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Legal Dictionary

V

  • Vagrant

    A tramp or homeless person.
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  • Vehicle

    Any thing that is designed to transport persons or objects. A bicycle has been held to be a vehicle.
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  • Vendor

    The seller; the person selling.
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  • Venue

    This has the same meaning as in everyday English except that in a legal context it usually refers specifically to the location of a judicial hearing. For example, if a criminal case has a very high media profile in a particular city, the "venue" may change to another city to ensure objective witnesses (i.e. that would not have been spoiled by media speculation on the crime).
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  • Verba fortius accipiuntur contra proferentem

    Latin: a principle of construction whereby if words of a contract are ambiguous, of two equally possible meanings, they should be interpreted against the author of the words and not against the other party.
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  • Verdict

    The decision of a jury. In criminal cases, this is usually expressed as "guilty" or "not guilty".In a civil case, the verdict would be a finding for the plaintiff or for the defendant.
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  • Veterans Law

    the area of law that assists former members of the armed forces.
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  • Vicarious liability

    When a person is held responsible for the tort of another even though the person being held responsible may not have done anything wrong. This is often the case with employers who are held vicariously liable for the damages caused by their employees.
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  • Videlicet

    Latin for "to wit" or "that is to say." "Viz.", which is the abbreviation of videlicet, is much more commonly used. It is often found in legal documents to advise that what follows provides more detail about a preceding general statement. For example: "The defendant committed adultery; viz., on April 15th, at approximately 10:30 pm, he had sexual intercourse with Ms Jane Doe."
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  • Vir

    Latin: man or husband. Vir et uxor censentur in lege una persona is an old (and long abandoned in most countries) legal principle meaning that man and wife are considered to be one person in law.
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  • Vis

    An abbreviation of the Latin word videlicet. Short for "namely" or "that is to say."
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  • Visitation

    the right of a non-custodial parent to visit or spend time with his or her children
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  • Void or void ab initio

    Not legally binding. A document that is void is useless and worthless; as if it did not exist.For example, in many countries, contracts for immoral purposes are said to be "void":unenforceable and not recognized by the courts. A good example is a contract to commit a serious crime such as murder.
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  • Voidable

    The law distinguishes between contracts which are void and those which are voidable. Some contracts have such a latent defect that they are said to be void (see definition of "void" above). Other have more minor defects to them and are voidable at the option of the party victimized by the defect. For example, contracts signed by a person when they are totally drunk are voidable by that person upon recovering sobriety.
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  • Voir dire

    A mini-hearing held during a trial on the admissibility of contested evidence. For example, a defendant may object to a plaintiff's witness. The court would suspend the trial, immediately preside over a hearing on the standing of the proposed witness, and then resume the trial with or without the witness, or with any restrictions placed on the testimony by the judge as a result of the voir dire ruling. In a jury trial, the jury would be excused during the voir dire.
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  • Volenti non fit injuria

    Voluntary assumption of risk. A defence in tort that means where a person engages in an event accepting and aware of the risks inherent in that event, then they can not later complain of, or seek compensation for an injury suffered during the event. This is used most often to defend against tort actions as a result of a sports injury.
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  • Voluntary Acknowledgement Of Paternity

    an acknowledgement by a man, or both parents, that the man is the father of a child, usually provided in writing on an affidavit or form
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