Legal Definitions

Define That Term #295

Dictionary_2_2 Last week's term was Sunshine laws, which is defined as:

Statutes that provide public access to governmental agency meetings and records.

Roy Mura of the Coverage Counsel blog sent me an email with this guess--and got it right!

Sunshine laws = Freedom of Information Laws or FOIL statutes that provide access to “public records”, usually from municipal entities.  Like what the Buffalo News used to get the legal billings that formed the basis of this recent story:


This week's term is:


As always, educated guesses are welcome-dictionaries are not.

Define That Term #295

Dictionary_2 Last week's term was condonation, which is defined as:

One person's approval of another's activities, constituting a defense to a fault divorce. For example, if a wife did not object to her husband's adultery and later tries to use it as grounds for a divorce, he could argue that she had condoned his behavior and could perhaps prevent her from divorcing him on these grounds.

No one guessed this time around. 

Today's term is:

Sunshine laws.

As always, no dictionaries.

Define That Term #294

Dictionary_2 Last week's term was means test, which is defined as:

A formula that uses predefined income and expense categories to determine whether a debtor whose current monthly income is higher than the median family income for his or her state should be allowed to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Edward Wiest's guess was awfully close!

Today's term is:


As always, no dictionaries.

Define That Term # 292

Dictionary_2 The most recent term was in terrorem, which is defined as:

Latin meaning "in fear." This phrase is used to describe provisions in contracts or wills meant to scare a person into complying with the terms of the agreement. For example, a will might state that an heir will forfeit her inheritance if she challenges the validity of the will. Of course, if the will is challenged and found to be invalid, then the clause itself is also invalid and the heir takes whatever she would have inherited if there were no will.

Edward Wiest got it right!

Today's term is:

effluxion of time.

As always, no dictionaries, please.

Define That Term #290

Dictionary_2 Last week's term was nonobviousness, which is defined as:

A requirement for obtaining a patent. An invention is nonobvious if it would be viewed as an unexpected or surprising development by someone skilled in the technology of the particular field. For example, Babe Ruth III invents an electronic device that can signal whether a pitch is a ball or a strike. Babe's patent application is rejected on the ground that similar technology has been developed for television commentators and that Babe's invention extending these prior art developments to the game itself is obvious (in patent-speak, it "lacks nonobviousness") and is therefore not patentable.

Edward WIest got it right!

Today's term is:


As always, no dictionaries, please.