Duhaime's Law Dictionary

P
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with P

Profit à Prendre
A servitude which resembles an easement and which allows the holder to enter the land of another and to take some natural produce such as mineral deposits, fish or game, timber, crops or pasture.
Pro Forma
Latin: for the sake of form.
Prohibition
A legal restriction against the use of something or against certain conduct.
Pro jure patrio stamus
Latin: we will defend our rights.
Promisee
A person whom is to be the beneficiary of a promise, an obligation or a contract.
Promisor
The person who has become obliged through a promise (usually expressed in a contract) towards another.
Promissory Estoppel
A promise made to another party to a contract that the contract will not be enforced in whole or in part and which, once acted upon, prevents subsequent proceedings to enforce the contract as against the person who relied on the promise.
Promissory Note
An unconditional, written and signed promise to pay a certain amount of money, on demand or at a certain defined date in the future.
Proof in Common Form
A summary approval of an uncontested will by the court, subject to subsequent contest.
Proof in Solemn Form
The pronouncement by a court that a will is formally approved and not subject to later contest barring fraud or the discovery of a later will.
Proper Lookout
The legal obligation on the part of a vessel or motor vehicle operator to keep an ongoing watch of its path and other traffic or obstacles.
Property
A comprehensive collection of legal rights over a thing.
Propinquity
Nearness in place; close-by.
Proportionality
A policy of judicial case management that promotes the balance of court involvement on a per case basis based on the value, complexity and importance of the case.
Pro Possessore
Latin: a person who holds something only as possessor, not necessarily as owner.
Pro Possessore Habetur Qui Dolo Injuriave
Latin: he whose possession is taken away by fraud or injury will be deemed to continue to possess.
Propound
To offer a document as being authentic or valid.
Proprietor
Owner.
Proprio Motu
Latin: of one's own initiative.
Pro Rata
Latin: to divide proportionate to a certain rate or interest.
Prorogation
To end a session of a Parliament, and all business then on the agenda, until it is summoned to reconvene.
Pro Se
Latin: on one’s own behalf.
Prosecute
To bring or administer judicial proceedings.
Prosecutorial Discretion
Discretionary powers exercised by the government's prosecution service such as whether to prosecute charge recommended by police, to stay an ongoing proceeding, plea bargaining, or the taking over of a private prosecution.
Pro Socio
Latin: on behalf of a partnership.
Prospectus
A document in which a corporation sets out the material details of a share or bond issue and inviting the public to invest by purchasing these financial instruments.
Prostitute
An individual who offers lewd sexual acts for the gratification of a customer and in exchange for money.
Pro Tempore
Latin: something done temporarily only and not intended to be permanent.
Protocol
International agreements of a less formal nature than a treaty and which amends, supplements or clarifies a treaty.
Provocation
Conduct that would cause a reasonable person to lose self control.
Proximate Cause
The most direct, effective or substantial cause of a tort; relevant where the negligence of more than one person contributed.
Proxy
A written appointment given by a voting member of an organization to another person allowing the proxy holder to attend a specific meeting on the member’s behalf, including the exercise of the member’s voting rights.
Psychological Parent
One who essentially serves as a second parent to a child and is a relationship to which the child's parent has consented.
Psychopath
An individual with an abnormal personality charterised by irresponsibility, lack of emotional control, impulsiveness resulting in unstable adaptations to environment.
Publication
Communication of the alleged defamatory statement to a third-party.
Public Defender
An attorney in the USA paid for by the state but representing an indigent individual in a criminal matter.
Public Domain
Property that is available or accessible to the public.
Public Domain Citation
A legal citation unique to cases issued from a particular court with numbering assigned sequentially, and designed for electronic database and Internet cataloguing retrieval.
Public Duty Doctrine
A principle of personal injury law; that government owes duties to the public at large rather than to individuals.
Publicity
The use of an individual's name, image or reputation to promote products or services.
Public Law
Those laws which regulate the structure and administration of the government, the conduct of the government in its relations with its citizens, the responsibilities of government employees and the relationships with foreign governments.
Public Nuisance
A nuisance (tort) which interferes with public convenience or welfare.
Public Policy
Certain acts or contracts are said to be against public policy if they tend to promote breach of the law, of the policy behind a law or tend to harm the state or its citizens.
Puffery
Advertising which states in general terms that one product or service is superior and which does not otherwise imply any specific representation in regards to the product or service.
Puisne
Junior or lower in rank, as opposed to the chief justice.
Punitive Damages
Special and highly exceptional damages ordered by a court against a defendant where the act or omission which caused the suit, was of a particularly heinous, malicious or highhanded nature.
Purge
To apologize or the taking of such other action as may be deemed by a court of law to suffice for the purposes of vacating a charge of contempt of court.
Putative Father
A presumed but not DNA-confirmed father of a child.
Putrescine
The odour caused by putrefying organic matter, such as a corpse or even dead fish.
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