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LEGAL TERMS

FAILURE OF CONSIDERATION

The refusal or inability of a contracting party to perform its side of a bargain.

EVIDENCE

The many types of information presented to a judge or jury designed to convince them of the truth or falsity of key facts. Evidence typically includes testimony... (more...)
The many types of information presented to a judge or jury designed to convince them of the truth or falsity of key facts. Evidence typically includes testimony of witnesses, documents, photographs, items of damaged property, government records, videos and laboratory reports. Rules that are as strict as they are quirky and technical govern what types of evidence can be properly admitted as part of a trial. For example, the hearsay rule purports to prevent secondhand testimony of the 'he said, she said' variety, but the existence of dozens of exceptions often means that hairsplitting lawyers can find a way to introduce such testimony into evidence. See also admissible evidence, inadmissible evidence.

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.

RUNNING WITH THE LAND

A phrase used in property law to describe a right or duty that remains with a piece of property no matter who owns it. For example, the duty to allow a public b... (more...)
A phrase used in property law to describe a right or duty that remains with a piece of property no matter who owns it. For example, the duty to allow a public beach access path across waterfront property would most likely pass from one owner of the property to the next.

LEASE OPTION

A contract in which an owner leases her house (usually for one to five years) to a tenant for a specific monthly rent, and which gives the tenant the right to b... (more...)
A contract in which an owner leases her house (usually for one to five years) to a tenant for a specific monthly rent, and which gives the tenant the right to buy the house at the end of the lease period for a price established in advance. A lease option is often a good arrangement for a potential home buyer because it lets him move into a house he may buy without having to come up with a down payment or financing at that time.

INCIDENTS OF OWNERSHIP

Any control over property. If you give away property but keep an incident of ownership--for example, you give away an apartment building but retain the right to... (more...)
Any control over property. If you give away property but keep an incident of ownership--for example, you give away an apartment building but retain the right to receive rent--then legally, no gift has been made. This distinction can be important if you're making large gifts to reduce your eventual estate tax.

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.

COOLING-OFF RULE

A rule that allows you to cancel a contract within a specified time period (typically three days) after signing it. Federal cooling-off rules apply this three-d... (more...)
A rule that allows you to cancel a contract within a specified time period (typically three days) after signing it. Federal cooling-off rules apply this three-day grace period to sales made door-to-door and anywhere other than a seller's normal place of business, such as at a trade show. Another federal cooling-off rule lets you cancel a home improvement loan or second mortgage within three days of signing. Various states have cooling-off rules that sometimes apply even longer cancellation periods to specific types of sales, such as dancing lessons and timeshares.

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.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

W & W PARTNERSHIP v. PRINCE WILLIAM BZA

... at 705, 554 SE2d at 54. In Stigall, the landowner's parcel of property was physically divided when the Commonwealth acquired, by eminent domain, a portion of the parcel for the construction of a freeway. Id. at 700, 554 SE2d at 51. ...

Kitchen v. City of Newport News

... sought "monetary compensation from the City under Article I, § 11 [of the Virginia Constitution] `upon an implied contract' that the City will pay Plaintiffs `such amount as would have been awarded if the property had been condemned under the eminent domain statute.'" (quoting ...

TACO BELL OF AMERICA v. COM. TRANSP. COM'R

... Because the parties were unable to agree on the compensation amount due to Taco Bell for the taking, the Commissioner filed a Petition in Condemnation in 480 accordance with Virginia's eminent domain statutes, Code §§ 25.1-100 et seq. and 33.1-89 et seq. ...