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Questions tagged [terminology]

For questions about the origins and meaning of specific legal terms.

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Is there a term denoting definitions that are contrary to a term's plain meaning?

Legislation sometimes defines a term so that it is contradictory to its plain meaning, or contradictory to the term's meaning in another context. For example, 52 USC 30121 defines "foreign national" ...
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Are there any legal terms to use for charging the client for downtime hours at reduced full-time rate?

Normally, when working as a contractor, the bench time — when the client fails to provide you with the work to do, and no explicit work hours were assigned, either — is not compensated. This could be ...
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Ultra vires and termination of a court's general equitable power to supervise an estate?

I've read the definition of the Latin phrase *ultra vires", it means "beyond the powers", per Wikipedia. I'd like to get clarification with an example. Let's say the following happened: A court ...
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101 views

The “compact” in “Agreement or Compact” (U.S. Constitution): legal terminology

The word compact is used in the "Compact clause" of the Constitution of the United States: "No State shall, without the Consent of Congress [...] enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State ...
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What exactly does it mean when someone “represents” you?

What exactly does it mean for a lawyer to represent someone? I thought it means assigning someone to argue for you and they would reply to all messages concerning the case. As mentioned in my ...
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What exactly does “without prejudice” mean and how does it work?

According to businessdictionary.com without prejudice means Law phrase: Without abandonment of a claim, privilege, or right, and without implying an admission of liability. This sounds pretty ...
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126 views

How did 'consideration' semantically shift to mean 'something given in payment'?

What semantic notion connects the bolded meaning beneath with all the others that aren't related to recompense? To me, nouns like remittance or solatium (if we prefer an uncommon term) fit the bolded ...
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165 views

What is the name of the transverse white line that separates different time-limited parking zones?

I parked on a street that has 2 parking zones: all-day (with bi-weekly street sweeping) and two-hour. Painted on the street is a single six-inch-wide six-foot-long transverse white line that, I ...
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Need help on Jargon Terms of Life Insurance Products

I am studying some documents on life insurance product, but I kept bumping into the jargon terms like "amount exposed", "policies exposed", "expected death QX7580E by amount", "expected death ...
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34 views

Plaintiff / Defendant terminology in demand letter

As I understand the terms are used to described opposing parties in court. When referring to opposing parties in a demand letter, they are not in court (yet) so I am not sure that this pair is the ...
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Character, Record and Associations = Evidence?

As I understand it, the prosecution must establish a motive, means and opportunity before a person can be convicted of a crime. However, none of these are considered evidence. To put it another way, ...
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What is it called when a petitioner in a civil case asks for ruling on a point of law?

In civil court cases, the main focus of the plaintiff is usually some specific remedy like receiving money from the defendant, or the receipt of a court order. However, the plaintiff may also want the ...
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Is there a legal expression for the “right” to the rights and obligations in an agreement?

I am searching for a legal expression that expresses the "right" to adhere to an agreement (which itself contains both rights and obligations)?. An expression like "material right" comes to mind, but ...
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2answers
52 views

Word for legal counsel/representative

I'm representing my wife in a minor legal case (I'm more comfortable with the formal aspects than she is), but I'd rather avoid describing myself as the husband of the accused. Is there a more formal ...
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What does the phrase “…is well founded in fact and in law” mean?

I have a basic question that stems purely from curiosity. It might be important to mention that I am not a lawyer nor a student of law. I have read multiple pleadings in which some of them end with a ...
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57 views

Why 'negotiable', and not 'negotiated', instrument?

From: Small Claims Court: Procedure and Practice (4th edn., 2017), p. 48. A negotiable instrument is an unconditional order or promise to pay an amount of money, which can be transferred—for ...
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What semantic notions underlie 'articles' with legal apprenticeship?

Source: A Brief Introduction to Law in Canada (Mar. 2017). p. 265 Middle. Historically, in Canada, there was debate over rival methods for teaching law. Some members of the legal community ...
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Why was the adjective “general” embraced for “general damages”?

Source: A Brief Introduction to Law in Canada (Mar. 2017). p. 173 Middle. As in tort law, the most important remedy in contract law is damages. Contract damages classified differently, though. ...
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Why was the adjective “special” embraced for “special damages”?

Source: A Brief Introduction to Law in Canada (Mar. 2017). p. 173 Middle. As in tort law, the most important remedy in contract law is damages. Contract damages classified differently, though. ...
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Why is the name of the case also called 'style of cause'?

The "style of cause” is the name of the case. The names of the parties in a lawsuit. Am I correct that 'cause' refers to cause of action? But 'style' and its earlier meanings appear unfit?
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What semantic notions underlie '(equitable) tolling' and the lay meanings of 'toll'?

I quoted this lawyer as seeing use of 'toll' as a noun and verb, educates more than seeing its use as a noun. What connects the lay meanings of 'toll' to the legal definition? What explains this ...
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162 views

What does it mean for an appeal to be “contested”?

Does the terminology "contested" when applied to a case under appeal, mean simply that the defendant is appealing the the appeal, or does it mean something different?
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Is there a difference between the legal meaning of the term “ordonnance” and “statutory instrument”?

We have currently a debate at the Wikidata Project Chat about whether the term ordonnance (the idea that it's equivalent to the German word Verordnung) and the term statutory instrument have the same ...
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What is 'Cross' about Cross-Examination? Why was it chosen?

Source: Ontario Small Claims Court - A Practical Guide (2011), p. 12. (ii) Cross-examination of the Plaintiff §1.32 Following the direct examination of the plaintiff, the defendant or his ...
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What is 'Direct' about Direct Examination? Why was it chosen?

Source: Ontario Small Claims Court - A Practical Guide (2011), p. 12. (i) Direct Examination of the Plaintiff §1.31 Following the opening statements, the parties will then embark on the ...
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What does it mean to “pirate” a game, app, or other digital resource?

I've heard the term "pirate" many times before, but I have never really understood it. How do people do it and why?
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What is a difference between Pro Se and Pro Per?

What is a difference between Pro Se and Pro Per, in the United States legal system? From my understanding, both terms mean a party representing themselves. I read on https://www.avvo.com/legal-...
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563 views

Is there a difference: “two-sided” vs “bilateral”?

Is there any real difference between "two-sided contracts" and "bilateral contracts"? (And also between "one-sided contracts" and "unilateral contracts"?) After scouring the web, it seems that in ...
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27 views

Term for Criminal Investigation + Law

As I understand it, criminal investigation is an applied science that focuses on solving crimes. Once a suspect is identified, he or she may be prosecuted by a judge and jury under the law. So we're ...
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85 views

What is the term for the contentious/non-contentious property of a lawyer?

If I were to summarize a given lawyer based on their work, what would be the name of the property that describes whether their work is contentious or non-contentious? For example, if Susan works in ...
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What is it called when a practice has been made illegal but people continue to “honor” it anyway?

My question was inspired by this article about racially restrictive covenants. They have been illegal since 1968, and unenforceable since 1948. Yet people still try to "enforce" them, with some ...
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What happens if governing law clause specifies a state but not country?

A common clause is "this contract is made in accordance and to be construed by the laws of the state of California". What if something in the the contract applies to federal regulation and law but not ...
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What classes of positions does the term “Law enforcement officer” include?

The term "Law enforcement officer" (LEO) is often used to refer to police officers, which are often the first to come to mind when prompted for example of law enforcement. As I understand it this ...
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How is parental authority, as opposed to physical custody or visitation, enforced under the Hague Convention (28)?

Under the Hague Convention (28), can parents request assistance securing Rights of Custody under Article 21's provision for assistance securing Rights of Access? It seems "non-sequitor" that parents ...
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What does “carte” mean in this context?

Neither position carried the day. On the one hand, this Court rejected the view that the IDEA gives “courts carte various judgments indicate should be imposed.” Rowley, 458 U. S., at 190, n. 11. ...
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Can the judiciary “legalize” something?

The headline for an article in today's New York Times reads: "Court Ruling Could Make Taiwan First Place in Asia to Legalize Gay Marriage" My question is whether this can truly be considered "...
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Is there a common name for lawyers and judges?

Lawyers and Judges, for as different as their roles may be, still work in the same system, and share many skills, even if their jobs involve vary different application of said skills. Thus, I'm ...
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3answers
53 views

Terminology: mens rea analogy

Consider the relationship: mens rea:crime as is: ?????:a line of questioning In other words, is there a term that captures the intent \ mental state of a line of questioning?
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47 views

How is 'adverse possession' 'adverse'?

[ Source for English law : ] Adverse Possession means someone occupying land belonging to someone else, without permission. If someone does this continuously for a number of years (normally 10 or 12 ...
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What do we call the rules written in an Act, laws?

From CHAPTER III of Wildlife protection act,1972 (India) Prohibition of Hunting: No person shall hunt any wild animal specified in Schedule, I, II, III and IV except as provided under section ...
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What does Mgst mean?

I am reading about special education law. In this article, I see phrases like this: Court adopted Mgst recommendation and ruled that ... What does "Mgst" mean?
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1k views

Irreconcilable differences between attorney and client?

What type of irreconcilable differences might exist between an attorney and client to cause the attorney to withdraw from a divorce case? Is this code language for not paying attorney fees or is it ...
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1answer
2k views

What is the origin and history of the term “grand theft auto”?

This comes from an English Language Lerner's Stack Exchange question, the current answers to which are lacking in historical/legal analysis of the term. What is the origin of the legal phrase "grand ...
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1answer
67 views

Is everything in a contract really a term or warranty?

In another question it was claimed that everything in a contract is a term or warranty. It has got to be more complicated than that. For example is the title of the contract a term? Is the execution ...
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3answers
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Equivalent of the Austrian “bedingt” and “unbedingt” in English law

What is the correct English legal translation of the words unbedingt and bedingt when referring to a court sentence? E.g.: Jemand wurde zu vier Monaten bedingt verurteilt. (Roughly: Sombeody was ...
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3answers
520 views

What does the term “Probable cause” mean?

I know what probable cause is and how it is used in law/law enforcement. But what does the actual term "probable cause" mean? In a sentence where it is used like "The drug dog's alert gave me ...
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675 views

Are only citizens “at the time of the adoption of this Constitution” eligible to be President?

While reading this answer, I noticed some odd wording in Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution (emphasis mine): No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at ...
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Google Maps Terms & Conditions Question

I have finished reading the Google Maps Terms & Conditions and have a couple questions regarding what I am allowed to do. I am planning on talking to a lawyer, however, I was hoping to get a basic ...
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80 views

Google Maps Terms of Service

I came across a section of the Google Maps Terms of Service (link) that confuses me. I am currently developing a phone app and would like to use Google Maps. Is this section saying that Google owns my ...
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I need help interpreting the Foursquare API terms and conditions

I am considering using the Foursquare API to grab nearby venues (restaurants) in a mobile app. Depending on the venue the user chooses, I would then like to do the following : 1) Enable the user to ...