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Real Estate, Employment, Contract, Business, Wrongful Termination
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LEGAL TERMS

UNJUST ENRICHMENT

A legal doctrine stating that if a person receives money or other property through no effort of his own, at the expense of another, the recipient should return ... (more...)
A legal doctrine stating that if a person receives money or other property through no effort of his own, at the expense of another, the recipient should return the property to the rightful owner, even if the property was not obtained illegally. Most courts will order that the property be returned if the party who has suffered the loss brings a lawsuit.

DIRECTOR

A member of the governing board of a corporation, typically elected at an annual meeting of the shareholders. Directors are responsible for making important bus... (more...)
A member of the governing board of a corporation, typically elected at an annual meeting of the shareholders. Directors are responsible for making important business decisions -- especially those that legally bind the corporation -- leaving day-to-day management to officers and employees of the corporation. For example, a decision to borrow money, lease an office or buy real property would normally be authorized by the board of directors. However, in the small business world, where it is common for owners to be directors, officers and employees simultaneously, distinctions dividing the roles and responsibilities of these groups are often blurred.

SEIZURE

The taking of physical evidence or property by law enforcement officials. This runs the gamut from taking blood for a drug test to impounding a car used in a ro... (more...)
The taking of physical evidence or property by law enforcement officials. This runs the gamut from taking blood for a drug test to impounding a car used in a robbery. The police must generally obtain a search warrant, or court order, before they can seize personal property.

SUBLEASE

A rental agreement or lease between a tenant and a new tenant (called a sublessee) who will either share the rental or take over from the first tenant. The subl... (more...)
A rental agreement or lease between a tenant and a new tenant (called a sublessee) who will either share the rental or take over from the first tenant. The sublessee pays rent directly to the tenant. The tenant is still completely responsible to the landlord for the rent and for any damage, including that caused by the sublessee. Most landlords prohibit subleases unless they have given prior written consent. Compare assignment.

CONTINGENCY

A provision in a contract stating that some or all of the terms of the contract will be altered or voided by the occurrence of a specific event. For example, a ... (more...)
A provision in a contract stating that some or all of the terms of the contract will be altered or voided by the occurrence of a specific event. For example, a contingency in a contract for the purchase of a house might state that if the buyer does not approve the inspection report of the physical condition of the property, the buyer does not have to complete the purchase.

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.)

MONTH-TO-MONTH TENANCY

A rental agreement that provides for a one-month tenancy that is automatically renewed each month unless either tenant or landlord gives the other the proper am... (more...)
A rental agreement that provides for a one-month tenancy that is automatically renewed each month unless either tenant or landlord gives the other the proper amount of written notice (usually 30 days) to terminate the agreement. Some landlords prefer to use month-to-month tenancies because it gives them the right to raise the rent after giving proper notice. This type of rental also provides a landlord with an easy way to get rid of troublesome tenants, because in most states month-to-month tenancies can be terminated for any reason.

QUIET ENJOYMENT

The right of a property owner or tenant to enjoy his or her property without interference. Disruption of quiet enjoyment may constitute a nuisance. Leases and r... (more...)
The right of a property owner or tenant to enjoy his or her property without interference. Disruption of quiet enjoyment may constitute a nuisance. Leases and rental agreements often contain a 'covenant of quiet enjoyment,' expressly obligating the landlord to see that tenants have the opportunity to live undisturbed.

UNCLEAN HANDS

A legal doctrine that prevents a plaintiff who has acted unethically in relation to a lawsuit from winning the suit or from recovering as much money as she woul... (more...)
A legal doctrine that prevents a plaintiff who has acted unethically in relation to a lawsuit from winning the suit or from recovering as much money as she would have if she had behaved honorably. For example, if a contractor is suing a homeowner to recover the price of work he did on the home, his failure to perform the work as specified would leave him with unclean hands.