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Most Popular Legal Definitions

petty offense

A minor crime; the punishment is usually just a small fine or short term of imprisonment.


A sentence of a person found guilty of a crime in which that person does not receive a criminal record of conviction, either absolutely or conditionally.


The right of a landlord to seize the property of a tenant which is in the premises being rented, as collateral against a tenant that has not paid the rent or has otherwise defaulted on 
the lease, such as wanton disrepair or destruction of the premises.

demand letter

a letter from a lawyer, on behalf a client, that demands payments or some other action, which is allegedly due or in default


A document in which a corporation sets out the material details of a share or bond issue and invites the public to invest by purchasing them.

out-of-court settlement

An agreement between two litigants to settle a matter privately before the court has rendered its decision.


1) what is commonly called a "check" by which the signer requires the bank to pay a third party a sum of money; this is a holdover from the days when a person would draw up a "bill of exchange" 2) a statement of what is owed 3) any paper money 4) legislative proposal for the enactment of a law; it is called a bill until it is passed and signed, at which time it is a law (statute) and is no longer referred to as a bill 5) an old-fashioned term for various filed documents in lawsuits or criminal prosecutions, which is falling into disuse


A special legal advantage or right such as a benefit, exemption, or immunity.


The act of intentionally and permanently giving something away as referred to a child or wife, 2.) relinquishment as referred to a right or estate 3.) careless demonstration of freedom (reckless abandonment)

lex loci

Latin, the law of a place as in where a right was acquired or a liability incurred.