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C

  • Consumer Protection

    the area of law that focuses on the remedies available in most states and the federal government which have enacted laws and set up agencies to protect the consumer from inferior, adulterated, hazardous or deceptively advertised products, and deceptive or fraudulent sales practices.
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  • Consumer Protection

    the area of law that focuses on the remedies available in most states and the federal government which have enacted laws and set up agencies to protect the consumer from inferior, adulterated, hazardous or deceptively advertised products, and deceptive or fraudulent sales practices.
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  • Contempt of court

    A act of defiance of court authority or dignity. Contempt of court can be direct (swearing at a judge or violence against a court officer) or constructive (disobeying a court order). The punishment for contempt is a fine or a brief stay in jail (i.e. overnight).
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  • Contingency fee

    A method of payment of legal fees represented by a percentage of an award. Lawyers get paid in one of two ways: either you pay a straight hourly rate as you might pay a plumber (eg. $400 an hour) or the lawyer might "gamble" (i.e. "contingency" fee) and agree to only get paid if the claim is successful and by taking a portion (eg. one-third) of any award that comes after the filing of the claim. For example, if you go and see a lawyer because, after a medical emergency, your health insurance company refuses to pay your medical bills in violation of their policy, the law firm might say: "no money down. In fact, we don't get paid a cent unless you do. And then, we take one-third off the top of any award you might get." This allows the client to receive legal services without putting any money down and it allows the lawyer to advertise "we don't get paid unless you do." The lawyer associations in some counties prohibit contingency fee arrangements. In those countries that allow them, they are very prevalent in personal injury cases.
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  • Contract

    An agreement between persons which obliges each party to do or not to do a certain thing. Technically, a valid contract requires an offer and an acceptance of that offer, and, in common law countries, consideration
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  • Contract law

    That body of law which regulates the enforcement of contracts. Contract law has its origins thousands of years as the early civilizations began to trade with each other, a legal system was created to support and to facilitate that trade. The English and French developed similar contract law systems, both referring extensively to old Roman contract law principles such as consensus ad idem or caveat emptor. There are some minor differences on points of detail such as the English law requirement that every contract contain consideration. More and more states are changing their laws to eliminate consideration as a prerequisite to a valid contract thus contributing to the uniformity of law. Contract law is the basis of all commercial dealings from buying a bus ticket to trading on the stock market.
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  • Contributory negligence

    The negligence of a person which, while not being the primary cause of a tort, nevertheless combined with the act or omission of the primary defendant to cause the tort, and without which the tort would not have occurred.
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  • Conversion

    The action of conversion is a common law legal proceeding for damages by an owner of property against a defendant who came across the property and who, rather than return the property, converted that property to his own use or retained possession of the property or otherwise interfered with the property. The innocence of the defendant who took the property is not an issue. It is the conversion that gives rise to the cause of action. This common law action replaced the old action of trover by English law dated 1852. Compare with detinue
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  • Conveyance

    A written document which transfers property from one person to another. In real-estate law, the conveyance usually refers to the actual document which transfers ownership, between persons living (i.e. other than by will), or which charges the land with another's interest, such as a mortgage.
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  • Conviction

    The formal decision of a criminal trial which finds the accused guilty. It is the finding of a judge or jury, on behalf of the state, that a person has, beyond reasonable doubt, committed the crime for which he, or she, has been accused. It is the ultimate goal of the prosecution and the result resisted by the defense. Once convicted, an accused may then be sentenced.
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  • Coparcenary

    An obsolete co-ownership mechanism of English law where property, if there was no will, always went to the eldest son. If there was no male heir, the property went to all the female children collectively as a form of co-ownership.
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  • Copyright

    The exclusive right to produce or reproduce (copy), to perform in public or to publish an original literary or artistic work. Many countries have expanded the definition of a "literary work" to include computer programs or other electronically stored information.
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  • Coroner

    A public official who holds an inquiry into violent or suspicious deaths. A coroner has the power to summon people to the inquest.
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  • Corporal punishment

    A punishment for some violation of conduct which involves the infliction of pain on, or harm to the body. A fine or imprisonment is not considered to be corporal punishment (in the latter case, although the body is confined, no punishment is inflicted upon the body). The death penalty is the most drastic form of corporal punishment and is also called capital punishment. Some schools still use a strap to punish students. Some countries still punish habitual thieves by cutting off a hand. These are forms of corporal punishment, as is any form of spanking, whipping or bodily mutilation inflicted as punishment.
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  • Corporate Law

    the area of law focusing on the legal methods of obtaining an official charter or articles of incorporation from the state for an organization, which may be a profit-making business, a professional business such as a law office or medical office or a non-profit entity which operates for charitable, social, religious, civic or other public service purposes and the legal ramifications of such an organization (see business law).
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  • Corporate secretary

    Officer of a corporation responsible for the official documents of the corporation such as the official seal, records of shares issued, and minutes of all board or committee meetings.
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  • Corporation

    A legal entity, allowed by legislation, which permits a group of people, as shareholders (for-profit companies) or members (non-profit companies), to create an organization, which can then focus on pursuing set objectives, and empowered with legal rights which are usually only reserved for individuals, such as to sue and be sued, own property, hire employees or loan and borrow money. Also known as a "company." The primary advantage of for profit corporations is that it provides its shareholders with a right to participate in the profits (by dividends) without any personal liability because the company absorbs the entire liability of the organization.
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  • Costs

    This is a term often used in judgments as in "the defendant will pay costs." When a person is condemned to "costs" it means that he has to pay all the court costs such as the fees for bringing the action, witness fees and other fees paid out by the other side in bringing the action to justice. A court can also condemn a losing party to "special costs" but this is considered punitive as it would include the other side's lawyer bill. The rule in most places is that "costs follows the event" which means that the loser pays. In most states, the court has the final say on costs and may decide not to make an order on costs.
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  • Council

    A formal group of experts brought together on a regular basis to debate matters within that sphere of expertise, and with advisory powers to government. For example, Canada has a 'Standards Council of Canada" which debates and proposes standards policies and is able to make recomendations to the government of Canada. It can be contrasted with a commission which, although also a body of experts, is typically given regulatory powers in addition to a role as advisor to the government.
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  • Court martial

    A military court set up to try and punish offenses taken by members of the army, navy or air force
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