Bad faith/Intent to deceive
A person who intentionally tries to deceive or mislead another in order to gain
Bail Criminal law
A commitment made (and possibly secured by cash or property) to secure the
release of a person being held in custody and suspected of a crime, to provide
some kind of guarantee that the suspect will appear to answer the charges at
some later date. More on the bail
One who receives property through a contract of bailment, from the bailor, and
who may be committed to certain duties of care towards the property while it
remains in his or her possession.
Transfer of possession (of something) by the bailor to another person called the
bailee, for some temporary purpose (eg. storage), after which the property is
either returned to the bailor or otherwise disposed of in accordance with the
contract of bailment.
One who temporarily transfers possession of property to another, the bailee,
under a contract of bailment.
The formal condition of an insolvent person being declared bankrupt under law.
The legal effect is to divert most of the debtor's assets and debts to the
administration of a third person, sometimes called a "trustee in bankruptcy",
from which outstanding debts are paid pro rata. Bankruptcy forces the debtor
into a statutory period during which his or her commercial and financial affairs
are administered under the strict supervision of the trustee. Bankruptcy usually
involves the removal of several special legal rights such as the right to sit on
a board of directors or, for some professions that form part of the justice
system, to practice, such as lawyers or judges. Commercial organizations usually
add other non-legal burdens upon bankrupts such as the refusal of credit. The
duration of "bankruptcy" status varies from state to state but it does have the
benefit of erasing most debts even if they were not satisfied by the sale of the
A trust in which all the duties imposed upon the trustee have been performed or
any conditions or terms have come to fruition, such that there is no longer any
impediment to the transfer of the property to the beneficiary. The trust is then
said to have become passive for the trustee.
A litigation specialist; a lawyer who restricts his or her practice to the court
room. In England and some other Commonwealth jurisdictions, a legal distinction
is made between barristers and solicitors. Solicitors have exclusive privileges
of advising clients and providing legal advice. Barristers have exclusive
privileges of appearing in a court on behalf of a client. In other words,
solicitors don't appear in court on a client's behalf and barristers don't give
legal advice to clients. A solicitor will "brief" a barrister in behalf of their
client. In England, barristers and solicitors work as a team: a solicitor would
typically make the first contact with a client and if the issue cannot be
resolved and proceeds to trial, the solicitor would transfer the case to a
barrister for the duration of the litigation. Lawyers in some countries, such as
Canada, sometimes use the title "barrister and solicitor" even though, there is
no legal distinction between the advising and litigating roles. Canadian
lawyers, like American attorneys, can litigate or give legal advice.
An illegitimate child, born of a relationship between two persons not married
(i.e., not in wedlock) to each other, or who are not married to each other at
the time of the child's birth. Conception out of wedlock does not usually
A judge in court session.
Trial without a jury in which a judge decides which party prevails.
Literally, one who benefits. In a legal context, a "beneficiary" usually refers
to the person for whom a trust has been created. It may also be referred to as a
"donee" or as a cestui que trust. Trusts are made to advantage a beneficiary
(i.e., a "settlor" or "donor" transfers property to a trustee, the profits of
which are to be given to the beneficiary).
An international copyright treaty based on the principle of national treatment,
called the Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. It was
signed at Berne, Switzerland in 1886 and amended several times, as late as 1971.
77 nations now subscribe to it, including all major trading countries, with the
notable exception of Russia.
Marriage to more than one person at the same time. This is a criminal offence in
Bill of exchange
A written order, for instance a check, from one person (the payor) to another
(the payee), signed by the payor. It requires the person to whom it is addressed
to pay (on demand or at some fixed future date), a certain sum of money, to
either the person identified as payee or to any person presenting the bill of
exchange. A check is a bill of exchange giving the order to pay to a bank.
Bill of lading
A document used by a transport company acknowledging receipt of goods, and
serving as title for the purpose of transportation.
A trust set up by a settlor who cannot assert any power over the trust other
than the right to terminate the trust. The trust is administered without any
accounting to the beneficiary/settlor or allowing him the retention of any other
measure of control over the trust's administration.
Property belonging to no person, and which may be claimed by a finder. In some
states, the government becomes owner of all bona vacantia property.
Born out of wedlock
Illegitimate; illegitimacy; bastardy. Born of parents who were not married to
each other at the time of birth.
Breach of contract
To fail to perform what one promised to perform under the terms of a contract.
Proving breach of contract is a prerequisite for any suit for damages based on
Breach of trust
A "trustee" is created by the terms of a trust agreement or the law of trusts.
Any act or omission on the part of the trustee which is inconsistent with those
terms creates a "breach of trust". A prime example is the redirecting of trust
property from the trust to the trustee's personal use.
A written statement submitted by each party in a case that explains why the
court should decide the case, or particular issues in a case, in that party's
So-called "unnatural" sex acts, including copulation, either between two persons
of the same sex or between a person and an animal (the latter act also known as
"bestiality"). Homosexual activity is gradually being decriminalized, but
bestiality is illegal in most countries. See also "sofreedomy".
Burden of proof
A rule of evidence requiring that a fact be proved or the contrary fact will be
assumed by the court. In criminal trials, for example, the "burden of proof"
lies with the prosecution. They must prove the accused guilty because innocence
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