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The seizing of a person's property, credit or salary, on the basis of a law which allows it, and for the purposes of paying off a debt. The person who possesses the assets of the debtor and is the subject of the seizure is called a "garnishee". This is frequently used in the enforcement of child support where delinquent debtors will be subjected to salary garnishment. A percentages of their wages is subtracted directly off their pay-check and directed to the person in need of support (the employer being the garnishee).
A wooden mallet used by a judge to bring proceedings to a start or to an end or to command attention in his or her court.
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
Multilateral international treaty first created in 1947 and frequently amended (most recently in 1994) to which 125 countries subscribe. GATT provides for fair trade rules and the gradual reduction of tariffs, duties and other trade barriers. The 1994 amendment created a World Trade Organization, which oversees the implementation of the GATT.
The senior lawyer of a corporation. This is normally a full-time employee of the corporation although some corporations contract this position out to a lawyer with a private firm.
Refers to courts that have no limit on the types of criminal and civil cases they may hear.
A device used in wills and trusts to provide for the gift of property to a second recipient if a certain event occurs, such as the death of the first recipient. For example, I give you my car but on your death you must give it to your child; that is a gift over to the benefit of your child.
A reduction in sentenced time in prison as a reward for good behavior. It usually is one third to one half of the maximum sentence.
An intangible business asset which includes a cultivated reputation and consequential attraction and confidence of repeat customers and connections.
An American criminal justice procedure whereby, in each court district, a group of 16-23 citizens hold an inquiry on criminal complaints brought by the prosecutor and decide if a trial is warranted, in which case an indictment is issued. If a Grand Jury rejects a proposed indictment it is known as a "no bill"; if they accept to endorse a proposed indictment it is known as a "true bill".
The person who sets up a trust. Also referred to as "settlor."
In labor law a complaint filed by an employee regarding working conditions to be resolved by procedural machinery provided in the union contract. An injury, injustice, or wrong which gives ground for complaint.
Any action or an omission in reckless disregard of the consequences to the safety or property of another. Sometimes referred to as "very great negligence" and it is more then just neglect of ordinary care towards others or just inadvertence. Also known as the Latin term culpa lata.
A person who pledges collateral for the contract of another, but separately, as part of an independently contract with the obligee of the original contract. Compare with "surety."
An individual who, by legal appointment or by the effect of a written law, is given custodyof both the property and the person of one who is unable to manage their own affairs, such as a child or mentally-disabled person. Guardian ad litem A guardian appointed to assist an infant or other mentally incapable defendant or plaintiff, or any such incapacitated person that may be a party in a legal action.
Legal right given to a person to be responsible for the food, housing, health care, and other necessities of a person deemed incapable of providing these necessities for himself or herself.