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LEGAL TERMS

UNCONSCIONABILITY

A seller's taking advantage of a buyer due to their unequal bargaining positions, perhaps because of the buyer's recent trauma, physical infirmity, ignorance, i... (more...)
A seller's taking advantage of a buyer due to their unequal bargaining positions, perhaps because of the buyer's recent trauma, physical infirmity, ignorance, inability to read or inability to understand the language. The unfairness must be so severe that it is shocking to the average person. It usually includes the absence of any meaningful choice on the part of the buyer and contract terms so one-sided that they unreasonably favor the seller. A contract will be terminated if the buyer can prove unconscionability.

DONATION

A gift of property. The IRS allows you to take an income tax deduction for the value of donations made to charitable organizations who are recognized as such by... (more...)
A gift of property. The IRS allows you to take an income tax deduction for the value of donations made to charitable organizations who are recognized as such by the IRS.

ILLUSORY PROMISE

A promise that pledges nothing, because it is vague or because the promisor can choose whether or not to honor it. Such promises are not legally binding. For ex... (more...)
A promise that pledges nothing, because it is vague or because the promisor can choose whether or not to honor it. Such promises are not legally binding. For example, if you get a new job and promise to work for three years, unless you resign sooner, you haven't made a valid contract and can resign or be fired at any time.

DIVIDEND

A portion of profits distributed by a corporation to its shareholders based on the type of stock and number of shares owned. Dividends are usually paid in cash,... (more...)
A portion of profits distributed by a corporation to its shareholders based on the type of stock and number of shares owned. Dividends are usually paid in cash, though they may also be paid in the form of additional shares of stock or other property. The amount of a dividend is established by the corporation's board of directors; however, state laws often restrict a corporation's ability to declare dividends by requiring a minimum level of profits or assets before the dividend can be approved.

IP

See intellectual property law.

ARBITRATION

A non-court procedure for resolving disputes using one or more neutral third parties -- called the arbitrator or arbitration panel. Arbitration uses rules of ev... (more...)
A non-court procedure for resolving disputes using one or more neutral third parties -- called the arbitrator or arbitration panel. Arbitration uses rules of evidence and procedure that are less formal than those followed in trial courts, which usually leads to a faster, less-expensive resolution. There are many types of arbitration in common use: Binding arbitration is similar to a court proceeding in that the arbitrator has the power to impose a decision, although this is sometimes limited by agreement -- for example, in 'hi-lo arbitration' the parties may agree in advance to a maximum and minimum award. In non-binding arbitration, the arbitrator can recommend but not impose a decision. Many contracts -- including those imposed on customers by many financial and healthcare organizations -- require mandatory arbitration in the event of a dispute. This may be reasonable when the arbitrator really is neutral, but is justifiably criticized when the large company that writes the contract is able to influence the choice of the arbitrator.

CONSTRUCTIVE EVICTION

When a landlord provides housing that is so substandard that a landlord has legally evicted the tenant. For example, if the landlord refuses to provide heat or ... (more...)
When a landlord provides housing that is so substandard that a landlord has legally evicted the tenant. For example, if the landlord refuses to provide heat or water or refuses to clean up an environmental health hazard, the tenant has the right to move out and stop paying rent, without incurring legal liability for breaking the lease.

REFORMATION

The act of changing a written contract when one of the parties can prove that the actual agreement was different than what's written down. The changes are usual... (more...)
The act of changing a written contract when one of the parties can prove that the actual agreement was different than what's written down. The changes are usually made by a court when both parties overlooked a mistake in the document, or when one party has deceived the other.

BOND

(1) A written agreement purchased from a bonding company that guarantees a person will properly carry out a specific act, such as managing funds, showing up in ... (more...)
(1) A written agreement purchased from a bonding company that guarantees a person will properly carry out a specific act, such as managing funds, showing up in court, providing good title to a piece of real estate or completing a construction project. If the person who purchased the bond fails at his or her task, the bonding company will pay the aggrieved party an amount up to the value of the bond. (2) An interest-bearing document issued by a government or company as evidence of a debt. A bond provides pre-determined payments at a set date to the bond holder. Bonds may be 'registered' bonds, which provide payment to the bond holder whose name is recorded with the issuer and appears on the bond certificate, or 'bearer' bonds, which provide payments to whomever holds the bond in-hand.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

BOARD OF COUNTY COM'RS v. Rohrbach

... Tatum v. Basin Res., Inc., 141 P.3d 863, 867 (Colo.App.2005). IV. Zoning. ... B. Various Zoning Maps. The County's deputy clerk testified that she had seen the July 5, 1983 map sometime in the past, but it could not currently be located. ...

Lieb v. Trimble

Benjamin B. LIEB, an individual, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Dixie TRIMBLE, solely in her official capacity as member of the Board of Adjustment for Zoning Appeals for the City and County of Denver; Penny Elder, solely in her official capacity as member of the Board of Adjustment for ...

IBC DENVER II, LLC. v. City of Wheat Ridge

... IBC purchased the property and tore down all but one of the buildings on the site. The property is currently zoned "Planned Industrial Development (PID) and Industrial (I)," and is so reflected in the Wheat Ridge Comprehensive Plan and on Wheat Ridge's official zoning map. ...