment of a promissory note when it is...
presiding judge
n. 1) in both state and federal appeals court, the judge who chai...
presumption
n. a rule of law which permits a court to assume a fact is true u...
presumption of innocence
n. a fundamental protection for a person accused of a crime, whic...
pretermitted heir
n. the child of a person who has written a will in which the chil...
pretrial discovery
n.
prevailing party
n. the winner in a lawsuit. Many contracts, leases, mortgages, de...
price fixing
n. a criminal violation of federal antitrust statutes in which se...
prima facie
: (pry-mah fay-shah) adj. Latin for "at first look," or "on its f...
prima facie case
n. a plaintiff's lawsuit or a criminal charge which appears at fi...
prime suspect
n. the one person law enforcement officers believe most probably ...
primogeniture
n. from Latin for "first born," the ancient rule from feudal Engl...
principal
n. 1) main person in a business. 2) employer, the person hiring a...
principal place of business
n. location of head office of a business where the books and reco...
prior restraint
n. an attempt to prevent publication or broadcast of any statemen...
prior(s)
n. slang for a criminal defendant's previous record of criminal c...
priority
n. the right to be first or ahead of the rights or claims of othe...
privacy
n. the right to be free of unnecessary public scrutiny or to be l...
private carrier
n. one who provides transportation or delivery of goods for money...
private nuisance
n. the interference with an individual's peaceful enjoyment of on...
private parts
n. men's or women's genitalia, excluding a woman's breasts, usual...
private property
n. land not owned by the government or dedicated to public use.
private road
n. a road or driveway on privately owned property, limited to the...
privilege
n. a special benefit, exemption from a duty, or immunity from pen...
privilege against self incrimina-tion
n. a right to refuse to testify against oneself in a criminal pro...
privileged communication
n. statements and conversations made under circumstances of assur...
privileges and immunities
n. the fundamental rights that people enjoy in free governments, ...
privity
n. contact, connection or mutual interest between parties. The te...
pro bono
adj. short for pro bono publico, Latin for "for the public good,"...
pro forma
1) prep. Latin for "as a matter of form," the phrase refers to co...
pro hac vice
: (proh hock vee-chay) prep. Latin for "this time only," the phra...
pro per
adj. short for "propria persona," which is Latin for "for oneself...
pro rata
(proh rat-ah or proh ray-tah) adj. from Latin for "in proportion,...
pro se
(proh say) prep. Latin for "for himself." A party to a lawsuit wh...
pro tanto
: (proh tahn-toe) Latin for "only to that extent." Example: a jud...
pro tem
1) adj. short for the Latin pro tempore, temporarily or for the t...
pro tempore
(proh temp-oh-ray):
probable cause
n. sufficient reason based upon known facts to believe a crime ha...
probate
1) n. the process of proving a will is valid and thereafter admin...
probation
n. a chance to remain free (or serve only a short time) given by ...
probative
adj. in evidence law, tending to prove something. Thus, testimony...
probative facts
n. evidence which tends to prove something which is relative to t...
probative value
n. evidence which is sufficiently useful to prove something impor...
procedure
n. the methods and mechanics of the legal process. These include ...
proceeding
n. any legal filing, hearing, trial and/or judgment in the ongoin...
process
n. in law, the legal means by which a person is required to appea...
process server
n. a person who serves (delivers) legal papers in lawsuits, eithe...
proctor
n. 1) in admiralty (maritime) law, an attorney. 2) person who kee...
product liability
n. the responsibility of manufacturers, distributors and sellers ...
professional corporation
n. a corporation formed for the purpose of conducting a professio...
professional negligence
n.
proffer
v. to offer evidence in a trial.
prohibition
n. forbidding an act or activity. A court order forbidding an act...
promise
1) n. a firm agreement to perform an act, refrain from acting or ...
promissory estoppel
n. a false statement treated as a promise by a court when the lis...
promissory note
n. a written promise by a person (variously called maker, obligor...
promoter
n. a person who puts together a business, particularly a corporat...
promotional stock
n. stock issued in a newly formed corporation and given to a prom...
proof
n. confirmation of a fact by evidence. In a trial, proof is what ...
proper party
n. a person or entity who has an interest (financial or protectio...
property
n. anything that is owned by a person or entity. Property is divi...
property damage
n. injury to real or personal property through another's negligen...
property tax
n. an annual governmental tax on real property or personal proper...
propria persona
adj. from Latin, for oneself.
proprietary
adj. referring to ownership.
proprietary interest
n. a total or partial ownership.
proprietary rights
n. those rights which go with ownership of real property or a bus...
proprietor
n. the owner of anything, but particularly the owner of a busines...
prosecute
v. 1) in criminal law, to charge a person with a crime and therea...
prosecution
n. 1) in criminal law, the government attorney charging and tryin...
prosecutor
n. generic term for the government's attorney in a criminal case,...
prospectus
n. a detailed statement by a corporation required when there is a...
prostitute
n. a person who receives payment for sexual intercourse or other ...
prostitution
n. the profession of performing sexual acts for money. Prostituti...
protective custody
n. the act of law enforcement officials in placing a person in a ...
protest
1) v. to complain in some public way about any act already done o...
prove
v. to present evidence and/or logic that makes a fact seem certai...
provisional remedy
n. a generic term for any temporary order of a court to protect a...
proviso
n. a term or condition in a contract or title document.
proximate cause
n. a happening which results in an event, particularly injury due...
proxy
n. 1) someone who is authorized to serve in one's place at a meet...
prudent man rule
n. the requirement that a trustee, investment manager of pension ...
public
1) n. the people of the nation, state, county, district or munici...
public administrator
n. a county official with the responsibility to handle the affair...
public benefit corporation
n. a term used in some states for a nonprofit community service c...
public charge
n. a general term for an indigent, sick or severely handicapped p...
public corporation
n. a corporation created to perform a governmental function or to...
public defender
n. an elected or appointed public official (usually of a county),...
public domain
n. 1) in copyright law, the right of anyone to use literature, mu...
public easement
n. the right of the general public to use certain streets, highwa...
public figure
n. in the law of defamation (libel and slander), a personage of g...
public nuisance
n. a nuisance which affects numerous members of the public or the...
public property
n. property owned by the government or one of its agencies, divis...
public record
n. any information, minutes, files, accounts or other records whi...
public trust doctrine
n. the principle that the government holds title to submerged lan...
public use
n. the only purpose for which private property can be taken (cond...
public utility
n. any organization which provides services to the general public...
publication
n. 1) anything made public by print (as in a news- paper, magazin...
publish
v. to make public to at least one other person by any means.
puffing
n. the exaggeration of the good points of a product, a business, ...
punitive damages
n. (synony- mous with exemplary damages), damages awarded in a la...
putative
adj. commonly believed, supposed or claimed. Thus a putative fath...

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