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Glossary Results - E

This is a Legal Dictionary for visitor reference. Please click on the letter below to search by alphabet or use the search form to find the term you are looking for.

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z  


easement - The right to use someone else's real estate for a specific purpose. The right to travel over another person's land is called the "right of way" and is the most common type of easement. Easements are usually granted by property owners for the placement of power lines, utility poles, utility trenches, or water lines. The owner of property that is subject to an easement is said to be "burdened" with the easement, because he or she is not allowed to interfere with its use.  

eavesdropping - Comes from the common law offense of listening to private conversations by crouching under the windows or eaves of a house. Eavesdropping occurs when someone listens to conversations or observes conduct which is meant to be private. It includes using electronic equipment to intercept telephone or other wire communications, or radio equipment to intercept broadcast communications.  

eggshell skull - A hypothetical medical condition used to illustrate the idea that if you are at fault when you injure someone, you are responsible for all the consequences, whether you could have foreseen them or not.  

egress - To exit, or the act of exiting.  

Electronic Funds Transfer Act - A federal law that gives you certain rights in the event that mistakes occur on your ATM or bank statements or if your ATM card is lost or stolen. Generally, you have a duty to report the mistake or lost card

Elements of a crime - Specific factors that define a crime which the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction: (1) that a crime has actually occurred, (2) that the accused intended the crime to happen, and (3) a timely relationship between the first two factors.

emancipation - Freeing someone from restraint or bondage.  

eminent domain - The power of the government to take private property for a public purpose. The government is afforded this power by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution which allows the government to take private property if the taking is for a public use and the owner is compensated for his or her loss.  

Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) - Pension law passed by the federal government to protect pension rights. The law sets minimum standards for pension plans, guaranteeing that pension rights cannot be unfairly denied to or taken from a worker, provides some protection for workers in the event certain types of pension plans cannot pay the benefits to which workers are entitled, and requires that employers provide full and clear information about employees' pension rights, including the way pension benefits accumulate, how the company invests pension funds, and when and how pension benefits can be collected.  

en banc - "As a full bench". Occurs when the entire membership of a court, rather than the usual number, participates in court session.  

encroachment - Occurs when a structure is built partly or entirely on a neighboring property.  

Enjoining - An order by the court telling a person to stop performing a specific act.

entity - A being, institution or organization that has its own legal or tax existence.  

Entrapment - The act of inducing a person to commit a crime so that a criminal charge will be brought against him or her.

Entry - A statement of conclusion reached by the court and placed in the court record.

Environment - The conditions, influences, or forces which affect the desirability and value of property, as well as the effect on people's lives.

Environmental Protection Act (EPA) - A federal agency created to permit coordinated and environment effective governmental action to preserve the quality of the agency.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) - Federal agency responsible for workplace discrimination complaints. The Commission was created in 1964 by the Civil Rights Act to administer and enforce prohibitions against discrimination in the workplace.  

Equal Protection of the Law - The guarantee in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that all persons be treated equally by the law.

equitable - Developed from English law and pertains to civil suits in "equity" rather than in "law".  

equitable distribution - Legal principle under which earnings and assets acquired during marriage are divided equitably fairly at divorce.  

Equity - Justice administered according to fairness; the spirit or habit of fairness in dealing with other persons.

escheat - The forfeit of all property to the state when a person dies without heirs.  

Escrow - Money or a written instrument such as a deed that, by agreement between two parties, is held by a neutral third party (held in escrow) until all conditions of the agreement are met.

Esquire - In the United States the title commonly appended after the name of an attorney. In English law a title of dignity next above gentleman and below knight. Title also given to barristers at law and others.

Estate - A persons property

estate planning - The area of law where one profitably manages his estate and passes his property to his loved ones with minimal dispute and expense when he dies. Estate planning can involve making wills, trusts, durable powers of attorney, or other documents.  

estate taxes - Taxes imposed on property by the government as it is passed from the dead to the living.  

Estoppel - An impediment that prevents a person from asserting or doing something contrary to his own previous assertion or act.

Ethics - of or relating to moral action and conduct; professionally with; conforming to professional standards.

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