Duhaime's Law Dictionary

P
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with P

Pre-existing Condition
A common exclusion of disability insurance contracts for exacerbation of medical conditions known to have existed within a specified time-frame.
Preferred Shares
A share in a company that has some kind of special right or privilege attached to it, such as that it is distinguished from the company’s common shares.
Pre-Hire Agreement
An employer agrees to hire specific union members or their referrals for the purpose of working on anticipated jobs, within the construction industry, during the contract period.
Preliminary Inquiry
Canada: An initial inquiry that occurs at the demand of an accused wherein a judge screens the proposed criminal charge against the available evidence.
Premeditation
Specific intent to commit a crime for some period of time, however short, before the actual crime.
Premises Liability
The liability of an occupier of real property towards injury to others.
Pre-nuptial Agreement
A contract entered into by prospective spouses prior to marriage but in contemplation and in consideration thereof.
Preponderance
Evidence that persuades a judge or jury to lean to one side as opposed to the other, during the course of litigation.
Prescription
A method of acquiring or extinguishing rights through the inaction of the legal owner.
Pre-Sentence Report
A report filed with the court prior to sentencing covering the offender's personal and family history and present environment.
Present Memory Revived
A facilitative mechanism used at trial to assist a witness in recalling his or her memory, thus revived.
President
The appointed or elected head of a group of individuals, such as of a company or of a state.
Press Gang
A small group of men who abducted a man for the purposes of pressing him into some form of service, often aboard a ship.
Presumption of Advancement
A presumption in trust, contract and family law which suggests that property transferred from a parent to a child, or spouse to spouse, is a gift and would defeat any presumption of a resulting trust.
Presumption of Fact
A conclusion of fact constructed logically from other proven facts.
Presumption of Innocence
A legal presumption that benefits a defendant in a criminal case and which results in acquittal in the event that the prosecutor does not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Price Dispersion
Distinction as to the price of a product or service to certain class members of a market.
Price Fixing
A conspiracy formed for the purpose and with the effect of raising, depressing, fixing, pegging or stabilizing the price of a commodity.
Priest and Penitent Privilege
A privilege suggesting the exclusion from evidence of matters discussed during a confession between a Roman Catholic priest and a penitent.
Prima Facie
(Latin) A legal presumption which means on the face of it or at first sight.
Primage
A bonus or tip given to the captain of a vessel to supplement his/her wages and salaries.
Primogeniture
Oldest son inherits.
Principal
An agent’s master.
Principle of Humanity
A general principle of international law that provides that civilians are hors de combat and that even as regards to combatants, superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering is prohibited.
Prisoner of War
A member of the enemy's armed forces, or attached to the hostile army for active aid, who has fallen into the hands of the captor, either fighting or wounded, on the field or in the hospital, by individual surrender or by capitulation.
Prison Mailbox Rule
(USA) A rule of procedure which deems that any court document mailed by a self-represented inmate is deemed filed on the date of delivery to prison authorities for mailing.
Privacy
A person's right to control access to his or her personal information.
Private Carrier
One who carries goods or passengers of his choosing and in particular cases and not to the general public indifferently.
Private International Law
A specialized branch of law which resolves cases which have an element of conflicting foreign law.
Private Law
Law which regulates the relationships between individuals.
Private Nuisance
An unreasonable interference with the use or enjoyment of land.
Privative Clause
A section of law, typically right in the statute that creates an administrative tribunal, that states that all or select decisions of that tribunal are final and conclusive and not subject to judicial review.
Privilege
A special and exclusive legal advantage or right such as a benefit, exemption, power or immunity.
Privileged Will
A will valid in spite of defect of form, when made by mariners or soldiers.
Privity of Contract
A doctrine of contract law that prevents any person from seeking the enforcement of a contract, or suing on its terms, unless they are a party to that contract.
Prize
Property taken at sea from an enemy.
Prize Court
Courts instituted for the purpose of trying judicially the lawfulness of captures at sea.
Prize Law
Rules of international law under which in war conditions, property and vessels, including transport ships, and their cargoes, may be seized.
Probate
The formal certificate given by a court that certifies that a will has been proven, validated and registered and which, from that point on, gives the executor the legal authority to execute the will.
Probation
A punishment given out as part of a sentence which means that instead of jailing a person convicted of a crime, a judge will order that the person reports to a probation officer regularly and according to a set schedule.
Probationary Employee
A new employee who, for a period of time, is being tested to enable the employer to ascertain the suitability of the employee for its purposes.
Probative
Tending to prove.
Pro Bono
Latin: for the good.
Procedural Law
The rules of legal process such as the rules of evidence and of procedure in enforcing a legal right or obligation.
Proctologist
A medical doctor who studies and treats disorders of the rectum and anus.
Proctor
The short form of the term procurator, one who acts for another.
Procuration
Civil law: a power of attorney.
Procurator
One who has charge of a matter of behalf of another.
Procurator Fiscal
Scots law: the prosecutor who acts on behalf of the state in criminal prosecutions.
Profane
Vulgar, crude, grossly offensive or insulting language.
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