Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition

Canadian Law Dictionary.

A; B;  C; D; E; F; G & H; I; J; L; M; N; O; P; Q; R; S; T; U; V; W;

 

Easement:
The right held by one person to make use of the land held by another person for a limited interest.  For example, a utility may have an easement over a piece of real property which allows that utility to have, for example, electrical power lines running over that property.

Effective Date:
The date an agreement comes into force.

Effluxion:
Flowing out; e.g., an effluxion of funds.

Emancipation:
Term used to describe the act of freeing a person who was under the legal authority of another (such as a child before the age of majority) from that control (such as child reaching the age of majority).

Embezzle:
The illegal transfer of money or property that, although possessed legally by the embezzler, is diverted to the embezzler personally by his or her fraudulent action.

Eminent Domain:
USA: The legal power to expropriate private land for the sake of public necessity.

Emolument:
A legal word which refers to all wages, benefits or other benefit received as compensation for holding some office or employment.

Emphyteusis:
Civil law: a long-term (many years or in perpetuity) rental of land or buildings including the exclusive enjoyment of all product of that land and the exercise of all property rights typically reserved for the property owner such as mortgaging the property for the term of the emphyteusis or permitting a right of way.

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Emptio or Emtio:
Latin for "purchase" or the contract in which something is bought.

Enactment:
A law or a statute; a document which is published as an enforceable set of written rules is said to be "enacted".

Encumbrances:
Those charges or the security that attaches to any kind of property.  For example, if there is a mortgage on a piece of property, then the property is said to be encumbered by that mortgage.

Endorsement:
Something written on the back of a document. In the laws of bills of exchange, an endorsement is a signature on the back of the bill of exchange by which the person to whom the note is payable transfers it by thus making the note payable to the bearer or to a specific person. An endorsement of claim means that if you want to ask a court to issue a writ against someone, you have to "endorse" your writ with a concise summary of the facts supporting the claim, sometimes called a statement of claim.

Endowment:
The transfer of money or property (usually as a gift) to a public organization for a specific purpose, such as medical research or scholarships.

Enduring Power of Attorney:
An Enduring Power of Attorney allows you to appoint a trusted individual who will have authority to run your affairs while you are mentally incapacitated. Sometimes referred to as a "Durable Power of Attorney" or "Springing Power of Attorney".

Entrapment:
The inducement, by law enforcement officers or their agents, of another person to commit a crime for the purposes of bringing charges for the commission of that artificially-provoked crime.

Equity:
A branch of English law which developed hundreds of years ago when litigants would go to the King and complain of harsh or inflexible rules of common law which prevented "justice" from prevailing. For example, strict common law rules would not recognize unjust enrichment, which was a legal relief developed by the equity courts. The typical Court of Equity decision would prevent a person from enforcing a common law court judgment. The kings delegated this special judicial review power over common law court rulings to chancellors. A new branch of law developed known as "equity", with their decisions eventually gaining precedence over those of the common law courts. A whole set of equity law principles were developed based on the predominant "fairness" characteristic of equity such as "equity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy" or "he who comes to equity must come with clean hands". Many legal rules, in countries that originated with English law, have equity-based law such as the law of trusts and mortgages.

Escheat:
Where property is returned to the government upon the death of the owner, because there is nobody to inherit the property. Escheat is based on the Latin principle of dominion directum as was often used in the feudal system when a tenant died without heirs or if the tenant was convicted of a felony.

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Escrow:
The holding on to of money or a written document, such as shares or a deed, until certain conditions are met by the two contracted parties.

Estate:
Under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, the name given to the file or bankruptcy estate.

Estoppel:
A person's own acts, statement of facts or acceptance of facts which preclude his later making claims to the contrary.

Estate Law:
A term used by the law to decribe that part of the law which regulates wills, probate and other subjects related to the distribution of a deceased person's "estate".

Estoppel:
A rule of law that when person A, by act or words, gives person B reason to believe a certain set of facts upon which person B takes action, person A cannot later, to his (or her) benefit, deny those facts or say that his (or her) earlier act was improper.

Euthanasia:
The putting to death, by painless method, of a terminally-ill or severely debilitated person through the omission (intentionally withholding a life-saving medical procedure, also known as "passive euthanasia") or commission of an act ("active euthanasia'). See also living will.

Equity:
This refers to the excess that the value of a piece of property has over any charges or encumbrances against that piece of property.

Even Hand Rule:
The even hand rule specifies that if there are two or more beneficiaries of a trust, the trustee must neither give advantage to, nor impose a burden on, any beneficiary when that advantage or burden is not set out in the terms of the trust. In other words, the trustee cannot undertake any action that will unduly favour one beneficiary over another.

Ex Aequo et Bono:
Latin for "in justice and fairness." Something to be decided ex aequo et bono is something that is to be decided by principles of what is fair and just. Most legal cases are decided on the strict rule of law. For example, a contract will be normally upheld and enforced by the legal system no matter how "unfair" it may prove to be. But a case to be decided ex aequo et bono, overrides the strict rule of law and requires instead a decision based on what is fair and just given the circumstances.

Examination-in-Chief:
The questioning of your own witness under oath. Witnesses are introduced to a trial by their examination-in-chief, which is when they answer questions asked by the lawyer representing the party which called them to the stand. After their examination-in-chief, the other party's lawyer can question them too; this is called "cross-examination".

Exculpate:
Something that excuses or justifies a wrong action.

Executor:
A person specifically appointed by a testator to administer the will ensuring that final wishes are respected (i.e. that the will is properly "executed"). An executor is a personal representative.

Exhibit:
A document or object shown to the court as evidence in a trial. They are each given a number or letter by the court clerk as they are introduced for future reference during the trial.

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Ex Parte:
For one party only.  Ex parte refers to those proceedings where one of the parties has not received notice and therefore is neither present nor represented in a court of law.

Examination For Discovery:
A legal proceeding whereby one party examines the party on the other side, usually under oath for the purpose of confirming facts and perhaps obtaining admissions from that other party.

Execution:
To carry out.

Exemptions:
Under the Court Order Enforcement Act  effective May 1, 1998 (in British Columbia), there are certain assets that are exempt from seizure by any execution creditor or by a Trustee in Bankruptcy.

Ex Patriate:
A person who has abandoned his or her country of origin and citizenship and has become a subject or citizen of another country.

Ex Post Facto:
Latin: after the fact. Legislation is called ex post facto if the law attempts to extend backwards in time and punish acts committed before the date of the law's approval. Such laws are constitutionally prohibited in most modern democracies.

Expropriation:
Canada: the forced sale of land to a public authority.

Express Trust:
A trust which is clearly created by the settlor, usually in the form of a document (eg. a will), although they can be oral. They are to be contrasted with trusts which come to being through the operation of the law and which do not result from the clear intent or decision of any settlor to create a trust (eg. constructive trust).

Expunge:
To strike out; to obliterate, erase or mark for deletion.

Ex Rel:
An abbreviation of "ex relatione", Latin for "on the relation of." Refers to information or action taken that is not based on first-hand experience but is based on the statement or account of another person.

Extortion:
Forcing a person to give up property in a thing through the use of violence, fear or under pretense of authority.

Extradition:
The arrest and delivery of a fugitive wanted for a crime committed in another country, usually under the terms of an extradition treaty.

Ex Turpi Causa Non Oritur Actio:
Latin: "Of an illegal cause there can be no lawsuit." In other words, if one is engaged in illegal activity, one cannot sue another for damages that arose out of that illegal activity. A example is an injury suffered by a passenger in a stolen car, which that passenger knew to be stolen and was a free participant in the joyriding. If vehicle crashes injuring the passenger, there is no action in tort against the driver under the ex turpi causa non oritur actio principle.

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