Duhaime's Law Dictionary

A
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with A

And/Or
Any combination of two options; one, the other (either), or both.
Angary
The right of a state at war, in circumstances of necessity, to seize or destroy property belonging to a neutral state.
Animal
A creature or living thing, other than human, being able to move of its own accord.
Animal Law
That body of law particular to the liability associated with animals or the rights or statutory protection of animals.
Animal Rights
A legal philosophy that seeks to establish that animals have rights of their own.
Animal Sacrifice
To unnecessarily kill, torment, torture, or mutilate an animal in a public or private ritual or ceremony not for the primary purpose of food consumption.
Animal Welfare
An body of law interested in the promotion of minimal standards of animal care including the prohibition of cruelty towards animals.
Animus
Latin: intention.
Animus Contrahendi
Latin: an intention to contract.
Animus Furandi
Latin: an intent to do wrong.
Annulment
To make void forever; to cancel an event or judicial proceeding both retroactively and for the future so that in the eyes of the law, it never occurred.
Antedate
To date back; retroactively.
Antenuptial
An event or document which pre-dates a marriage.
Antichresis
Civil law: the pledge of real property as security for a debt.
Anticipatory Breach
When a party to a contract receives an indication from the other party that they intend on not performing their contractual obligations.
Anti-psychotic Drugs
Tranquilizing pharmaceutical products used to minimize or control psychotic episodes or the symptoms associated with schizophrenia.
Antisocial Personality Disorder
A pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others.
Anti-trust
Prohibited trade, marketplace or merchant activities as defined in a relevant anti-trust or such other restraint of trade statute.
Anton Piller Order
A court order allowing a party to litigation to enter the premises of another to search for and, if found, remove specified documents or items.
Apartheid
Afrikaan for apartness. A set of South African laws and regulations that implemented and enforced racial discrimination and segregation.
Apology
A statement of regret and responsibility for an act or omission.
Apostacy
The ancient criminal offence of atheism or not being Christian, or of denying the doctrines of a state religion.
Appeal
To ask a more senior court or person to review a decision of a subordinate court or person.
Appearance
The act of showing up in court as either plaintiff, defendant, accused or any other party to a civil or criminal suit.
Appellant
The person who initiates an appeal of a judicial body's decision.
Apportionment
The division and distribution of something into proportionate parts; to each according to their share.
Appraisal
The informed and objective inspection and estimation of a thing's worth.
Appraisement
The inspection and appraisal or valuation of property, especially vessels, such as by a court-appointed surveyor, before its judicial sale, thus allowing the court to make an informed decision as to whether the judicial sale price is fair to the parties, particularly where there are competing claims for the proceeds of sale.
Approver
A person who confesses a felony and confesses an accomplice.
Appurtenance
Something that, although detached, stands as part of another thing.
Appurtenant Easement
An easement that runs with and serves a parcel of land known as the dominant tenement, distinguished from the parcel of land on which the easement is imposed (known as the servient tenement).
Arbiter
An alternate term for arbitrator; preferred in some jurisdictions such as Scotland.
Arbitration
An agreement to submit a dispute for a hearing and binding decision by a third-party, an arbitrator(s), who is neither a judge or a Court
Arbitration Act
A statute that sets out default terms for the conduct of arbitration between parties to a dispute.
Arbitration Agreement
A contract between two or more parties to refer a dispute to arbitration.
Arbitration Clause
A clause in a contract which requires a party to refer a dispute to arbitration.
Arbitration Rules
The rules of procedure that govern a particular arbitration.
Arbitrator
The adjudicating and presiding officer of a dispute submitted to arbitration.
Arbuckle Rights
The right of an accused to be sentenced by the judge who took his guilty plea.
Argumentum Ab Inconvenienti Plurimum Valet In Lege
Latin: An argument drawn from inconvenience is forcible in law.
Armchair Rule
A rule of interpretation that a judge, called upon to interpret an otherwise unclear legal document, shall take into account the circumstances in which the document was created.
Armed Robbery
Robbery committed while the person accused is armed with a dangerous weapon.
Arm's Length
A transaction or relationship where there is an absence of control the one over the other.
Arraignment
The formal appearance of an accused person to hear, and to receive a copy of, the charge against him or her, in the presence of a judge, and to then enter a plea of guilty or not guilty.
Arrears
A debt that is not paid on the due date adds up and accumulates in arrears.
Arrest
The detainment or restraint of a person or thing for the purposes of determining legal rights as regards a thing, or suspicion of criminal activity as regards a person.
Arrest (Maritime Law)
The detention of a vessel by order of a Court to secure a maritime claim.
Arrestment
Scots law: the seizure of monies owned by a debtor but held by a third-party.
Arson
The intentional setting of a fire to a building.
Arthritis
A medical condition characterized by the inflammation of the joints.
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