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Legal Terms Beginning with O

Oath

A religious or solemn affirmation to tell the truth or to take a certain action. Read the full definition of Oath on Duhaime.org

Obiter dictum

Latin: an observation by a judge on a matter not specifically before the court or not necessary in determining the issue before the court; a side opinion which does not form part of the judgment for the purposes of stare decisis Read the full definition of Obiter dictum on Duhaime.org

Obligations

A legal requirement established by law, contract or as a result of unlawful harm caused to the person or property of another. Read the full definition of Obligations on Duhaime.org

Obligee

The person who is to receive the benefit of someone else's obligation. Read the full definition of Obligee on Duhaime.org

Obligor

A person who is contractually or legally, committed or obliged, to providing something to another person (the obligee). Read the full definition of Obligor on Duhaime.org

Obscenity

A publication which is illegal because it is morally corruptive. Read the full definition of Obscenity on Duhaime.org

Obstructing justice

An act which tends to impede or thwart the administration of justice. Read the full definition of Obstructing justice on Duhaime.org

Occupational Rent

A matrimonial or joint tenant property compensatory claim based on an allegation that one spouse or joint tenant ought to be debited the value of her or his exclusive occupation of the family or jointly-held home. Read the full definition of Occupational Rent on Duhaime.org

Occupiers' Liability

Liability of a person who controls land or building(s) in regards to damages caused to others who enter thereon. Read the full definition of Occupiers' Liability on Duhaime.org

Offense

A crime; any act which contravenes the criminal law of the state in which it occurs. Spelled offence in Commonwealth countries. Read the full definition of Offense on Duhaime.org

Offer

A explicit proposal to contract which, if accepted, completes the contract and binds both the person that made the offer and the person accepting the offer to the terms of the contract. Read the full definition of Offer on Duhaime.org

Oligarchy

A form of government in which a few persons rule and govern by assuming all legislative and administrative authority. Read the full definition of Oligarchy on Duhaime.org

Ombudsman

A person whose occupation consists of investigating customer complaints against his or her employer. Many governments have ombudsmen who will investigate citizen complaints against government services. Read the full definition of Ombudsman on Duhaime.org

Omnibus bill

A draft law before a legislature which contains more than one substantive matter, or several minor matters which have been combined into one bill, ostensibly for the sake of convenience. Read the full definition of Omnibus bill on Duhaime.org

Onus

Latin: the burden. It is usually used in the context of evidence. Read the full definition of Onus on Duhaime.org

Open-ended agreement

An agreement or contract which does not have an ending date but which will continue for as long as certain conditions, identified in the agreement, exist. Read the full definition of Open-ended agreement on Duhaime.org

Opening Statement

A lawyer or litigant's initial remarks at trial, to the finder of fact, either a judge or jury, setting out their road-map or case theory. Read the full definition of Opening Statement on Duhaime.org

Order

A formal written direction given by a member of the judiciary; a court decision without reasons. Read the full definition of Order on Duhaime.org

Ordinance

An executive decision of a government which has not been subjected to a legislative assembly (contrary to a statute). It is often detailed and not, as would be a statute, of general wording or application. Read the full definition of Ordinance on Duhaime.org

Orphan

A person who has lost one or both of his or her natural parents. Read the full definition of Orphan on Duhaime.org

Out-of-court settlement

An agreement between two litigants to settle a matter privately before the Court has rendered its decision. Read the full definition of Out-of-court settlement on Duhaime.org

Oversman

The Scottish law term for umpire. Read the full definition of Oversman on Duhaime.org