Glossary of Legal Terms – A
Abandonment – The giving up of rights voluntarily to property or other rights with no intention of reclaiming them.
Abet – Assisting, encouraging or arranging for someone to do something (usually a criminal acivity) .
Abrogate – To abolish, anul, repeal or cancel.
Abstract – Epitone or summary (ie:- historical summary of a person who owns property)
Abstract of title – A short history of a piece of land that lists any transfers in ownership, as well as any liabilities attached to it, such as mortgages.
Abuttals -Perimeter or boundry of a plot of land
Accessory – Person involved in helping to commit a crime but who is not present at the time of that crime. ‘Before the fact’ meaning prior to the crime. ‘After the fact’ meaning to be involved in the hiding or assisting the person/s who were at the involved at the scene of the crime.
Accomplice – Person who is party to the crime or the people involved directly with the criminal act.
Accord and satisfaction – An agreement to settle a contract dispute by accepting less than what’s due.
Acknowledgement – A statement you make in front of a notary public or other person who is authorized to administer oaths stating that a document bearing your signature was actually signed by you.
Acquittal: A decision by a judge or jury that a defendant in a criminal case is not guilty of a crime. An acquittal is not a finding of innocence; it is simply a conclusion that the prosecution has not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Act of God: An extraordinary and unexpected natural event, such as a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or even the sudden death of a person.Under the law of contracts, an act of God often serves as a valid excuse if one of the parties to the contract is unable to fulfill his or her duties — for instance, completing a construction project on time.
Ad idem: Of the same mind.
Affidavit: A written statement affirmed/sworn to be true.
Affirm: 1. To elect to proceed with a voidable contract.
2. To confirm the judgment of a lower court.
3. To declare that a statement or evidence is true.
Alienate: To transfer or dispose of property.
Ambiguity: Where a word or a phrase has more than one meaning.
Amend: To correct.
Ancillary orders: Orders incidental to the main orders, for example, an injunction.
Ante-nuptial: Before marriage; also Pre-nuptial.
Appeal: To apply to a higher court to review the decision of a lower court.
Appellant: The person who appeals.
Apportion: To proportionally divide
Appropriate: To set aside or apart.
Approval, on: Where possession of goods is given to someone who then has the option to keep them or not.
Arbitration: Resolution of a dispute by an appointed person.
Arm’s length, at: A transaction between “strangers”, where there is no relationship between the parties other than a legal one.
Arrest: To deprive a person of liberty or freedom of movement.
Assign: To transfer.
Assignee: Person to whom assignment is made.
Assignor: Person who assigns.
Attest: To witness.
Avoid: 1) To make void.
2) To evade.