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Legal Terms Beginning with L

Laches

A legal doctrine whereby those who take too long to assert a legal right, lose their entitlement to a right or compensation. Read the full definition of Laches on Duhaime.org

Landed Immigrant

An immigration law term; an individual who has relocated and changed his permanent residence to a state where he does not have citizenship but does limited rights associated with residency. Read the full definition of Landed Immigrant on Duhaime.org

Landivord

A land or building owner who has leased the land, the building or a part of the land or building, to another person. Read the full definition of Landivord on Duhaime.org

Lap Dancing

The intentional rubbing or grinding against men to please them in a sexual way. Read the full definition of Lap Dancing on Duhaime.org

Larceny

A criminal offence now more commonly referred to as theft, covering the unlawful or fraudulent removal of another's property without the owner's consent. Read the full definition of Larceny on Duhaime.org

Law

All the rules of conduct that have been approved by the government and which are in force over a certain territory and which must be obeyed by all persons on that territory (eg. the 'laws' of Australia). Read the full definition of Law on Duhaime.org

Law of Nature

The uncertain and elastic concept of regulation of conduct based on morality, conscience or God. Read the full definition of Law of Nature on Duhaime.org

Lawyer

A person that has been trained in the law and that has been certified to give legal advice or to represent others in litigation. Read the full definition of Lawyer on Duhaime.org

Lay Day

A term of a maritime law contract: days stipulated for the loading or unloading of cargo from a ship. Read the full definition of Lay Day on Duhaime.org

Lay on the Table

Also "to table"; a term of parliamentary law and procedure which refers to a motion in regards to another motion being actively debated, but intended to defer a final disposition of the pending motion. Read the full definition of Lay on the Table on Duhaime.org

Leading Question

A question which suggests an answer; usually answerable by yes or no. Read the full definition of Leading Question on Duhaime.org

Lease

A special kind of contract between a property owner and a person wanting temporary enjoyment and exclusive use of the property, in exchange for rent paid to the property owner. Read the full definition of Lease on Duhaime.org

Leasehold

Real property held under a lease. Read the full definition of Leasehold on Duhaime.org

Legacy

A gift of a chattel by will. Read the full definition of Legacy on Duhaime.org

Legal Aid

No-cost legal services to economically disfavoured litigants. Read the full definition of Legal Aid on Duhaime.org

Legal Custody

A child custody decision which entails the right to make, or participate in, the significant decisions affecting a child's health and welfare (compare with physical custody and joint custody). Read the full definition of Legal Custody on Duhaime.org

Legalese

English words combined with others in long-winded sentences, or varied or with permutations, with the initial design of legal or drafting precision but which otherwise ap unnecessary complexity and inadvertently resulting in confusion. Read the full definition of Legalese on Duhaime.org

Legal Fiction

A ruling on law based on hypothetical facts. Read the full definition of Legal Fiction on Duhaime.org

Legalism

The rigorous and ruthless adherence to the word of the law, usually combined with a policy to regulate as much as possible. Read the full definition of Legalism on Duhaime.org

Legislation

Written and approved laws. Read the full definition of Legislation on Duhaime.org

Legislative Branch

The elected law-making branch of government. Read the full definition of Legislative Branch on Duhaime.org

Lessee

The person to whom is granted exclusive possession of a thing under the terms of a lease. Read the full definition of Lessee on Duhaime.org

Lessor

The person who grants a lease, usually the owner of the thing leased. Read the full definition of Lessor on Duhaime.org

Letters Rogatory

A request of a judge in one jurisdiction to a court of another, to examine a specific witness. Read the full definition of Letters Rogatory on Duhaime.org

Lettre de Cachet

A discretionary, arbitrary and often secret order issued by the King of France for the execution of some act. Read the full definition of Lettre de Cachet on Duhaime.org

Lex Causae

Latin; law of the cause. The law which has precedence, where there is a conflict of laws, to dispose of an action. Read the full definition of Lex Causae on Duhaime.org

Lex Fori

The law applicable to particular legal proceedings; Latin for the law of the forum. Read the full definition of Lex Fori on Duhaime.org

Lex Loci

Latin; the law of a place as in where a right was acquired or a liability incurred. Read the full definition of Lex Loci on Duhaime.org

Lex Non Scripta

Unwritten law; the common or custom law; as opposed to lex scripta. Read the full definition of Lex Non Scripta on Duhaime.org

Lex Scripta

Written law; statutes. Read the full definition of Lex Scripta on Duhaime.org

Lex Situs

A conflict of law rule that selects the applicable law based on the venue or location of something. Read the full definition of Lex Situs on Duhaime.org

Liability

Any legal obligation, either due now or at some time in the future. It could be a debt or a promise to do something. Read the full definition of Liability on Duhaime.org

Libel

Written form of defamation such as on the Internet, in a newspaper or a letter. Read the full definition of Libel on Duhaime.org

Liberal construction

A form of construction which allows a judge to consider other factors when deciding the meaning of a phrase or document. Read the full definition of Liberal construction on Duhaime.org

License

A special permission to do something on, or with, somebody else's property which, were it not for the license, could be legally prevented or give rise to legal action in tort or trespass. Read the full definition of License on Duhaime.org

Lien

A property right which remains attached to an object that has been sold, but not totally paid for, until complete payment has been made. Read the full definition of Lien on Duhaime.org

Life Estate

A right to use and to enjoy land and/or structures on land only for the life of the life tenant. Read the full definition of Life Estate on Duhaime.org

Life tenant

The beneficiary of a life estate. Read the full definition of Life tenant on Duhaime.org

Ligan

Also lagan; things thrown from a ship and attached to a float or buoy to mark their location. Read the full definition of Ligan on Duhaime.org

Limitations or Statute of Limitations

Loss of a cause of action because of the passage of time. Read the full definition of Limitations or Statute of Limitations on Duhaime.org

Limited Partner

A unique colleague in a partnership relationship who has agreed to be liable only to the extent of his (or her) investment. Read the full definition of Limited Partner on Duhaime.org

Limited Partnership

A partnership with at last one general partner and a limited partner, the latter contributing financially or otherwise but not otherwise involved in the business or, generally, personally liable for the debts of the partnership. Read the full definition of Limited Partnership on Duhaime.org

Limited Power of Attorney

A POA limited by a condition or term or in regards to a specific item of property. Read the full definition of Limited Power of Attorney on Duhaime.org

Limitrophe

Adjacent, bordering or contiguous. Read the full definition of Limitrophe on Duhaime.org

Lineal Descendant

A person who is a direct descendant such as a child to his or her natural parent. Read the full definition of Lineal Descendant on Duhaime.org

Liquidated damages

Pre-determined damages. Read the full definition of Liquidated damages on Duhaime.org

Liquidation

The selling of all the assets of a debtor and the use of the cash proceeds of the sale to pay off creditors. Read the full definition of Liquidation on Duhaime.org

Lis Pendens

Latin: a dispute or matter which is the subject of ongoing or pending litigation. Read the full definition of Lis Pendens on Duhaime.org

Literal construction

A form of construction which does not allow evidence extrapolated beyond the actual words of a phrase or document but, rather, takes a phrase or document at face value, giving effect only to the actual words used. Read the full definition of Literal construction on Duhaime.org

Litigation

A dispute is in 'litigation' (or being 'litigated') when it has become the subject of a formal court action or law suit. Read the full definition of Litigation on Duhaime.org

Livery

Delivery. An archaic legal word from the feudal system referring to the actual legal transmission of possession of an object to another. Read the full definition of Livery on Duhaime.org

Living Will

A document that sets out guidelines for dealing with life-sustaining medical procedures in the eventuality of the signatory's supen debilitation. Read the full definition of Living Will on Duhaime.org

LL.B., L.M. or LL.D.

Abbreviations for law degrees as in bachelor of law, master or law, or doctorate. Read the full definition of LL.B., L.M. or LL.D. on Duhaime.org

Lockout

An employer's decision to bar unionized employees entry to the workplace until such time as they accept to work on the employer's terms and conditions or based on a lapsed collective bargaining agreement. Read the full definition of Lockout on Duhaime.org

Locus

Latin for the place. Read the full definition of Locus on Duhaime.org

Locus Standi

A right to apress the Court on a matter before it. Read the full definition of Locus Standi on Duhaime.org

Loitering

To waste time; to be idive. Read the full definition of Loitering on Duhaime.org

Long arm statutes

Each court is bound to a territorial jurisdiction and does not normally have jurisdiction over persons that reside outside of that jurisdiction. Read the full definition of Long arm statutes on Duhaime.org

Long-term offender

A convicted person for whom who a court states there is a substantial risk of re-offending. Read the full definition of Long-term offender on Duhaime.org

Lubricum Linquae Non Facile Trahendum Est In Poena

Latin: the law tends to overlook rash or inconsiderate language spoken in the heat of the moment. Read the full definition of Lubricum Linquae Non Facile Trahendum Est In Poena on Duhaime.org

Lunatic

An individual of unsound mind. Read the full definition of Lunatic on Duhaime.org

Lycurgus

Sparta(n) legal innovator circa 700BCE. Read the full definition of Lycurgus on Duhaime.org