1) written legal argument, usually in a format prescribed by the courts, stating the legal reasons for the suit based on statutes, regulations, case precedents, legal texts, and reasoning applied to facts in the particular situation 2)  to summarize a precedent, case, or lay out in writing a legal argument; attentive law students "brief" each case in their casebooks, which means extracting the rule of law, the reasoning (rationale), the essential facts, and the outcome. 3) to give a summary of important information to another person


in general, a person who arranges contracts between a buyer and seller for a commission

Bucket Shop

an unofficial and usually illegal betting operation in which the prices of stocks and commodities are posted and the customers bet on the rise and fall of prices without actually buying stock, commodities, or commodity failures

Building And Loan

another name for savings and loans association

Bulk Sales Act

state laws which require a seller of the business including his/her inventory to a) publish notice of the sale b) give written notice to all creditors c) set up an escrow of the funds realized from the sale upon which the creditors can make a claim for a brief period of time; these statutes are intended to prevent a merchant from quietly selling his/her business inventory and disappearing without paying current creditors

Burden Of Proof

the requirement that the plaintiff (the party bringing a civil lawsuit) show by a "preponderance of evidence" or "weight of evidence" that all the facts necessary to win a judgment are presented and are probably true; in a criminal trial the burden of proof required of the prosecutor is to prove the guilt of the accused "beyond a reasonable doubt," a much more difficult task


the crime of breaking and entering into a structure for the purpose of committing a crime


any activity or enterprise entered into for profit; it does not mean it is a company, a corporation, partnership, or has any such formal organization, but it is sometimes significant to determine if an accident, visit, travel, meal or other activity was part of "business" or for pleasure or no particular purpose

But For Rule

one of several tests to determine if a defendant is responsible for a particular happening; in this test, was there any other cause, or would it have occurred "but for" the defendant's actions? (For example, a speeding motorist loses control and kills someone. Was there any other cause but for the defendants actions that would have caused this incident?)

Buy-sell Agreement

contract among owners of a business which provides terms for their purchase of a withdrawing partner's or stockholder's interest in the enterprise