To seize a person's property, credit or salary, on the basis of a law which
allows it, for the purposes of paying off a debt. The person who owes the debt
and is the subject of the seizure is called a "garnishee". This is frequently
used in the enforcement of child support where delinquent debtors will be
subjected to salary garnishment. A percentage of their wages is subtracted
directly off their pay-check and directed to the person in need of support (the
employer being the garnishee). Many states have a law making garnishment
A wooden mallet used by a judge to bring proceedings to a start or end or to
command attention in court.
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
Multilateral international treaty first created in 1947 and frequently amended
(most recently in 1994) providing for fair trade rules and the gradual reduction
of tariffs, duties and other trade barriers. The 1994 amendment created a World
Trade Organization, which oversees the implementation of the GATT. 125 countries
subscribe to the treaty at this time.
The senior lawyer of a corporation, normally a full-time employee of the
corporation. Some corporations contract this position out to a lawyer with a
A device used in wills and trusts providing for the gift of property to a second
recipient if a certain event occurs, such as the death of the first recipient.
For example, a testator leaves rental property to an individual but that
individual must give the property to his child upon his own death. That is a
gift over to the benefit of the child.
An intangible business asset which includes a cultivated reputation and
therefore the attraction and confidence of repeat customers and connections.
Sales of businesses often include a section of the purchase price for
An American criminal justice procedure whereby, in each court district, a group
of 16-23 citizens holds an inquiry on criminal complaints brought by the
prosecutor and decides if a trial is warranted, in which case an indictment is
issued. If a Grand Jury rejects a proposed indictment it is known as a "no
bill"; if they accept to endorse a proposed indictment it is known as a "true
An act or an omission in reckless disregard of the consequences to the safety or
property of another. Sometimes referred to as "very great negligence". It is far
more than neglect of ordinary care towards others or inadvertence. Also known as
the Latin term culpa lata.
A person who pledges collateral for the contract of another, but separately, as
part of an independently contract with the obligee of the original contract.
Compare with "surety."
An individual who is given custody of both the property and the person of one
who is unable to manage his own affairs, such as a child or a mentally-disabled
person. This is done by legal appointment or by the effect of a written law.
Guardian ad litem
A guardian appointed to assist an infant or other mentally incapable defendant
or plaintiff, or any such incapacitated person that may be a party in a legal