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Legal explanations - Law terms
Category: Legal
Date & country: 25/02/2010, SG
Words: 2578


Cooperative Housing
It refers to an arrangement between a group or organisation whose memebers own a housing estate along with its common area and which some or all members can utilise including residing at that estate.Similarly all the residents have right to vote as if they are owners of the place.

Cop A Plea
It refers to the acceptance of the guilt by the defendant or the guilty in exchange of lighter punishment and drop of some of the charges. Even to opt out of facing the legal action and jury and in turn pleading for liniency in sentencing, the guilty may accept his/her guilt in court prior to the hearing or trial.

Copartner
One who is partner with one or more then one person in a business undertaking.

Copyright
It is a legal method of giving the priviledge and right (for certain period of time) of the creator of something artistic like music, painting, theatre or literary work like writing a book, manufacturing something extraordinary product. They get the right and priviledge to copy that and sell the same.It gives the owner of the copyright to refrain o...

Coroner
A county officer whose resposibility is to inquire the cause of death of a person who dies sudden death under violent or mysterious circumstances or in prison.His duty is the examine the dead body and place of death carefully and make a report.He can ask for a postmortem report to be made by a physician to conclude upon the cause of death.

Corporate Opportunity
It is an oppurtunity in business that a corporate is aware of and working on taking advanatge of such oppurtunity. It is usually known to higher management like directors, who has a duty not to disclose to anyone outside company which may harm the business and lead to leakage of company plans. The corporates have right to file a case against such i...

Corporation
It is a fictitious entity different from the owners or its shareholders , having its own rights and priviledges and which is been running under the authgority of certain business laws. It is usually owned or created for purpose of creating business, by some people with common interest and law have same implication as on any other person.A corporati...

Corpus
It is a latin term meaning body.Corpus as in trust is the amount set aside to generate income.Corpus as in estate is the amount of property left behind by an individual after his death.Corpus juris is a body of law.

Corpus Delicti
It is a latin term meaning 'body of the crime'.It means the evidences and facts required to prove the a crime has been commited.It can be the object with which the crime was commited or even a dead body in case of murder.

Corpus Juris
Latin term meaning body of law.It is a compliation of laws, cases and various assumption of them.Legal encyclpedias which contain these are Corpus Juris Secundum, Corpus Juris Civilis etc.

Corroborate
To increase or support any evidence or testimony in a trial by presenting additional information that proves the authencity of the fact.

Corroborating Evidence
Additional evidence that strengthens the truthfullness of an existing evidence in a trial.

Cosign
To sign jointly a promisoory note or any form of paper with another peson and share the responsibilty to pay the amount at the time of maturity.

Cost Bill
In a lawsuit the expenses of the trial are to be legally recovered from the losing party after the judge pronounces the verdict.Court decides what costs are to be included in these and they generally don`t include the attoney's fees.

Cost Of Completion
When any project or contract is not completed on time the amount required to finish the task is called cost of completion.Example- if a building is not constructed as per the given time and is left incomplete the amount paid to the new builder to complete it is cost of completion.

Costs
It is a short term for court costs, this is the amount of money required by the court to pay to their officers and meet their day to day expenses.

Cotenancy
A situation when two or more people hold a title to a common property and thereby have a common interest in the property as in joint tenancy, tenancy by the entirety etc.

Cotenant
One of the person out of the two or more people holding title to the same property.

Counsel
1. A lawyer or attorney who gives legal advice and represents one in the court in legal proceedings. 2. To give an advice and guide as to what is right and what is not right. 3. Urge and guide someone to perform a crime which itself is a crime

Counsellor
A person who has the legal authority to practice like an attorney, advocate.

Count
It refers to the opening complain statement by the plaintiff in the lawsuit which declares that a course of action be taken for such declaration, is known as count. A plaintiffs complain may have more than two counts and it can lead to different set of action by the court. In a criminal case such counts are different offences that has been put forw...

Counter Offer
An offer made in response to an original offer which some changes in the offer thereby terminating the original offer unless it is mentioned in the counter offer that the original offer will not be termninated. Eg - A offer to sell its TV at $ 200, to B. B counter offers the price with $ 150 thereby rejecting the previous original offer of $200 by ...

Counterclaim
When a defendant claims from the plaintiff in the lawsuit,against the claim of the plaintiff, in order to reduce the plaintiff's claim.

Counterfeit
It refers to the copying, duplicating, deceiving and fraud. Normally it`s the copying/faking of currency notes and coins, important documents or bond and presenting it as real and genuine in order to commit fraud.

Counterpart
Something which is duplicate of the other or has same charateristic and resemblense to the other. It also refers to a part of a document of in contract which are signed by the parties to the contract who live in different geographical locations.

Course
In the middle of being actively involved with a particular work like in the course of business.

Course Of Employment
A clause in the Workers' Compensation acts in which at the time of an accident it should be well known that the employee was involved in his work and then only claims arising from damages can be made.

Court
It is a government entity consisting of Judges, lawyers, clearks, justice officers, counsellors etc who deal with the legal issues and claims and administer justice by performing trials and evidenting the proofs and basis of arguments. It delivers justice.

Court Calendar
These calendars are prepared in advance and contains the details of the cases to be heard on a paricular date.

Court Costs
Court costs are the expenses incurred by the court for their day to day functioning like filing fees,court reporter charges for depositions,charges for serving summons and subpoenas,court transcripts and copying papers and exhibits.These costs are to be recovered by the losing party.Attorney's fees can be included in this only if there is a law to ...

Court Of Appeals
In a trial if any party is dissatisfied with the decision given he can approach the court of appeals generally the higher court stating that he was not given justice and can also present more evidence realted to the case.

Court Of Customs And Patent Appeals
Created in 1909 and known by the name of United States Court of Customs Appeals.In 1929 court's name was changed to the United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and hears appeals from U.S. Patent Office and U.S. Customs Court decisions.It is composed of five judges and sits in Washington D.C.

Court Of Equity
It is a court of chancery where the chancellor presides over the court hearing the lawsuits and trials. The decisions were based on the fairness and conscience. That`s was in fourteenth century and it is still in progress in some old English towns.

Court Of Law
Any court, formed by legal authority and government. which hears the trials and lawsuits and makes decision under its jurisdiction according to common law.

Court Trial
It refers to the trial held in the court in presence of the judge.

Court-Martial
1)A court that decides upon crimes commited by military officers under army, navy or air force.It conducts all the proceddings from finding the cause of crime to declaring the verdict.A genearl court marial is conducted by the Judge Advocate who is a military legal officer along with minmum five officers for major crimes for which maximum punishmen...

Covenant
It refers to a promise or agreement by one party to another in writing and under a seal to perform certain task, or to refrain one from doing something till under such agreement.

Covenant Not To Compete
It is a clause in a contract law accordig to which a trader or a person engaged in any kind of profession agrees not to get into competition agaist a paticular party or a specific geographical area.This helps in maintaining good working relation and avoiding unhealthy competition which affects the prices of goods.

Covenant That Runs With The Land
In real property an agreement to do or not to do something with the land that a person occupies.Even if the ownership of the land chages the agreement continues as it is related to the land and so the future owners have to accept it.

Credibility
It refers to the truthfulness, reliability of a testimony in a trial.Credibilty is decided by the reputation of the witness and also supporting evidences and it is basically the mind that decides whether the party or the witness giving tetstimony is honest, sincere and reliable.

Credible Witness
A witness who is capable of giving testimony at the same time which is worthy of belief.This can be based upon his sincerity,reputation, his presence at the time of incident, knowledge about the case for which he testifies and whatever is being said is said with resposibilty and honesty.The judge has to be convinced by his testimony.

Creditor
It is a person or party to whom something is owed.

Creditor's Claim
It is a the claim by the person or organisation (creditor) who is suppose to get the money from another person or entity who may have decalred themselve bankrupt or any person who is dead. Such claim needs to be in writing. For the claim from a dead persons estate, the claim needs to be in a prescribed format within a given period of time.

Creditor's Rights
Legal guidelines and rules for collection of debts and decisions related to the controversey arising from non-payment of debts.

Crime
An illegal act involving violation of law and and causing harm to public in genearl or any particular member of the public.Once the person is convicted of commiting a crime he can be punished either by imposing a fine/ putting him in prison or both.There are different categories of crimes like- crime affecting public, crime invoving trade,business ...

Crime Against Nature
It is a legal term used to define sexual behaviour that is not natural and is considered punishable by law.Sexual acts that are included in this are sodomy-anal sexual intercourse,bestiality (sex with an animal),fellatio,cunnilingus,buggery,pederasty.In some states anal intercourse between adults with mutual consent is not considered crime.

Crime Of Passion
It is a term used to define a crime which is commited by an individual in the form of assault or murder against a spouse or a lover out of jealousy or heratbreak and is not a preplanned crime.Example- when a husband discovers his wife is having affair with another man out of jealousy he can murder her.Crime of passion is used as a measure by the de...

Criminal
A person who has committed a crime in which there has been social harm and peace destroyed and which may be punishable by law. It also refers to persons who has been involved in the crime also.

Criminal Attorney
Lawyers who are involved in advising and defending the defendants is criminal cases are called criminal attorney.Besides this many attorneys also try civil cases.

Criminal Calendar
This contains the details of the case to be tried on a particular date and time according to which the parties involved and their lawyers are issued a written summon.The details contained in the criminal calendar can be as follows written summons,arrangemts for bail,trial dates of cases, any order or ruling made by lawyers,sentences given, appointi...

Criminal Justice
It is a term used for the series of steps involved in proving any criminal activity like gathering evidences, arresting the accused, conducting trials, making defense,pronouncing judgement after the crime is proved, carrying out punishment.

Criminal Law
A set of legal rules and guidelines set aside for any criminal activity that causes harm to the general public.People convicted under criminal law can be given punishment in the form of fines and even imprisonment after the crime has been legally proved.It helps in maintaining welfare and protection of the public.

Cross-Complaint
It refers to a written complain by the defendant against the plaintiff whoch had filed an original complaint against the defendant, is known as cross complaint. The defendant can file a complain against a third party also and all the parties are liable for the action. Defendant in this case is known as cross complainant and the the party against wh...

Cross-Examination
Questioning by the attornies to the witnesses of the opponent parties. Usually the questions are related to direct examination only and in some cases a leading question may be asked which is an answer in itself to confirm certain points.

Cruel And Unusual Punishment
The punishments which are cruel and barbaric by nature and can lead to mistreatment of the prisoners and social shock. US constitution does not allow cruel punishment anymore. IF given so, it is on the defendant to prove that such punishment is much greater than punishment given in other cases of similar types in may be different states.

Cruelty
Concious and cruel attempt of causing physical or mental pain to people or animals.Cruelty is a strong ground for divorce in a husband-wife relationship.It can include physical violence, abusive or use of bad language, neglect, illtreatment, threats of violence etc.Cruelty to children also known as child abuse includes employment of under age child...

Cruelty To Animals
It is an act which causes suffering, pain, harm, put an animal's life in danger and even cause death of animals.It can be in the form of neglect to tame animals by not giving food and water on time, cruelty to train the animals by beating them mercilessly, killing animals for commercial purposes for their skin,fur,tusks,and even meat.

Culpable
Deserving blame, responsible for performance of an illegal activity or violation of legal rules.Culpability indicates that the act performed by a person is illegal and he/she should take responsibility of the action

Cumis Counsel
This termed is refered to the attorney or the lawyer appointed by the defendant in the cases where there is the insurance company and he himself have a conflicting interest on the case. The insurance company may be denying the full claim to the defendant and for which the defendant needs to appoint an attorney which may not be the lawyer from the i...

Cumulative Sentence
When a criminal who has been convicted of two or more different crimes, instead of sentencing him for both the crimes separately he can be sentenced for both of them jointly and would be asked to serve for the crime with the longer time of imprisonment.

Cumulative Voting
A method of election of board of directors in a corporation whereby the shareholder has the right to cast votes equal to the number of shares he has multiplied by the number of directors to be elected.This method helps the minority stock holders to represnt themselves on board.

Curtesy
In estate law right given to a husband to the land owned by his deceasd wife at any time of their marriage and if they had children who are surviing and can inherit the land.

Custody
It means the possession and control of a thing or person.1)Detention of a person who has committed any illegal act by police in prison after conviction of a crime or while awaiting trial. 2)In case of child custody after divorce the the legal aunthority given to one parent or sometimes both the parents jointly for the care,control and maintenance o...

Customs Court
A federal court where appeals related to the decisions given by the custom officers regarding sale of goods and services,duty rates or any other custom rules and regulations can be made.The decision given by this court can be further appealed to the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals.

Cut A Check
To sign and issue a check.

Cy Pres Doctrine
French term meaning as close as possible.When a gift is made by a will or trust to any charitable or educatioanl institution that no longer exists,this is the legal authority given to the trustee to grant the gift to an institution working for similar purposes.In case of any controversey judge decides in a legal proceeding as to which organisation ...

D.A.
n. slang for District Attorney

D.B.A.
n. Abbreviation for "doing business as." Utilized when a business name is used by a person or entity instead of their own. The public can learn the real person or entity that is behind a business name through the state requirement to file certificates of "doing business under a fictitious name" either with the County Clerk, the state Secretary of S...

D.U.I.
n. Abbreviation for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol

D.W.I.
n. 1) Abbreviation for operating a vehicle while intoxicated. 2) Abbreviation for dying without issue (e.g. children

Damages
In legal terms damage refers to loss of life, property, potential gains which couldn't be made, lost opportunities, etc. because of (un)intentional design of someone, negligence, out of control externalities (say, natural calamties), and such. Damages also stands for the compensation that is provided by law to the complainant.

Damnum Absque Injuria
latin phrase for "damage done without injury". In legal terms it describes damage incurred by one party because of someone's actions but without any malafide intention; neither is the damage legally curative! eg. scaling up of competition for one product/service in open market because of launching of some other better product/service.

Dangerous
which has the potential to cause damage. Under law anything dangerous may not be forbidden but if the danger manifests itself as actual hazard then the affected people/property are liable to get compensated.

Dangerous Weapon
A weapon having the potential to harm someone, which could be intentional or accidental. Nevertheless the victim can sue the owner/operator of the weapon for damage caused by negligence or any presumptions.

Date Rape
also termed acquaintance-rape, it refers to non-consensual sex between two socially acquainted individuals; but wherein the consent for sex has not been there. Legally there is no distinction between rape (committed by someone unknown) and date-rape, though the standard of proof required for later is harder to meet.

Day In Court
an opportunity, given openly for all, of using the court of law to bring expected justice to them, in matters they deem fit to be redressed by a court.

DBA
short for "doing business as". Implies the usage of a name different from real/official name of the person, for business purposes. Though doing business under such a anonymous identity requires filling of certificate(s) with some law administrator declaring the person behind the name.

De Facto
latin for "in fact" or "in practice". Used for such action for which no strict law or legal procedure or legal authority exist but a common universal practice does, which is taken as an standard. Contrasts with 'de jure'

De Facto Corporation
a term used by court to describe a business establishment which is NOT a corporation by law but shall be treated as one say for example to protect the rights of shareholders.

De Jure
latin expression meaning "based on law", used to mean something done/said in principle, which is strictly legal, according to written laws of the land. Contrasts with 'de facto' which isn't legal but in practice.

De Jure Corporation
A business that has fulfilled all the legal requirements to be a corporation and stands clear in the eyes of law (as opposed to de facto corporation).

De Minimis
latin expression meaning "little things". It stands for something that is not worthy of law's attention or procedures; something that is too trivial in the eyes of law.

De Novo
latin for "from the very beginning". The phrase is used for trials (as in de novo trial) that are done afresh. Usually done on appeals from lower courts claim judgements.

Dead Man'S Statute
It`s a legislative act denying any credibility to a testimony about any communication, transaction, promises made by a deceased person, from someone who would be the interested party by claiming a witness after the person's death.

Deadly Weapon
In essence anything that actually causes death is a deadly weapon.This includes dangerous weapons as well as usual day to day objects which can potentially be used to cause mortal and/or serious physical harm to someone.

Dealer
someone who deals in property as a business; involving himself in buying and re-selling of property or goods for profit-making. The trade involved is not occasional hence the need for licenses, registration with tax department, etc

Death Penalty
capital punishment; its judicially ordered execution for some exceptionally serious crime (which then is called capital crime,

Death Row
section of prison which houses persons awaiting execution or appeal.

Death Taxes
Taxes that are transferred upon the death of its owner. Estate taxes are federal death taxes and some states impose additional taxes on property heirs.

Debenture
debentures are kind of bonds floated by big companies or even government and used as long term debt intruments for fund raising. In case of bankruptcy the repayment to the investor comes from company's capital evaluation.

Debit Card
"A bank issued card that can be used in lieu of a check to pay for goods and services as well as used as an ATM card. At the time of purchase, debit cards directly withdraw money from the user's checking account.

Debt
anything owed is a debt. This could be bonds, mortagages, promissory notes, etc. Debt could be money outstanding or services/duties which are due.

Debtor
A person or company owing debt is a debtor. In legal proceedings the party declaring bankruptcy is the debtor.

Debtor In Possession
a bankrupt person remaining in possession of property even if a creditor has a lien

Deceased
refers to someone no longer alive.

Decedent
the deceased person.

Deceit
dishonest conduct or statements through which someone desires to cheat knowingly.

Deception
falsifying facts with malafide intention for the purpose of deceit.

Decide
the process of reaching a conclusion (by judge or jury) on truth or falsity of the case, based on evidences and law's interpretation.

Decision
fact finding as done by the law enforcement individual/body