Duhaime's Law Dictionary

a
Legal definitions for terms and concepts beginning with a

Actio Personalis Moritur Cum Persona
Latin: any right of action dies with the person.
Active Euthanasia
The taking of active measures to cut short the life of a terminally ill patient.
Act of God
An event which is caused solely by the effect of nature or natural causes and without any interference by humans whatsoever.
Actual Total Loss
Property that is completely destroyed, or lost and irretrievable; a term of insurance and maritime law.
Actuary
Professionals uniquely skilled in the application of mathematics to risk management, contingent events and opportunity.
Actus Curiae Neminem Gravabit
Latin: An act of the court shall prejudice no one.
Actus Dei Nemini Facit Injuriam
Latin: An act of God causes legal injury to no one.
Actus Regis Nemini Est Damnosa
Latin: The law will not work a wrong.
Actus Reus
Latin: a prohibited act.
Actus Reus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea
Latin: conviction of a crime requires proof of a criminal act and intent.
Ad Colligendum Bona
Latin: for the collection of the goods of the deceased.
Ad Damnum
Latin: to the damage.
Addendum
An attachment to a written document.
Addis v Gramophone, the Rule in
A proposal of law that pain and suffering is not compensable for breach of contract.
Ademption
When property identified in a will cannot be given to the beneficiary because it no longer belonged to the deceased at the time of death.
ADEPT - Advanced Dementia Prognostic Tool
A test for patients with mild to advanced dementia designed to estimate skills needed to reside in a nursing home.
Adhesion Contract
A fine-print consumer form contract which is generally given to consumers at point-of-sale, with no opportunity for negotiation as to it's terms, and which, typically, sets out the terms and conditions of the sale to advantage the seller.
Ad Hoc
Latin: limited in time; to this point.
Ad Infinitum
Latin: forever; without limit; indefinitely.
Adjective Law
Procedural law.
Adjourn
The postponement, suspension and interruption of an ongoing hearing or meeting to resume at some future date; to break off for later resumption.
Adjudicative Fact
Basic, core facts that must be proven by a party.
Adjuster
A representative or agent of the insurer who attempts to quantify or otherwise determine the extent of the insurer's liability for loss when a claim is submitted.
Ad Litem
Latin: for the suit.
Adminiculum
Latin: some evidence tendered to support something else
Administration of Justice
The personnel, activity and structure of the justice system - courts and police - in the detection, investigation, apprehension, interviewing and trial of persons suspected of crime.
Administrative Law
That body of law which applies for hearings before quasi-judicial or quasi-judicial organizations such as administrative tribunals, or the underlying regulatory agency.
Administrative Tribunal
Hybrid adjudicating authorities which render judicial decisions.
Administrator
A person who manages (administers) the assets of another, such as an estate administrator or the administrator of an insurance plan.
Admiralty
Law or judicial body having to do with, or jurisdiction over, shipping and use of the sea.
Adoption
To take as one's own.
Adoption of Convenience
An adoption of a child not for the sake of the child but to the convenience, usually financial, of the adopting parent(s).
Ad Proximum Antecedens Fiat Relatio Nisi Impediatur Sententia
Latin: relative words must ordinarily be referred to the last antecedent, the last antecedent being the last word which can be made an antecedent so as to give a meaning.
Ad Quaestionem Facti Non Respondent Judices, Ad Quaestionem Juris Non Respondent Juratores
Latin: The judge instructs on points of law and the jury decides matters of fact.
Adult
An individual who has reached, or is over the age of majority.
Adult Child
A son or daughter who has reached the age of majority.
Adultery
Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not their married spouse.
Adult Guardianship
The body of law as related to the investigation into the ability of an adult to manage his or her person or affairs, and the resultant guardianship.
Adult Interdependent Partner
A statutory term for individuals within a common-law relationship.
Advanced Health Care Directive
A document which includes directions about preferences for health care treatment.
Adverse Possession
The possession of land, without legal title, for a period of time sufficient to become recognized as legal owner.
Adverse Witness
The right of a party calling a witness to show that the witness made a prior inconsistent statement.
Advocate
The Scottish law term for a barrister; one who argues cases for clients before the Court.
Aequum et bonum
Latin: what is right and just..
Affiant
A person that is sworn to an affidavit; who gives evidence by way of an affidavit.
Affidavit
A written statement of fact which has been verified as truthful by the mechanism of a solemn process before another party.
Affirmative Action
A reverse discrimination law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of individuals who are socially or economically disadvantaged.
Affirmative Defense
A reply to a claim which alleges facts from which it results that, notwithstanding the truth of the allegations of the complaint, no cause of action exists.
Affray
A fight between two or more persons in a public place so as to cause terror to the public.
Affreightment
A transportation contract whereby a transportation company, shipowner or operator agrees to carry goods in return for a sum of money, the sum being paid called freight.
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