Duhaime's Law Dictionary

P
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with P

Plinking
Casual recreational shooting, often at cans and other items found lying around.
Plug and Abandon Order
A direction to a oil well operator to permanently close the well.
Pluralism
A system or philosophy, which, in the name of respect for diversity, acknowledges the existence of different political opinions, moral and religious beliefs, and cultural and social behaviour.
Poach
To kill or take an animal or fish from the property of another.
Poinding
Scottish law: The seizure of a judgment debtor's personal property to satisfy the terms of the judgment.
Poinding of the Ground
Scottish law: The post-judgment seizure and judicial sale, of the judgment debtor's property attached to his land, to satisfy the terms of the judgment.
Point of NoveltyTest
A test to assist in determining whether a product infringes upon an existing design patent; whether the accused product appropriates the novelty of the patented one.
Point of Order
A term of parliamentary law and procedure which refers to an interjection during a meeting by a member, who does not have the floor, to call the attention of the chair to an alleged violation or breach of the assembly’s or meeting’s rules of order.
Poison
Substances that are so inherently dangerous that no reasonable person under normal circumstances would ingest them.
Poisoned Work Environment
A negative work environment created by a form of harassment.
Poison Pill Plan
An anti-takeovers scheme by which financial disadvantages are triggered and targeted to discourage potential takeover acquirers.
Police Interrogation
Questioning put to an accused by the police with the purpose of eliciting a statement.
Police Power
A local or regional government's authority to enforce within its limits, laws, ordinances or regulations.
Policy
Planning decisions of a government agency; also, an insurance contract.
Political Question Doctrine
A doctrine which prevents a court of law from determining issues which are essentially political; within the purview of the executive branch of government.
Political Speech
Expressions which comment on government action rather than the private conduct of an individual.
Pollicitation
Civil law: an offer which has not been accepted.
Pollutant
A solid, liquid, gaseous, or thermal irritant or contaminant.
Pollution
The discharge of a toxic or contaminating substance that is likely to have an adverse effect on the natural environment or life.
Polyandry
The having of more than one husband by a wife.
Polyarchy
Rule by a group of three or more.
Polygamy
Being married to multiple wives or husbands at the same time.
Polygraph
A lie-detector machine.
Polygyny
One man with several wives.
Ponzi Scheme
A form of investment fraud whereby initial investors are promised a return of their investment by the enlistment of subsequent investors.
Poor Law
Law related to the relief of the indigent.
Pornography
The portrayal of sexual acts solely for the purpose of sexual arousal.
Positive Law
Law proper, as opposed to moral laws, or to natural or “God-made” law.
Posse Comitatus
The emergency roundup of a group of civilians or soldiers to address a significant civil law enforcement crisis.
Possessory Action
Where a party entitled to possession of a vessel seeks to recover that vessel.
Postal Rule
A rule of contract law that makes an exception to the general rule that an acceptance is only created when communicated directly to the offeror.
Post Mortem Auctoris
Latin: After the author's death.
Postnuptial Agreement
A separation agreement.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
A mental disorder that results from an extreme traumatic stress.
Potestative Condition
A condition made in a contract the fulfillment of which is entirely in the control of one of the parties to the contract.
Power
An ability conferred upon a person by the law to determine, by his/her own will directed to that end, the rights, duties, and liabilities or other legal .relations either of him/herself or of other persons.
Power of Attorney
A document which gives a person the right to make binding decisions for another, as an agent.
Practice of Law
The giving of legal advice or of representation of another as agent in a court of law or through rules of court, or in the preparation of legal documents or in dispute or contractual negotiation.
Practicks
Scots law: Court of Sessions judge's notes later compiled and released to jurists for study and precedent purposes, now superseded by modern law reports.
Præcipe or Precipe
Latin: an initiating document presented to a court clerk to be officially issued on behalf of the court or a the covering memo or letter from the lawyer (or plaintiff) which accompanies and formally asks for the writ to be issued by the court officer.
Praemunire
An offence initially to prefer the Pope or his authority as against the King of England or Parliament, but later included a wide assortment of offenses against the King and always leading to serious penalties.
Pre-existing condition
A typical exemption made by travel insurance companies so that they would not pay for any medical services required to a traveler to to any condition which precedes the date of the insurance contract
Preamble
A introductory written statement of facts or assumptions upon which a statute or contract is based.
Precarium
Latin: the giving of land as a reward or to secure a debt.
Precatory Words
Words that express a wish or a desire rather than a clear command.
Precedent
A case which establishes legal principles to a certain set of facts, coming to a certain conclusion, and which is to be followed from that point on when similar or identical facts are before a court.
Predatory Marriage
A spousal relationship between a much younger caregiver and a rich, older or sickly person, for the covert and primary purpose not of love, but an interest in the estate of that other person.
Predatory Pricing
The pricing of products in an unfair manner with an object to eliminate or retard competition and thereby gain and exercise control over prices in the relevant market.
Preemption Doctrine
The superceding of any lower jurisdiction's law in the event of a law on topic extant within a higher jurisdiction.
Preemptory Challenge
Also "peremptory challenge"; a party's challenge of a prospective juror for which no reason or justification need be given.
Page1 (Pa - Pe) | Page2 (Pe - Pe) | Page3 (Pe - Pl) | Page4 (Pl - Pr) | Page5 (Pr - Pr) | Page6 (Pr - Pu)

Always looking up definitions? Save time with our search provider (modern browsers only)

If you find an error or omission in Duhaime's Law Dictionary, or if you have suggestion for a legal term, we'd love to hear from you!