Duhaime's Law Dictionary

L
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with L

Labor Organization
A defined group of employees formed for the purposes of representing those employees with the employer as to the terms of a collective contract of employment.
Labor Union
A defined group of employees formed for the purposes of representing those employees with the employer as to the terms of a collective contract of employment.
Laches
An allegation that a legal right is stale under the circumstances and no longer able to support enforcement.
Laissez-faire
French: leave alone. A theory of contract law that persons ought to have freedom of contract with minimal state or judicial interference.
Lake
An expanse of standing water or a widened portion of a river.
Landed Immigrant
An immigration law term; an individual who has relocated and changed his permanent residence to a state where he does not have citizenship but does limited rights associated with residency.
Landlord
A land or building owner who has leased the land, the building or a part of the land or building, to another person.
Land Patent
A conveyance of land from the government to a private person.
Lap Dancing
The intentional rubbing against men to please them in a sexual way.
Larceny
A criminal offence now more commonly referred to as theft, covering the unlawful or fraudulent removal of another's property without the owner's consent.
Last Clear Chance Doctrine
A principle of tort law which requires an individual to take every action at hand to avoid an accident where peril to another human being is otherwise imminent.
Law
Rules of conduct approved and enforced by the government of and over a certain territory (eg. the 'laws' of Australia).
Law French
The original language of the English courts after the Norman conquest.
Law Journal
A scholarly or academic publication presenting commentary of emerging or topical developments in the law, and often specializing in a particular area of the law or legal information specific to a jurisdiction.
Law Merchant
International commercial law; the law as it relates to merchant
Law of Nations
The body of rules that nations in the international community universally abide by, or accede to, out of a sense of legal obligation and mutual concern.
Law of Nature
The uncertain and elastic concept of regulation of conduct based on morality, conscience or God.
Law of the case Doctrine
When a court decides upon a rule of law, that decision should continue to govern the same issues in subsequent stages in the same case.
Law of the Flag
A principle of maritime and international law; that the sailors and vessel will be subject to the laws of the state corresponding to the flag flown by the vessel.
Law Reform
The review of law(s) which apply within a certain area of the law, and the recommendations for changes therein, if any.
Law Report
A serial publication which publishes, verbatim, judgments of a court of law.
Lawyer
An individual trained in the law and that has been certified to give legal advice or to represent others in litigation.
Lawyering
The work of a lawyer in giving legal advice or in suggesting an application of that law in advancing an issue of a client.
Lawyer's League
A group of German jurists sympathetic to the Nazi Party before and during World War II.
Lay by the Heels
To commit to prison.
Lay Day
A term of a maritime law contract: days stipulated for the loading or unloading of cargo from a ship.
Lay-Off
A temporary discharge of an employee.
Lay on the Table
Also “to table”; a term of parliamentary law and procedure which refers to a motion in regards to another motion being actively debated, but intended to defer a final disposition of the pending motion.
Leading Question
A question which suggests an answer; usually answerable by yes or no.
Learned Intermediary Doctrine
A doctrine of American personal injury law which places upon a prescribing physician the primary responsibility to warn patients of the hazards of prescribed pharmaceutical products.
Lease
A special kind of contract between a property owner and a person wanting temporary enjoyment and exclusive use of the property, in exchange for rent paid to the property owner.
Leasehold
Real property held under a lease.
Legacy
A gift of a chattel by will.
Legal Citation
An acronym or abbreviation for a law report or other regular or periodic law or legal and authoritative publication directing a reader to the full document.
Legal Custody
The lawful entitlement to make decisions in regards to another, such as a parent or a prison warden.
Legalese
Legal terms combined in long-winded sentences, or varied or with permutations, with the initial design of legal or drafting precision but which otherwise add unnecessary complexity or inadvertently resulting in confusion.
Legal Fiction
A ruling or status in law based on hypothetical or inexistent facts.
Legalism
The rigorous and ruthless adherence to the word of the law, usually combined with a policy to regulate as much as possible.
Legal Professional Privilege
A shield against disclosure of communications between a solicitor and his/her client.
Legatee
The person to whom personal property is gifted pursuant to a will.
Leges Posteriores Priores Contrarias Abrogant
Latin: Later laws abrogate prior contrary laws.
Legislation
Written and approved laws.
Legislative Branch
The elected law-making branch of government.
Legislative Fact
Broad, general facts that are not unique and relate indirectly to the parties to litigation.
Legitimate Child
A child conceived or born during marriage.
Lessee
The tenant, the person to whom is granted exclusive possession of a thing under the terms of a lease.
Lessor
The landlord; a person who grants a lease, usually the owner of the thing being leased.
Letter of Credit
An undertaking to pay money on stated terms such as the occurrence of a specified event or document(s).
Letters of Exculpation
Scots law: a subpoena, in the form of a warrant, to a material witness in a criminal matter to testify at trial.
Letters Rogatory
A request of a judge in one jurisdiction to a court of another, to conduct some litigation-related task such as process service or the examination of a specific witness.
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