Duhaime's Law Dictionary

B
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with B

Binder
A formal statement or written certification of an insurance policy.
Bioterrorism
The release of an infectious agent to cause illness or death against a civilian population.
Bird's Nest Custody
A form of access or custody where the children stay in the former family residence and it is the parents who rotate in and out separately and on a negotiated schedule.
Bisexual
Individuals who experience sexual attraction to males and females.
Bitcoin
An electronic form of currency.
Black Code
Statutes passed by pro-slavery, Southern states of the USA before and after the Civil War, to limit the civil rights of slaves or freed slaves. All black codes were eventually repealed.
Black Letter Law
A principle of law so notorious and entrenched that it is commonly known and rarely disputed.
Blackmail
The obtaining or attempting to obtain something by the use of threats.
Blasphemy
The scurrilous, deriding or intemperate expression of dissent or criticism of God or a state's official religion.
Blind Trust
A trust in which a settlor reserves the right to terminate the trust but to assert no other power over the trust, which is administered without any other measure of control over the trust's administration.
Blockade
The blocking of ingress or egress of any ship with the coast of a targeted state.
Blockbusting
Attempt to manipulate sale prices of real property by making representations as to crime rate or ethnic ratios.
Blue-Pencil Severance
Striking out an offending part of a legal document, such as a contract or a statute.
Blue Ribbon Jury
A jury consisting of highly qualified persons.
Blue Sky Law
An American law term that refers to government controls, through statutes, of the sale of securities to the public.
Boarding House
Residential premises where both shelter and food are provided.
Board of Directors
The group of most senior managers, operators and administrators of a corporation or association.
Bona Fide
Latin: good faith.
Bona Vacantia
Property that belongs to no person, and which may be claimed by a finder.
Bond
A written guarantee in regards to the fulfillment of a legal obligation.
Boni Judicis Est Ampliare Jurisdictionem
Latin: good justice is broad jurisdiction.
Bonus
A premium offered or given to induce someone to perform a service.
Bonus pater familias
Latin: the good family man.
Bootlegging
The making of an unauthorized copy of a commercially unreleased performance.
Booze Can
An establishment wherein liquor is sold without a permit and after legal bar hours.
Bordereau
A detailed statement forming part of an insurance document.
Born Alive
A child born and independently breathing or with a heart beat.
Born Out of Wedlock
Born of parents who were not married at the time of birth.
Bottomry
An obsolete bond contract by which a ship owner or master borrowed money in a far-off port of call, for the repair of a ship in exchange for which, he would repay the loan on safe arrival at the ship's destination, for which the ship stood as collateral but where the lender assumed the risk of the loss of the ship en route.
Boulevard
A roadway of more than ordinary width and in a more elaborate style than an ordinary street.
Boundary
An imaginary line which marks the limits of two adjacent pieces of real property.
Boundary Tree
A tree whose trunk, roots or branches encroach on the property or air space of an adjoining owner.
Boycott
The enlisting of persons to withhold, patronage or services from a target.
Brady Rule
The suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or punishment.
Breach of Contract
A failure of a party to a contract to perform his or her obligations as agreed to within the contract.
Breach Of Trust
Any act or omission on the part of the trustee which is inconsistent with the terms of the trust agreement or the law of trusts.
Break and Enter
A burglary; to break and enter onto another's premises, land or real property with the intent to there commit a crime, most typically theft
Breathalyzer
A device which records alcohol impairment.
Brehon
Judges in ancient and medieval Ireland.
Bribery
A secret payment to a public officer in exchange for preferential treatment.
Bridge
A structure which spans an obstruction and which affords passage to people or things.
Browne v Dunn, The Rule in
Rule of evidence named after the British case in which it was first established; that if you intend on later impeaching a witness with contradictory evidence, that evidence ought to be put to the witness.
Buggery
Synonymous with sodomy and referring to 'unnatural' sex acts, including copulation, either between two persons of the same sex or between a person and an animal.
Builders' Lien
A statutory charge against real property by those who have contributed material or manpower to its improvement.
Building Code
A North American legal term for the local or municipal regulation which regulates the construction of new, or renovation of existing buildings.
Bullying
Repeated, persistent and aggressive behaviour intended to cause fear, distress, or harm to another person's body, emotions, self-esteem or reputation.
Bumbershoot Policy
Marine insurance covering liability in excess of one or more different underlying policies.
Burden of Proof
A rule of evidence that makes a person prove a certain thing or the contrary will be assumed by the court.
Burglary
Breaking and entering a residence for the intention of committing a crime or while lawfully within, commit a crime and to thereafter break out.
But For
A test in tort law linking the tort and the damages (aka causation), which are stated as: "but for" the defendant's negligence, the plaintiff would not have been injured.
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