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LEGAL TERMS

LANDLORD

The owner of any real estate, such as a house, apartment building or land, that is leased or rented to another person, called the tenant.

MARITAL DEDUCTION

A deduction allowed by the federal estate tax laws for all property passed to a surviving spouse who is a U.S. citizen. This deduction (which really functions a... (more...)
A deduction allowed by the federal estate tax laws for all property passed to a surviving spouse who is a U.S. citizen. This deduction (which really functions as an exemption) allows anyone, even a billionaire, to pass his or her entire estate to a surviving spouse without any tax at all.

MEMORANDUM

(1) An informal written document. A memorandum may be used in any number of circumstances, but most lawyers are best acquainted with the interoffice memorandum-... (more...)
(1) An informal written document. A memorandum may be used in any number of circumstances, but most lawyers are best acquainted with the interoffice memorandum--a document prepared by a junior associate in a law office or a judge's law clerk outlining the facts, procedural elements and legal arguments involved in a particular legal matter. These memos are reviewed by senior lawyers and judges who use them to decide how to proceed with the case. (2) Any written record, including a letter or note, that proves that a contract exists between two parties. This type of memo may be enough to validate an oral (spoken) contract that would otherwise be unenforceable because of the statute of frauds. (Under the statute of frauds, an oral contract is invalid if it can't be completed within one year from the date the contract is made.)

ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE

A paperless method of entering into an electronic contract. To 'sign' a contract electronically, a person may be asked to click an 'I Accept' button or use a 'k... (more...)
A paperless method of entering into an electronic contract. To 'sign' a contract electronically, a person may be asked to click an 'I Accept' button or use a 'key' to encrypt (scramble) information that uniquely identifies the signer using a method called Public Key Infrastructure (PKI). Electronic signatures are as binding as those in ink.

TENANT

Anyone, including a corporation, who rents real property, with or without a house or structure, from the owner (called the landlord). The tenant may also be cal... (more...)
Anyone, including a corporation, who rents real property, with or without a house or structure, from the owner (called the landlord). The tenant may also be called the 'lessee.'

BEQUEST

The legal term for personal property (anything but real estate) left in a will.

DEBENTURE

A type of bond (an interest-bearing document that serves as evidence of a debt) that does not require security in the form of a mortgage or lien on a specific p... (more...)
A type of bond (an interest-bearing document that serves as evidence of a debt) that does not require security in the form of a mortgage or lien on a specific piece of property. Repayment of a debenture is guaranteed only by the general credit of the issuer. For example, a corporation may issue a secured bond that gives the bondholder a lien on the corporation's factory. But if it issues a debenture, the loan is not secured by any property at all. When a corporation issues debentures, the holders are considered creditors of the corporation and are entitled to payment before shareholders if the business folds.

UNIFORM TRANSFERS TO MINORS ACT

A statute, adopted by almost all states, that provides a method for transferring property to minors and arranging for an adult to manage it until the child is o... (more...)
A statute, adopted by almost all states, that provides a method for transferring property to minors and arranging for an adult to manage it until the child is old enough to receive it. See custodian.

EXCLUSIVE LICENSE

A valid contract in which a copyright owner authorizes another person or entity (called the licensee) to exclusively exercise one or more of the rights (or port... (more...)
A valid contract in which a copyright owner authorizes another person or entity (called the licensee) to exclusively exercise one or more of the rights (or portion of such rights) that belong to the copyright owner under the copyright. The licensee is said to 'own' the rights granted in the license and is referred to as a copyright owner.

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 ...