Duhaime's Law Dictionary

F
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with F

Facial Mapping
An identification technique which distinguishes unique facial characteristics of an individual.
Facilitate
To make easy or less difficult.
Factitious Disorder
A person who feigns symptoms of some illness as an attention-seeking strategy.
Factitious Disorder by Proxy
Very rare mental disorder where a person deliberately feigns symptoms of someone in their care.
Factum
The written summary of a litigant's position to be taken and expounded upon in a judicial proceeding, including a concise summary of relevant facts and law and brief arguments with reference to authorities where applicable.
Faint Hope Clause
Canada criminal law: a term in a 25 year prison term that salvages a remote possibility that the individual may be paroled prior to the full completion of the term of incarceration.
Fair Comment
A comment made which though defamatory, is not actionable as it is an opinion on a matter of public interest.
Fair Dealing
A limited exception to the exclusivity of intellectual property allowing fair critique or private study use of the protected material, and with appropriate acknowledgement.
Fair Market Value
The hypothetical most probable price that could be obtained for a property by average, informed purchasers.
Fair Use
A statutory exemption to copyright for criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.
Falsa Demonstratio Non Nacet
A wrong description of an item in a legal document (such as a will) will not necessarily void the gift if it can be determined from other facts.
False
An intentional or accidental untruth.
False Arrest
The intentional and total confinement of a person against his will without lawful justification.
False Imprisonment
Intentional and total imprisonment of a person against his or her will and without lawful justification.
Family
The central, fundamental unit of society responsible for the primary development and socialization of children.
Family Trust
A trust device generally restricted to beneficiaries of a same family.
Fascism
A form of government which is authoritarian, oppressively conservative, who believe in the supremacy of the stated national group, and which, at least initially, purports to vest law-making and administrative authority in the hands of workers or their organizations.
Fatwa
A legal opinion given by an Islamic law specialist on a specific question.
Fault
A breach of duty or negligence and, in some circumstances, the errors or omissions of others or of things under a person's control.
Federalism
A system of government which has created, by written agreement, a central and national government to which it has distributed specified legislative (law-making) powers, called the federal government, and regional or local governments (or sometimes called provinces or states) to which is distributed other, specified legislative powers.
Federal Paramountcy
A doctrine of constitutional law which gives priority to the application of a federal statute where those terms conflict with the operation of a provincial statute.
Fee
A legal right in land; or a money payment to purchase a service or a right.
Fee Simple
Absolute ownership in jurisdictions which preserve traditional common law as the legal basis of land ownership..
Fee Tail
A form of ownership which passes onto successive lineal descendants of the owner.
Felonious Homicide
The killing of a human being without justification or excuse.
Felony
A serious crime for which the traditional punishment is prison for more than a year, or death.
Feme Covert
French: a married woman.
Feme Sole
French: an unmarried woman.
Feminism
A person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.
Fence
A structure which encloses real property, wholly or partially, to impede entry and exit.
Ferae Naturae
Latin: wild in nature; usually in reference to wild animals such as monkeys or lions.
Feudal System
A social and land-use debtor system in use in Europe during the Middle Ages.
Fiat
A shortly-worded and short-form, often truncated, Court order.
Fiat Justitia Ruat Caelum
Latin: do justice though the heavens fall.
Fidelity Rebate
Offering loyalty rebate program to select customers.
Fiduciary
A legal duty of loyalty and faithfulness towards another.
Fieri Facias
Latin: that you cause to be made. Mostly used to refer to a writ of judgment enforcement obtained under the old common law of England.
Fifth Amendment
A US Constitution article which provides fundamental rights in regards to legal process such as the immunity in regards to self incrimination.
Final Order
An order or judgment of the Court that finally disposes of the rights of the parties.
Fiqh
The law of Islam. Also spelled fikh.
Firefighters' Rule
Public safety officers have no claim for injuries suffered during the performance of their duties on the premises of a hazard, even if intentionally created.
First Amendment
The amendment to the US Constitution which sets out freedom of expression.
First Degree Murder
The unlawful killing of another human being with malice, premeditation and deliberation.
First In, First Out Rule
Each withdrawal in an account, made without particulars, is presumed to be a return of all or part of the oldest deposit.
FISA Order
(USA) A court order approving electronic surveillance or a search of a target suspected of acting on behalf of a foreign power or terrorist organization.
Fishing Expedition
A speculative demand for information without any real expectation about the outcome of the demand or its relevance to the litigation.
Five-Hide
A unit of measure of land used in Conquest-era (1066) England.
Fixed Trust
A trust in which a beneficiary has an entitlement to a fixed income.
Fixtures
A chattel which has become real property by having been affixed thereto.
Flesch Reading Ease Test
A legalese test against which insurance contracts are assessed.
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