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LEGAL TERMS

NONCOMPETITION AGREEMENT

An agreement, generally included in an employment contract or a contract for the sale of a business, where one party agrees not to compete with the other party ... (more...)
An agreement, generally included in an employment contract or a contract for the sale of a business, where one party agrees not to compete with the other party for a specific period of time and within a particular area. Salespeople, for example, often sign noncompetition agreements that prevent them from using the contacts gained by one employer to benefit another employer. Or a salesperson may sign what is known as a 'noncompete,' agreeing not to sell within a particular area, or even work in the same type of business. In some states, such as California, courts view noncompetition agreements with disfavor and will not enforce them unless the restrictions are very narrow. In other states, courts routinely uphold them.

ENCROACHMENT

The building of a structure entirely or partly on a neighbor's property. Encroachment may occur due to faulty surveying or sheer obstreperousness on the part of... (more...)
The building of a structure entirely or partly on a neighbor's property. Encroachment may occur due to faulty surveying or sheer obstreperousness on the part of the builder. Solutions range from paying the rightful property owner for the use of the property to the court-ordered removal of the structure.

INTANGIBLE PROPERTY

Personal property that has no physical existence, such as stocks, bonds, bank notes, trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks. Such 'untouchable' items... (more...)
Personal property that has no physical existence, such as stocks, bonds, bank notes, trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks. Such 'untouchable' items may be represented by a certificate or license that fixes or approximates the value, but others (such as the goodwill or reputation of a business) are not easily valued or embodied in any instrument. Compare tangible property.

RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP

The right of a surviving joint tenant to take ownership of a deceased joint tenant's share of the property. See joint tenancy.

ASSIGNMENT

A transfer of property rights from one person to another, called the assignee.

WORK MADE FOR HIRE

A work created by an employee within the scope of employment or a work commissioned an author under contract. With a work for hire, the author and copyright own... (more...)
A work created by an employee within the scope of employment or a work commissioned an author under contract. With a work for hire, the author and copyright owner of a work is the person who pays for it, not the person who creates it. The premise of this principle is that a business that authorizes and pays for a work owns the rights to the work. There are two distinct ways that a work will be classified as 'made for hire.'the work is created by an employee within the scope of employment; or the work is commissioned, is the subject of a written agreement, and falls within a special group of categories (a contribution to a collective work, a part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, a translation, a supplementary work, a compilation, an atlas, an instructional text, a test, or as answer material for a test). The work made for hire status of a work affects the length of copyright protection and termination rights.

EMINENT DOMAIN

The power of the federal or state government to take private property for a public purpose, even if the property owner objects. The Fifth Amendment to the Unite... (more...)
The power of the federal or state government to take private property for a public purpose, even if the property owner objects. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows the government to take private property if the taking is for a public use and the owner is 'justly compensated' (usually, paid fair market value) for his or her loss. A public use is virtually anything that is sanctioned by a federal or state legislative body, but such uses may include roads, parks, reservoirs, schools, hospitals or other public buildings. Sometimes called condemnation, taking or expropriation.

BORDER PATROL

The historical term for what is now called the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection ('BCBP'), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security. The primary fu... (more...)
The historical term for what is now called the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection ('BCBP'), a branch of the Department of Homeland Security. The primary functions of the BCBP/border patrol are to guard the borders from illegal entrants and to meet and question immigrants and visitors arriving at airports and other border stops.

TANGIBLE PERSONAL PROPERTY

Personal property that can be felt or touched. Examples include furniture, cars, jewelry and artwork. However, cash and checking accounts are not tangible perso... (more...)
Personal property that can be felt or touched. Examples include furniture, cars, jewelry and artwork. However, cash and checking accounts are not tangible personal property. The law is unsettled as to whether computer data is tangible personal property. Compare intangible property.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

Martin Brothers Construction, Inc. v. Thompson Pacific Construction, Inc.

The subcontracts provided that Thompson Pacific would make monthly progress payments to Martin Brothers of "95% of labor and materials which have been placed in final position and for which the right to payment has been properly documented pursuant to the terms of this ...

Goldstein v. Barak Construction

Respondents own a residence in Los Angeles, California. In June 2004, Weisz represented to respondents that he was personally engaged in the business of residential construction and remodeling and that Barak was "his" company. Weisz also stated that both he and Barak ...

State Building and Construction Trades Council v. Duncan

STATE BUILDING AND CONSTRUCTION TRADES COUNCIL OF CALIFORNIA, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. John C. DUNCAN as Director, etc., et al., Defendants and Appellants; Southern California Housing Development Corporation, Real Party In Interest and Appellant. State ...