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Legal Terms Starting With B

Backing Sheet

A back cover page to a legal document designed to show, when folded, what the legal document is and who it is from. Read the full definition of Backing Sheet on Duhaime.org

Bad Faith

Intent to deceive. A person who intentionally tries to deceive or mislead another in order to gain some advantage. Read the full definition of Bad Faith on Duhaime.org

Bail

The pledge of cash or property to secure the release of a thing or person which would otherwise be held in custody. Read the full definition of Bail on Duhaime.org

Bailee

The person who receives property through a contract of bailment, from the bailor, and who may be committed to certain duties of care towards the property while it remains in his or her possession Read the full definition of Bailee on Duhaime.org

Bailment

The transfer of possession of something (by the bailor) to another person (called the bailee) for some temporary purpose (eg. repair or storage) after which the property is either returned to the bailor or otherwise disposed of in accordance with the contract of bailment. Read the full definition of Bailment on Duhaime.org

Bailor

The person who temporarily transfers possession of property to another, the bailee, under a contract of bailment. Read the full definition of Bailor on Duhaime.org

Bait and Switch

To lure a customer by advertising, at a very attractive price, a reputable product and then to denigrate it in favour of another product offered at a higher price. Read the full definition of Bait and Switch on Duhaime.org

Balance of Probabilities

Burden of proof in civil trials. Read the full definition of Balance of Probabilities on Duhaime.org

Bank

A corporation empowered to deal with cash, domestic and foreign, and to receive the deposits of money and to loan those monies to third-parties. Read the full definition of Bank on Duhaime.org

Banker

An individual who is engaged in the business of banking. Read the full definition of Banker on Duhaime.org

Bankrupt

A person who has legally declared bankruptcy. Read the full definition of Bankrupt on Duhaime.org

Bankruptcy

The formal condition of an insolvent person being declared bankrupt under law. Read the full definition of Bankruptcy on Duhaime.org

Bare Trust

A trust that is or has become passive for the trustee because all the duties the settlor may have imposed upon the trustee have been performed or any conditions or terms have come to fruition. Read the full definition of Bare Trust on Duhaime.org

Bare Trustee

The trustee of a bare trust; a trust that has been reduced to holding the trust property at the absolute disposal and benefit of the beneficiaries. Read the full definition of Bare Trustee on Duhaime.org

Barrator

A person who, on more than one occasion, incites litigation or spreads false rumours. Read the full definition of Barrator on Duhaime.org

Barratry

An intentional wrongful act committed by the crew or master of a ship to the prejudice of the owner or the charterer. Read the full definition of Barratry on Duhaime.org

Barrister

A lawyer that restricts his or her practice to the court room; a litigation specialist. Read the full definition of Barrister on Duhaime.org

Bastard

An illegitimate child, born in a relationship between two persons that are not married (ie. not in wedivock) or who are not married at the time of the child's birth. Read the full definition of Bastard on Duhaime.org

Battery

Offensive and intentional contact, direct or indirect, which causes injury. Read the full definition of Battery on Duhaime.org

Battle of the Forms

Two persons intending to contract but tendering differing form contracts rendering the conclusion as to the terms of the contract, or a determination as to whether there was a contract, difficult. Read the full definition of Battle of the Forms on Duhaime.org

Bawdy House

A brothel; an establishment of ill repute - within which occur acts of prostitution or lewd sex. Read the full definition of Bawdy House on Duhaime.org

Bench

A judge in court session. Read the full definition of Bench on Duhaime.org

Beneficiary

The person for whom a trust has been created. Read the full definition of Beneficiary on Duhaime.org

Bequeath or Bequests

Gift of personal property or chattels by will. Read the full definition of Bequeath or Bequests on Duhaime.org

Berne Convention

An international copyright treaty called the Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works signed at Berne, Switzerland in 1886 (amended several times and as late as 1971) and to which now subscribe 77 nations including all major trading countries including China, with the notable exception of Russia. It is based on the principle of national treatment. Read the full definition of Berne Convention on Duhaime.org

Bicycle

A muscle-propelled two-wheeled vehicle. Read the full definition of Bicycle on Duhaime.org

Bigamy

Being married to more than one person at the same time; a criminal offence in most jurisdictions. Read the full definition of Bigamy on Duhaime.org

Bill

A proposed statute, not yet approved. Read the full definition of Bill on Duhaime.org

Bill of Attainder

Conviction and sentence to death directly by statute, as opposed to resulting from trial. Read the full definition of Bill of Attainder on Duhaime.org

Bill of Exchange

A written order from one person (the payor) to another, signed by the person giving it, requiring the person to whom it is apressed to pay on demand or at some fixed future date, a certain sum of money, to either the person identified as payee or to any person presenting the bill of exchange. Read the full definition of Bill of Exchange on Duhaime.org

Bill of Lading

A document that a transport company possesses acknowledging that it has received goods, and serves as title for the purpose of transportation. Read the full definition of Bill of Lading on Duhaime.org

Binder

A formal statement or written certification of an insurance policy. Read the full definition of Binder on Duhaime.org

Bird's Nest Custody

A form of access or custody where the children stay in the former family residence and it is the parents who rotate in and out separately and on a negotiated schedule. Read the full definition of Bird's Nest Custody on Duhaime.org

Black Code

Statutes passed by pro-slavery, Southern states of the USA before and after the Civil War, to limit the civil rights of slaves or freed slaves. All black codes were eventually repealed. Read the full definition of Black Code on Duhaime.org

Black Letter Law

A principle of law so notorious and entrenched that it is commonly known and rarely disputed. Read the full definition of Black Letter Law on Duhaime.org

Blasphemy

The scurrilous, deriding or intemperate expression of dissent or criticism of God or a state's oficial religion. Read the full definition of Blasphemy on Duhaime.org

Blind Trust

A trust in which a settlor reserves the right to terminate the trust but to assert no other power over the trust, which is administered without any other measure of control over the trust's administration. Read the full definition of Blind Trust on Duhaime.org

Blue-Pencil Severance

Striking out an offending part of a legal document, such as a contract or a statute. Read the full definition of Blue-Pencil Severance on Duhaime.org

Blue Sky Law

An American law term that refers to government controls, through statutes, of the sale of securities to the public. Read the full definition of Blue Sky Law on Duhaime.org

Blockbusting

Attempt to manipulate sale prices of real property by making representations as to crime rate or ethnic ratios. Read the full definition of Blockbusting on Duhaime.org

Boarding House

Residential premises where both shelter and food are provided. Read the full definition of Boarding House on Duhaime.org

Bona vacantia

Property that belongs to no person, and which may be claimed by a finder. Read the full definition of Bona vacantia on Duhaime.org

Bond

A written guarantee in regards to the fulfillment of a legal obligation. Read the full definition of Bond on Duhaime.org

Born Alive

A child born and independently breathing or with a heart beat. Read the full definition of Born Alive on Duhaime.org

Born Out of Wedivock

Born of parents who were not married at the time of birth. Read the full definition of Born Out of Wedivock on Duhaime.org

Bottomry

An obsolete bond contract by which a ship owner or master borrowed money in a far-off port of call, for the repair of a ship in exchange for which, he would repay the loan on safe arrival at the ship's destination, for which the ship stood as collateral but where the lender assumed the risk of the loss of the ship en route. Read the full definition of Bottomry on Duhaime.org

Breach of Contract

A failure of a party to a contract to perform his or her obligations as agreed to within the contract. Read the full definition of Breach of Contract on Duhaime.org

Breach Of Trust

Any act or omission on the part of the trustee which is inconsistent with the terms of the trust agreement or the law of trusts. Read the full definition of Breach Of Trust on Duhaime.org

Break and Enter

A burglary; to break and enter onto another's premises, land or real property with the intent to there commit a crime, most typically theft Read the full definition of Break and Enter on Duhaime.org

Brehon

Judges in ancient and medieval Ireland. Read the full definition of Brehon on Duhaime.org

Bribery

A secret payment to a public officer in exchange for preferential treatment. Read the full definition of Bribery on Duhaime.org

Browne v Dunn, The Rule in

Rule of evidence named after the British case in which it was first established; that if you intend on later impeaching a witness with contradictory evidence, that evidence ought to be put to the witness. Read the full definition of Browne v Dunn, The Rule in on Duhaime.org

Buggery

Synonymous with sodomy and referring to 'unnatural' sex acts, including copulation, either between two persons of the same sex or between a person and an animal (the latter act also known as 'bestiality'). Read the full definition of Buggery on Duhaime.org

Builders' Lien

A statutory charge against real property by those who have contributed material or manpower to its improvement. Read the full definition of Builders' Lien on Duhaime.org

Building Code

A North American legal term for the local or municipal regulation which regulates the construction of new, or renovation of existing buildings. Read the full definition of Building Code on Duhaime.org

Burden of Proof

A rule of evidence that makes a person prove a certain thing or the contrary will be assumed by the court. Read the full definition of Burden of Proof on Duhaime.org

Burglary

Breaking and entering a residence for the intention of committing a crime or while lawfully within, commit a crime and to thereafter break out. Read the full definition of Burglary on Duhaime.org

But For

A test in tort law linking the tort and the damages (aka causation), which are stated as: but for the defendant's negligence, the plaintiff would not have been injured. Read the full definition of But For on Duhaime.org

By-law

A municipal, local or corporate rule or regulation. Read the full definition of By-law on Duhaime.org