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Most Popular Legal Definitions

spousal support

Payments to an ex-spouse which are temporary or indefinite, designed to pool and share the income of both spouses for that period of time necessary for the lower-income spouse to become economically self-sufficient.

scienter

Latin for "having knowledge."

booby trap

A device set up to be triggered to harm or kill anyone entering the trap, such as a shotgun which will go off if a room is entered, or dynamite which will explode if the ignition key on an auto is turned. If a person sets up such a trap to protect his/her property, he/she will be liable for any injury or death even to an unwanted intruder such as a burglar. Setting a booby trap to even protect one's property is a crime.

dividend

A proportionate distribution of profits made in the form of a money payment to shareholders, by a for-profit corporation. Dividends are declared by a company's board of directors.

adultery

consensual sexual relations when one of the participants is legally married to another; still a crime in some states and in many states it is grounds for divorce for the spouse of the adulterer

positive law

Law proper, as opposed to moral laws, or to natural or "God-made" law.

acknowledge

1) to admit or concede 2) a notary public or other officer (such as a county clerk) verifying an individual's completion of a document, such as for the power of attorney, to make it certified as legal and suitable for recording

shareholder agreement

A contract between the shareholders of a company and the company itself, in which certain thing which would otherwise be the purview of the board of directors, are predetermined.

force majuere

French for an act of God; an inevitable, unpredictable act of nature.

liquidity

the ability and ease for assets to be turned in to cash