Duhaime's Law Dictionary

O
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with O

Oath
A religious or solemn affirmation to tell the truth or to take a certain action.
Obiter Dictum
Latin: an observation by a judge on a matter not specifically before the court or not necessary in determining the issue before the court.
Obligations
A legal requirement established by law, contract or as a result of unlawful harm caused to the person or property of another.
Obligee
The person who is to receive the benefit of someone else's obligation.
Obligor
A person who is contractually or legally, committed or obliged, to providing something to another person (the obligee).
Obscenity
Material that is morally corruptive.
Obstructing Justice
An act which tends to impede or thwart the administration of justice.
Obstruction of Justice
An act which tends to impede or thwart the administration of justice.
Occupant
A person holding, in control or inside a thing such as a motor vehicle or rented premises.
Occupation
A job, employment or the character of being physically inside or upon a place.
Occupational Rent
A matrimonial or joint tenant property compensatory claim based on an allegation that one spouse or joint tenant ought to be debited the value of her or his exclusive occupation of the family or jointly-held home.
Occupational Therapy
The employment and function assessment and treatment of post-injury, illness or disability.
Occupiers' Liability
Liability of a person who controls land or building(s) in regards to damages caused to others who enter thereon.
Offense
Conduct prohibited and punishable by the State.
Offer
A explicit proposal to contract which, if accepted, completes the contract and binds both the person that made the offer and the person accepting the offer to the terms of the contract.
Officer
A management-level employee of a corporation entrusted with discretion in the exercise of some portion of corporate powers.
Officially Induced Error
A mistake of law caused by reliance upon erroneous legal advice obtained from an appropriate official.
Oligarchy
A form of government in which a few persons rule and govern by assuming all legislative and administrative authority.
Oligopoly
A market condition in which there are but a few sellers of a specific product or service.
Ombudsman
A person whose occupation consists of investigating customer complaints against his or her employer. Many governments have ombudsmen who will investigate citizen complaints against government services.
Omne Majus Continet In Se Minus
Latin: The greater contains the less.
Omnia praesumuntur contra spoliatorem
Latin: All things are presumed against the individual who destroys evidence.
Omnibus Bill
A draft law before a legislature which contains more than one substantive matter, or several minor matters which have been combined into one bill, ostensibly for the sake of convenience.
Omnis Innovatio Plus Novitate Perturbat Quam Utilitate Prodest
Latin: The disturbance resulting from an innovation is so great an evil as to outweigh any benefit that might arise from it.
Oncology
That specialty of medicine that has focus the treatment of tumors, cancer.
Onus
Latin: the burden.
Open Adoption
An adoption in which the natural parents select the adoptive parents, and may give the natural parents some access to the child.
Open-Ended Agreement
A contract silent as to an essential term left either to the discretion of one of the contracting parties, or in making the duration of the contract indefinite.
Open Fields Doctrine
There is no constitutionally protected expectation of privacy in open spaces.
Opening Statement
A lawyer or litigant's initial remarks at trial, to the finder of fact, either a judge or jury, setting out their road-map or case theory.
Open Justice
A principle of the common law that proceedings ought to be open to the public, including the contents of court files and public viewing of trials.
Opinio Juris
Latin: the sense of legal obligation. In international law, acceptance of a practice as sufficient to create legal obligations.
Oppressive
Harsh, dishonest or wrongful conduct and a visible departure from the standards of fair-dealing.
Oral History
The truthful and reliable rendition of Indian or Native customs as they existed before the arrival of Europeans to North America based entirely on community word-of-mouth transmissions of the alleged customs from generation to generation.
Order
A formal written direction given by a member of the judiciary; a court decision without reasons.
Order of the Coif
The ancient order of barristers in England.
Ordinance
An executive decision of a government which has not been subjected to a legislative assembly (contrary to a statute).
Ordinarily Resident
The place where in the settled routine of an individual's life, he or she regularly, normally or customarily lives.
Ordinary Service
Delivery of a court document by whatever simplified process set out in court rules such as, but not at all necessary limited to, use of mail or email.
Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument Litigant
Vexatious litigants who employ a collection of pseudo-legal, irrational techniques and arguments to disrupt court operations and to attempt to frustrate the legal rights of governments, corporations, and individuals.
Orphan
A person who has lost one or both of his or her natural parents.
Osteoarthritis
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Outlaw Motorcycle Gang
A group of motorcycle owners who band together and who agree to disobey society’s laws.
Out-of-Court Settlement
An agreement between two litigants to settle a matter privately before the Court has rendered its decision.
Overriding Error
A standard of appellate review, an error that must have altered the result or may well have altered the result.
Oversman
The Scottish law term for umpire.
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