C
Legal definitions for terms from Cabotage to Civil Union

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Cabotage
Trade transit of a vessel along the coast (coastal trading), from one port to another within the territorial limits of a single nation.
Cadastre
French: a database of real property data within a certain jurisdiction.
Cadaver
A dead human body.
Cadaverine
A chemical substance formed by the decomposition of organic matter.
Calderbank Letter
A species of settlement offer delivered in the form of a letter and which can be used in the event that it is rejected and subsequent to trial or hearing of the litigation which results in terms similar to the rejected offer, costs are spoken to.
Calendar Day
In some jurisdictions, a period of time from midnight to midnight. In others, a full 24 hour period (eg. 3 am to 3 am).
Calendar Month
A period from a specified day in one month to the day numerically corresponding to that day in the following month, less one.
Calendar Quarter
A period of three consecutive months starting on one of January 1, April 1, July 1 or October 1.
Calendar Week
Depending on the context, either a period of time from midnight, Saturday to following midnight Saturday, or any period of seven consecutive days.
Calendar Year
A period from January 1 to December 31.
Call For Tenders
A property owner's invitation, sometimes at large, sometimes to a select group, for bids to complete a particular project.
Call To The Bar
The official moment that an individual is sworn or entered into a law society or state bar or court and thereafter licensed to practise law in that jurisdiction.
Calvin's Case, 1572
A case which favorably resolved the issue as to whether alien-born persons could exercises certain rights of naturalized English subjects.
Calvo Clause
Mexican real estate law that requires that any action challenging the title of real property situated in Mexico must be litigated in Mexico and exclusively governed by Mexican law.
Cancel
To terminate; to put an end to.
Cancer
An aggregation of outlaw cells with the propensity to migrate and grow in size and in the territory covered and the definite destruction of the body.
Candy
Crystallized sugar more fully called sugar candy; also any confection made of, or so encrusted.
Canon Law
The law of the Church; based on religious beliefs.
Capacity
The power to acquire and assert legal rights.
Capital Asset
A designation of an asset so that profit or loss can be tracked for tax purposes; generally, all and any asset belonging to a tax-payer except those specifically excluded.
Capital Expenditure
A once and for all expense to provide an enduring benefit to a capital asset.
Capital Gain
The eventual, net proceeds of sale of an asset, subtracting the original purchase price from the sale price.
Capital Loss
The amount of monies lost when disposing of an asset, the difference between the higher purchase cost and the subsequent but lower amount received when the asset was sold.
Capital Offence
A criminal offence for which the punishment, or one of the punishments, is death, capital punishment.
Capital Punishment
The most severe of all sentences: that of death.
Capitulation
Abandonment by one belligerent to another, of a defined place, usually by way of a negotiated arrangement.
Capricious
A judicial decision which is not based on any apparent reason.
Cardholder Agreement
A contract presented by a credit card company or through an agent, usually a bank, setting out the terms of the consumer's use of and liability for the credit card.
Carriage
The transportation, by carriers, of people or goods for free or for reward.
Carriage Motion
A motion made to a court of law during duplicative class action proceedings to defer to a predominant proceeding, staying others.
Carrier
Persons who carry goods or passengers for others, either freely or for consideration.
Carrier's Case
A monumental 1473 English case which extended the offence of theft (then called larceny) to include a carrier of goods who, initially lawfully in possession, converts goods to his own use.
Car Ringing
The movement of stolen vehicles through to sale to unsuspecting new purchasers.
Carry
The observation or declaration by the chair of a meeting that a member’s motion has passed or attained the requisite majority vote, and is thus converted into a resolution of the whole meeting or organization.
Cartel
An agreement between two or more merchants to create or control a monopoly, to lessen or prevent competition.
Cartoon
A normally humourous and pictorial parody which by caricature, analogy or ludicrous juxtaposition sharpens the public view of a contemporary event, political or social trend.
Case Law
The entire collection of published legal decisions of the courts which, because of stare decisis, contributes a large part of the legal rules which apply in modern society.
Casus Foederis
Latin: treaty event.
Cataplexy
A condition in which the patient loses muscle control and collapses.
Cat's Paw
A supervisor who, rather than genuinely re-assess a subordinate's decision to discipline an employee, official cover notwithstanding, merely rubber stamps it.
Causa Causans
The real, effective cause of damage.
Causa Proxima Et Non Remota Spectatur
Latin: the immediate, not the remote cause, is to be considered.
Causa Sine Qua Non
An intervening cause of loss which, though not direct, may nonetheless contribute to the loss.
Causation
The cause and effect relationship between an act or omission and damages alleged in a tort or personal injury action.
Caveat
Latin: let him beware. A formal warning.
Caveat Emptor
Latin: buyer beware.
Cease and Desist Letter
A letter which advises a person to stop (cease and desist) using specified legal rights which are asserted by another.
Centrocon Clause
A clause in an arbitration agreement which bars a claim if not made in writing and an arbitrator appointed within a set time frame.
Certainty of Terms
A legal requirement of a valid offer to contract; that it must be precise and definite in order to be subject to acceptance.
Certificate of Independent Legal Advice
A document that attests that a person has received legal advice on a proposed contract, from a lawyer not associated with the other contracting party.
Certificate of Inheritance
A formal legal probate document issued in Germany.
Certificate of Pending Litigation
A registration or/of a notice or warning that litigation is ongoing as to ownership of a particular piece of land or other real property.
Certification
A procedural first step in class action litigation in which a court determines if the action at issue is amenable to class action proceedings.
Certified Affidavit
A simplified form of affidavit in which the affiant self-certifies the truthfulness of his or her written statement under penalty of perjury.
Certiorari
A formal request to a court challenging a legal decision of an administrative tribunal, judicial office or organization (eg. government) alleging that the decision has been irregular or incomplete or if there has been an error of law.
Cessante Ratione Legis, Cessat Ipsa Lex
Latin: The reason for a law ceasing, the law itself ceases.
Cessate Grant
A grant of probate that is made after a limited grant has served its purpose.
Cestui Que Trust or Cestui Que Use
Latin: the beneficiary of a trust.
Ceteris Paribus
Latin: all things being equal or unchanged.
Challenge for Cause
A challenge of a prospective juror for which the cause is disclosed by the challenging party (or their lawyer), and submitted to the Court for decision.
Chamberdeacon
An Irish beggar.
Chambers
A court which sits to dispose of procedural matters.
Champerty
When a person agrees to finance someone else's lawsuit in exchange for a portion of the judicial award.
Chance Medley
A sudden, unplanned brawl.
Chancery
The English law court with exclusive jurisdiction over equity; now phased-out and merged with the common law courts.
Chancery Lane
A pedestrian lane connecting Gray's Inn with other Inns of the Court in London, England.
Charity
A corporate non-profit body holdings property in trust for educational, religious, anti-poverty or some other purpose beneficial to the community.
Charterparty
A transportation contract which includes the full and exclusive use of the airplane, vehicle or vessel for the duration of the transportation of either goods or persons.
Chasing Order
An order sought by a party seeking return of a child that grants custody of the child to that party after the child has already been removed from the jurisdiction.
Chaste
A person who has never voluntarily had sexual intercourse outside of marriage such as unmarried virgins.
Chattel
Moveable items of property which are neither land nor permanently attached to land or a building, either directly or vicariously through attachment to real property.
Chattel Mortgage
When an interest is given on moveable property other than real property (in which case it is usually a 'mortgage'), in writing, to guarantee the payment of a debt or the execution of some action.
Check or Cheque
A form of bill of exchange where the order to pay is given to a bank which is holding the payor’s money.
Chemotherapy
Toxic drugs administered to a patient to attack and destroy cancer cells.
Child
A young individual who is under the legal age of majority, or who is the natural offspring of another.
Child of the Marriage
A dependent child of two persons, married at the time of conception of the child, and for whom both parents are financially liable.
Child Support
Periodic money payments payable by a non-custodial parent, to the custodial parent, for the care of his or her child.
Chinese Wall
A screening barricade established within a law firm to prevent conflicts of interests between associates.
Chirograph
A medieval form of contract which allowed for several verifiable authentic versions.
Choice of Law Clause
A term of a contract which sets the jurisdiction for dispute resolution, or the applicable law, in the event of any dispute between the conrtracting parties.
Chose In Action
A property right in something intangible, or which is not in one's possession, but enforceable through legal or court action.
Chronic Serious Health Condition
A continuing episodic health condition which requires periodic visits for treament.
Church
A charitable association of persons organized for the advancement of religion and for the conduct of religious worship, services or rites, and that is permanently established.
CIF
Transportation contract acronym for "cost, insurance and freight" usually in reference to the sale price being inclusive thereof.
Circumstantial Evidence
Evidence which may allow a judge or jury to deduce a certain fact from other facts which have been proven.
Citation
An order of a court to either do a certain thing or to appear before it to answer charges.
Citizen Informant
An ordinary citizen who has witnessed a crime and then reports it to law enforcement officials.
Citizen's Arrest
Detainment of a person suspected of having committed a crime, by a person other than a police officer.
Citizenship
The status of an individual as owing allegiance to, and enjoying the benefits of, a designated state.
Civil Action
Any action that is not a criminal proceeding.
Civil Code
A document in civil law jurisdictions that purports to be a compendium of the applicable law as it pertains to the citizen.
Civil Conspiracy
A business tort; an agreement by two persons or more to do an unlawful act or a conspiracy to injure another.
Civil Covenant of Solidarity
A contract by two individuals of the age of majority, of different or same gender, to provide legal rights and obligations as a result of their cohabitation.
Civil Law
A body of law derived and evolved directly from Roman Law, the primary feature of which is that laws are struck in writing; codified, and not determined, as in the common law, by the opinions of judges based on historic customs.
Civil Law Rule
Water law: a person who interferes with the natural flow of surface waters so as to cause an invasion of another's interests in the use and enjoyment of his land is subject to liability to the other.
Civil Liability
A civil law requirement to compensate another because of an unlawful injury to his/her person or property.
Civil Liberties
Natural rights which appertain and are inherent to each person as a human being, and which are protected.
Civil Litigation
The conduct of a non-criminal matter in a court of law from initial advice to client(s) through to the enforcement of judgment.
Civil Rights
Personal rights which civilized communities undertake, by the enactment of positive laws, to prescribe, abridge, protect, and enforce.
Civil Union
A formal union between two people, of the same or of different genders which results in, but falls short of, marriage-like rights and obligations.

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