Duhaime's Law Dictionary

E
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with E

Earth Movement
Phenomena related to forces operating within the earth itself, and not to the merely superficial effects of external forces, such as erosion by run-off rainwater.
Easement
A legal right to the access over or use of another's land or waterway.
Easter Term
The second of four English court terms during the calendar year.
Eavesdroppers
Those convicted of the obsolete offence of intentional, covert and direct listening-in to another's conversations, and the subsequent use of the contents thereof to disturb the peace.
Ecclesiastical Law
Church law.
E-Commerce
The buying and sellling of goods and services on the internet.
Economic Activity
The production, distribution, and consumption of commodities.
Economic Tort
Intentional tort wherein a defendant uses an unlawful means to cause a plaintiff some economic loss.
Education
Imparting of knowledge; academic instruction and professional training.
Efficient Breach
The intentional breach of a contract by the payment of the breaching party of damages because it has become more cost-effective than performance.
Eggshell Skull Doctrine
A tort-feasor or a wrongdoer takes his victim as he finds him.
Eighth Amendment
US constitutional amendment that prohibits "excessive bail (or) fines (and) cruel and unusual punishment...."
Ejectment
A ancient now disused claim to remove an individual from occupying another's real property, based on trespass.
Ejusdem or Eiusdem Generis
Of the same kind or nature.
Electroconvulsive Therapy
A psychiatric treatment of certain mental illnesses, the administration of electric current through the brain inducing seizures.
Electronic Monitoring
Electronic or telecommunications systems used to track and supervise the locations of individuals.
Eleventh (11th) Amendment
A 1795 amendment to the constitution of the USA purporting to insulate states from judgments or legal actions brought by citizens of other states.
Emancipation
The act of freeing a person who was under the legal authority of another (such as a child before the age of majority) from that control (such as child reaching the age of majority).
Embargo
This is an act of international military aggression where an order is made prohibiting ships or goods from leaving a certain port, city or territory and may be enforced by military threat of destroying any vehicle that attempts to break it or by trade penalties.
Embezzle
The illegal transfer of money or property that, although possessed legally by the embezzler, is covertly and fraudulently converted to the embezzler's own property.
Embracery
Improper influence on a juror.
Eminent Domain
USA: The legal power to expropriate private land for the sake of public necessity.
Emolument
Wages, benefits or other benefit received as compensation for holding some office or employment.
Empanel
Also, "impanel"; the official call to duty of a jury, usually as called by the clerk of the Court in which the jury is to act, and just before the jurors are sworn in.
Emphyteusis
Civil law: a long-term lease of land or buildings; 99 years or such similar long term, or even in perpetuity.
Employee
A person who has agreed by contract to perform specified services for another, the employer, in exchange for money.
Employee Choice Doctrine
The forfeiture of a departing employee's right to judicial review of a restrictive covenant if that employee agreed voluntarily to receive post-employment benefits as consideration for the covenant.
Employer
A person who is contractually bound to a worker - the employee - to give that worker money as a salary or wages, in exchange for ongoing work and for which the employer directs the work and exercises fundamental control over the work.
Employment
A contract in which one person, the employee, agrees to perform work for another, the employer.
Employment at Will
An employment contract during which the employer may terminate the employment at any time subject only to the reason not being contrary to public policy.
Employment Standards
Entirely a creation of statute; minimum employee rights extended for work within the jurisdiction served by the relevant statute.
Emptio or Emtio
Latin for 'purchase' or referring to the contract in which something is bought.
Enactment
A statute or regulation pursuant thereto.
En banc
(French) As a full bench.
Endorsement
Something written on the back of a document. An alternate spelling, in some English jurisdictions, is 'indorsement'.
Endowment
The devotion of property to a specific and particular trust.
Enduring or Continuing Power of Attorney
A power of attorney that continues even if and after a donor becomes incapacitated.
Enemy Combatant
A term of American anti-terrorism law, referring to the theoretically temporary status of an accused during which he or she is detained without charges, judicial review (habeas corpus) or access to an attorney.
Englishry
The proving to the authorities that a killed person was English.
Engrossing
The buying of products in bulk and the individual re-sale at profit.
Enoch Arden Law
A statute that confers validity on a second marriage of a missing person's spouse after a specified absence.
Enticement
An old common law action against any person who caused a husband to lose the love, services or society of his wife.
Entrapment
The inducement, by law enforcement officers or their agents, of another person to commit a crime for the purposes of bringing charges for the commission of that artificially-provoked crime.
Entrust
To give over the care of something to another.
En Ventre Sa Mere
French: A fetus recognized as a child then alive for the purposes of wills and estates.
Equitable Estoppel
A bar to a party from asserting a legal claim or defense that is contrary or inconsistent with his or her prior action of conduct.
Equitable Fraud
Conduct which, having regard to some special relationship between the two parties concerned, is an unconscionable thing for the one to do towards the other.
Equity
A branch of English law which developed hundreds of years ago when litigants would go to the King and complain of harsh or inflexible rules of common law which prevented "justice" from prevailing.
Equity Delights to do Justice, and not by Halves
A maxim of equity that once invoked successfully, equity will, fully and with finality, resolve the dispute between the parties.
Erga Omnes
Latin: towards everyone.
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