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  • 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. For example, the particular gift may have been destroyed, sold or given away between the time of the will and the time of death. Compare this with "abatement".
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  • 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, usually to the advantage of the seller.
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  • Administrative Law

    the area of law dealing with governmental agencies.
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  • Administrative Procedure

    method by which support orders are made and enforced by an executive agency rather than by courts and judges
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  • Administrative tribunal

    Hybrid adjudicating authorities which straddle the line between government and the courts. Between routine government policy decision-making bodies and the traditional court forums lies a hybrid, sometimes called a "tribunal" or "administrative tribunal" and not necessarily presided by judges. These operate as a government policy-making body at times but also exercise a licensing, certifying, approval or other adjudication authority which is "quasi-judicial" because it directly affects the legal rights of a person. Administrative tribunals are often referred to as "Commission", "Authority" or "Board."
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  • Administrator

    A person who administers the estate of a person deceased. The administrator is appointed by a court and is the person who would then have power to deal with the debts and assets of a person who died intestate. Female administrators are called "administratrix." An administrator is a personal representative.
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  • Admiralty Law/Maritime

    the area of law that relates to the high seas and other navigable waters, which is administered by the admiralty courts.
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  • Adoption Law

    the area of law that deals with the relationship of parent to child of another person, usually a minor, by official legal action.
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  • ADR

    Abbreviation for alternative dispute resolution.
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  • Adultery

    Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and another person who is not their married spouse. In most countries, this is a legal ground for divorce. The person who seduces another's spouse is known as the "adulterer." In old English law, this was also known as criminal conversation.
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  • Adverse possession

    The possession of land, without legal title, for a period of time sufficient to become recognized as legal owner. The more common word for this is "squatters." Each state has its own period of time after which a squatter can acquire legal title. Some states prohibit title by mere prescription or possession.
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  • AEI

    Automated Administrative Enforcement of Interstate Cases
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  • AFDC

    Aid to Families with Dependent Children
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  • Affidavit

    A statement which before being signed, the person signing takes an oath that the contents are, to the best of their knowledge, true. It is also signed by a notary or some other judicial officer that can administer oaths, to the effect that the person signing the affidavit was under oath when doing so. These documents carry great weight in Courts to the extent that judges frequently accept an affidavit instead of the testimony of the witness
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  • Agent

    A person who has received the power to act on behalf of another, binding that other person as if he or she were themselves making the decisions. The person who is being represented by the agent is referred to as the "principal."
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  • Aggravated damages

    Special and highly exceptional damages awarded by a court where the circumstances of the tortious conduct have been particularly humiliating or malicious towards the plaintiff/victim.
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  • Agriculture Law

    the area of law focusing on issues relating to the practice of cultivating the soil, producing crops, and raising livestock and/or the preparation and marketing of the resulting products.
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  • Aid To Families With Dependent Children

    assistance payments made on behalf of children who don`t have the financial support of one of their parents by reason of death, disability, or continued absence from the home; known in many States as ADC (Aid to Dependent Children)
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  • Alienate

    To sell or give completely and without reserve; to transfer title to somebody else. A voluntary conveyance of property, especially real property.
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  • Alimony

    An amount given to one spouse to another while they are separated. Historically, the word "alimony" referred to monies paid while spouses were legally separated but stilled wedlocked. Where they were divorced, the monies payable were then referred to as "maintenance" but this distinction is now in disuse.
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