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  • Arbitration

    the process of resolving a dispute or a grievance outside of the court system by presenting it to an impartial third party or panel for a decision that may or may not be binding (see also mediation and alternative dispute resolution).
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  • Arraignment

    In USA criminal law, the formal appearance of an accused person to hear, and to receive a copy of, the charge against him or her, in the presence of a judge, and to then enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. The arraignment is the final preparatory step before the criminal trial.
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  • Arrearages

    unpaid child support for past periods owed by a parent who is obligated to pay
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  • Arrears

    A debt that is not paid on the due date adds up and accumulates as "arrears". For example, if you do not pay your rent, the debt still exists and is referred to as "arrears". The same word is used to describe child or spousal maintenance or support which is not paid by the due date.
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  • Arson

    Some countries define "arson" as the intentional setting of a fire to a building in which people live; others include as "arson" the intentionally setting of a fire to any building. In either case, this is a very serious crime and is punishable by a long jail sentence.
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  • Assault

    The touching of another person with an intent to harm, without that person's consent.
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  • Assign

    To give, to transfer responsibility, to another. The assignee (sometimes also called "assigns") is the person who receives the right or property being given and the assignor is the person giving.
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  • Assignment Of Support Rights

    a person receiving public assistance agrees to turn over to the State any right to child support, including arrearages, paid by the obligated parent in exchange for receipt of a cash assistance grant and other benefits
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  • AT

    Action Transmittal
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  • Attorn or Attornment

    To consent, implicitly or explicitly, to a transfer of a right. Often used to describe a situation where a tenant, by staying on location after the sale of the leased property, accepts to be a tenant of the new landlord; or where a person consents to ("attorns to") the jurisdiction of a court which would not have otherwise had any authority over that person.
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  • Attorney

    An alternate word for lawyers or "barrister & solicitor", used mostly in the USA. A person that has been trained in the law and that has been certified to give legal advice or to represent others in litigation
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  • Attractive Nuisance Doctrine

    A legal doctrine which makes a person negligent for leaving a piece of equipment or other condition on property which would be both attractive and dangerous to curious children. These have included tractors, unguarded swimming pools, open pits, and abandoned refrigerators. Liability could be placed on the people owning or controlling the premises even when the child was a trespasser who sneaked on the property. Basically the doctrine was intended to make people careful about what dangerous conditions they left untended. Some jurisdictions (including California) have abolished the attractive nuisance doctrine and replaced it with specific conditions (e.g. open pit and refrigerators) and would make property owners liable only by applying rules of foreseeable danger which make negligence harder to prove.
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  • Audi alteram partem

    Latin: a principle of natural justice which prohibits a judicial decision which impacts upon individual rights without giving all parties in the dispute a right to be heard. Habeas corpus was an early expression of the audi alteram partem principle. In more recent years, it has been extended to include the right to receive notice of a hearing and to be given an opportunity to be represented or heard.
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  • Auto Lemon Law

    the area of law governed by statute that allows the purchaser of a car specific remedies if the car has a defect that impairs or significantly affects its use, value, or safety and that cannot be repaired within a specified period.
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  • Autrefois acquit

    French word now part of English criminal law terminology. Refers to an accused who cannot be tried for a crime because the record shows he has already been subjected to trial for the same conduct and was acquitted. If the accused maintains that the previous trial resulted in conviction, he or she pleads "autrefois convict." "Autrefois attaint" is another similar term; "attainted" for a felony, a person cannot be tried again for the same offence
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  • Aviation Law

    the area of law dealing with the operation of civilian aircraft often under the control of a common carrier. This legal arena usually focuses on airline disasters and wrongful death
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  • AVR

    Automated Voice Response System
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  • Avulsion

    Land accretion that occurs by the erosion or addition of one's land by the sudden and unexpected change in a river stream such as a flash flood.
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  • Avunculus

    Latin: a mother's brother. "Avuncular" refers to an uncle.
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