Duhaime's Law Dictionary

B
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with B

Backfilling
A term of employment law; where an employee is assigned to a new job and his/her position filled by another employee.
Backing Sheet
A back cover page to a legal document designed to show, when folded, what the legal document is and who it is from.
Bad Faith
Intent to deceive. A person who intentionally tries to deceive or mislead another in order to gain some advantage.
Badgering
The buying of food products in one place and selling them elsewhere at a profit.
Bail
The pledge of cash or property to secure the release of a thing or person which would otherwise be held in custody.
Bailee
The person who receives property through a contract of bailment, from the bailor, and who may be committed to certain duties of care towards the property while it remains in his or her possession.
Bailiff
A person acting with legal authority in the seizure of personal property; and, also, the official in each courtroom who attends to security within.
Bailment
The transfer of possession of something (by the bailor) to another person (called the bailee) for some temporary purpose (eg. repair or storage) after which the property is either returned to the bailor or otherwise disposed of in accordance with the contract of bailment.
Bailor
The person who temporarily transfers possession of property to another, the bailee, under a contract of bailment.
Bait and Switch
To lure a customer by advertising, at a very attractive price, a reputable product and then to denigrate it in favour of another product offered at a higher price.
Balance of Probabilities
Burden of proof in civil trials.
Band
A group of Indians who share culture and territory and are recognized as a separate government entity for the purposes of limited self-government.
Bandwidth
Available range of frequencies for transmission on a single communications line.
Bank
A corporation empowered to deal with cash, domestic and foreign, and to receive the deposits of money and to loan those monies to third-parties.
Banker
An individual who is engaged in the business of banking.
Bankrupt
A person who has legally declared bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy
The formal condition of an insolvent person being declared bankrupt under law.
Bankruptcy Trustee
An officer generally appointed by the court, who takes over the assets of a bankrupt to the benefit of creditors.
Bare Trust
A trust that is or has become passive for the trustee because all the duties the settlor may have imposed upon the trustee have been performed or any conditions or terms have come to fruition.
Bare Trustee
The trustee of a bare trust; a trust that has been reduced to holding the trust property at the absolute disposal and benefit of the beneficiaries.
Barrator
A person who, on more than one occasion, incites litigation or spreads false rumours.
Barratry
An intentional wrongful act committed by the crew or master of a ship to the prejudice of the owner or the charterer.
Barrister
A lawyer that restricts his or her practice to the court room; a litigation specialist.
Bastard
An illegitimate child, born in a relationship between two persons that are not married (ie. not in wedlock) or who are not married at the time of the child’s birth.
Battered Woman Syndrome
A species of self-defence to manslaughter or murder in which expert evidence is led to demonstrate that a female defendant in an abusive relationship comes to believe that to save herself she must kill her husband first.
Battering Cycle
A three-phase cycle of violent behavior within a spousal relationship.
Battery
Offensive and intentional contact, direct or indirect, which causes injury.
Battery Cages
High-volume, small cages to house chickens for the purposes of egg production.
Battle of the Forms
Two persons intending to contract but tendering differing form contracts rendering the conclusion as to the terms of the contract, or a determination as to whether there was a contract, difficult.
Batture
An elevation of the bed of a river under the surface of the water or the elevation of the bank when it has emerged from the water or is as high as the adjoining land.
Bawdy House
A brothel; an establishment of ill repute - within which occur acts of prostitution or lewd sex.
Bench
A judge in court session.
Beneficiary
The person for whom a trust has been created.
Benefit of Inventory
A right of legal or testamentary beneficiaries to an estate to demand of the administrator an inventory of the estate.
Bequeath or Bequests
Gift of personal property or chattels by will.
Berdache
A derogatory term used to refer to North American transvestites specifically or homosexuals generally.
Bereavement Leave
Authorized leave from work, paid or unpaid, for the purposes of attending to the funeral of a family member.
Berne Convention
An international copyright treaty.
Best Evidence Rule
When a document is proposed as evidence, the original must be produced.
Bestiality
A sexual connection between a human being and an animal.
Betterment
An improvement put upon a property which enhances its value more than mere replacement, maintenance, or repairs.
Bicycle
A muscle-propelled two-wheeled vehicle.
Bigamy
Being married to more than one person at the same time; a criminal offence in most jurisdictions.
Bigotry
Racial or religious intolerance.
Bijural
A legal instrument, such as a statute that, is to be applied to different legal systems.
Bill
A proposed statute, not yet approved.
Bill of Attainder
Conviction and sentence to death directly by statute, as opposed to resulting from trial.
Bill of Costs
A formal itemized memorandum presented by the successful party to concluded litigation, to the other, as a proposal of costs and disbursements that the issuing party claims.
Bill of Exchange
A written order from one person (the payor) to another, signed by the person giving it, requiring the person to whom it is addressed to pay on demand or at some fixed future date, a certain sum of money, to either the person identified as payee or to any person presenting the bill of exchange.
Bill of Lading
A document that a transport company possesses acknowledging that it has received goods, and serves as title for the purpose of transportation.
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