Duhaime's Law Dictionary

L
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with L

Lettre de Cachet
A discretionary, arbitrary and often secret order issued by the King of France for the execution of some act.
Levy
A seizure of specified property for the purposes of conversion into money.
Lex Causae
Latin; law of the cause.
Lex Fori
Latin for the law of the forum.
Lex Loci
Latin; the law of a place as in where a right was acquired or a liability incurred.
Lex Loci Contractus
Latin: the law of the place where the contract is made.
Lex Loci Delecti
Latin: the place of the wrong.
Lex Non Cogit Ad Impossibilia
Latin: The law does not compel a man to do that which is impossible.
Lex Non Scripta
Unwritten law; the common or custom law.
lex non scripta, diuturni mores consensus utensium comprobati
Latin: Law derived from custom must be firmly entrenched in practice and adopted and followed by tradition.
Lex Scripta
Written law; statutes.
Lex Situs
A conflict of law rule that selects the applicable law based on the venue or location of something.
Liability
A legal obligation, either due now or at some time in the future.
Libel
Written form of defamation such as on the Internet, in a newspaper or a letter.
Liberal Construction
A form of construction which allows a judge to consider other factors when deciding the meaning of a phrase or document.
Liberty
What a person may do without being prevented from doing so by law.
Liberty of the Globe
A term of marine insurance acknowledging that the insured vessel may go anywhere on the "globe".
License
A special permission to do something on, or with, somebody else’s property which, were it not for the license, could be legally prevented or give rise to legal action in tort or trespass.
Licensee
The recipient or beneficiary of a license to use something.
Licensor
The person who grants a license to another, the latter called the licensee.
Lieber Code
The 1863 military code of conduct written by Francis Lieber at the request of US President Abraham Lincoln.
Lien
A property right which remains attached to an object that has been sold, but not totally paid for, until complete payment has been made.
Life
Independent existence as an animate being.
Life Estate
A right to use and to enjoy land and/or structures on land only for the life of the life tenant.
Life Tenant
The beneficiary of a life estate.
Lifting the Corporate Veil
Disregarding the general rule a corporation is a legal entity distinct from its shareholders by regarding the company as a mere agent or puppet of a controlling shareholder or parent corporation.
Ligan
Also "lagan"; things thrown from a ship and attached to a float or buoy to mark their location.
Limitation Fund
A guarantee or deposit made by a ship owner to meet any damage claim, and calculated on the negligent ship's tonnage.
Limitations or Statute of Limitations
Loss of a legal right or cause of action because of the passage of time.
Limited Partner
A unique colleague in a partnership relationship who has agreed to be liable only to the extent of his (or her) investment.
Limited Partnership
A partnership with at last one general partner and a limited partner, the latter contributing financially or otherwise but not otherwise involved in the business or, generally, personally liable for the debts of the partnership.
Limited Power of Attorney
A POA limited by a condition or term or in regards to a specific item of property.
Limitrophe
Adjacent, bordering or contiguous.
Lincoln's Inn
One of four Inns of the Court, self-regulating associations of barristers in England and Wales.
Lineal Descendant
A person who is a direct descendant such as a child to his or her natural parent.
Linear Accelerator
The primary device used by radiation onologists to deliver and target radiation therapy.
Liquidated Damages
Pre-determined damages.
Liquidation
The converting of the the assets of a person into cash.
Lis Pendens
Latin: a dispute or matter which is the subject of ongoing or pending litigation.
Literal Construction
A form of construction which does not allow evidence extrapolated beyond the actual words.
Literary Agent
A person who represents the author of a book for which publication is sought, represents that author with prospective publishers.
Litigant
A person who is a party to a legal action.
Litigation
A dispute is in 'litigation' (or being 'litigated') when it has become the subject of a formal court action or law suit.
Litigation Loan
A loan made by a third-party to litigation, typically a finance company, to a litigant to finance the litigation, and often on harsh terms.
Litigation Privilege
Non-disclosure protection imposed on documents which come into existence after litigation commenced or in contemplation, and where they have been made with a view to such litigation, either for the purpose of obtaining advice as to such litigation, or of obtaining evidence to be used in such litigation, or of obtaining information which might lead to the obtaining of such evidence.
Livery
Delivery.
Living Trust
A trust from persons to take effect during their living years, to benefit others.
Living Will
A document that sets out guidelines for dealing with life-sustaining medical procedures in the eventuality of the signatory's sudden debilitation and inability to communicate those preferences.
LL.B., LL.M. or LL.D.
Abbreviations for law degrees as in bachelor of law, master or law, or doctorate.
Lobbying
The attempt by special interest groups, directly or through agents, to influence the views of members of a deliberative assembly.
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