Legal Terms ( E )

Earnest Payment: This is a kind of deposit made in real estate transactions, where the money signifies the commitment to the contract and the project. The remaining money has to be paid on a particular date or after certain conditions are fulfilled.

Ear Witness: A ear witness is similar to an eyewitness, but as the name suggests, an ear witness testifies in court that he has heard something, instead of actually seeing it.

Easement: An easement is a right annexed to land. It is the right held by a person to use the land belonging to another person for a special purpose.

Ecclesiastical Law: The part of law which regulates the administration and rights and obligations of the Church of England.

E-commerce: E-commerce means electronic selling of goods or service over the Internet.

Eighth Amendment: The Eighth Amendment to the constitution of the United States prohibits the Federal Government from imposing excessive bail, fines or cruel punishments. The Eighth Amendment was adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights.

Ejusdem or Ejusdem Generis: The rule of ejusdem generis means that when particular words forming part of the same class or same category are followed by general words, then the general words must be construed in the context of particular words.

Emancipation: When a minor has achieved independence from his parents either by attaining the age of majority, getting married or fully self-supporting. It is also possible for a minor to get emancipated by getting a order from the court.

Embezzle: Fraudulent misappropriation of money or assets by an agent or employee, who is entrusted to manage those assets.

Eminent Domain: Government’s power of compulsory acquisition of private property for public use is called an eminent domain.

Emolument: The advantage or benefit which the employee is entitled to by virtue of his office or employment in addition to his salary.

Emphyteusis: A right subject to assignment and descent, charged on productive real estate. The person who has this right can enjoy the property on the condition of taking care of the estate or paying taxes or rent annually.

Enactment: The act of passing of a bill by a legislative approval and sanction, after which it is established as a law.

Encumbrance: It is a burden (claim, lien or liability) attached to the land or interest in land by the owner of the land. Examples are charge, mortgage, etc.

Endorsement: Endorsement is to inscribe or sign one’s name on the back of a check in order to obtain cash or credit represented on the face of it.

Endowment: Endowment is an act or process of providing money or property for a particular reason or purpose. It is usually given gratuitously to any institution whose income is derived from donations.

Equity: Equity is a body of rules that are present besides the common law. It is usually used by judges in case they feel that the common law is not suitable for that particular case to achieve a just result.

Escheat: The process by which a person forfeits his property to the state if he dies without any heirs or descendants.

Escrow: Prior to closing a sale, occasionally a deed or some funds are delivered to a neutral third person to be delivered to the other party or parties, upon the performance of a condition like payment of money, etc. It is then said to be delivered as an escrow.

Estate: An estate denotes all the property which a person owns, including personal property, real property, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, etc., at the time of his death.

Estate Law: It is the part of law which governs the rights of an owner with respect to his property when he dies, i.e. wills and probates.

Estoppel: Estoppel is a rule of law that prevents a person from denying or asserting certain facts on account of his own actions which resulted in proving those facts earlier. The court does not allow a contradiction of something that you have already accepted as true.

Euthanasia: Commonly known as mercy killing, euthanasia is the act of bringing about the death or deliberately ending the life of a person who is terminally ill.

Evasion (tax): A deliberate attempt of avoiding to pay tax by fraudulent means is called evasion of tax.

Eviction: Any wrongful act of a permanent nature done by the landlord with the intention of depriving the tenant of enjoyment of the premises.

Evidence: It is the usual means of proving or disproving a fact or matter in issue. This information is presented to a judge to convince the court of the facts. Evidence can be oral, documentary, circumstantial, direct or hearsay.

Examination in Chief: The examination of a witness by the counsel that calls him to testify is called examination in chief.

Excise: A tax levied by the Federal or State Government on the manufacture of goods within the country, sale of goods or services of a particular occupation.

Execution: This legal term in a wider sense, refers to the enforcement of or giving effect to the judgments or orders of the courts. It can also mean carrying out of a death sentence.

Executor: An executor is a person to whom the last will of a deceased person is, by the testators appointment, confided.

Executory Contract: A contract in which something is to be done after the contract is concluded.

Ex Parte: The Latin expression means ‘for one party’, where the court allows only one party to be present to pass an order for the benefit of that party itself. This is an exception to the general rule where both the parties have to be present for the judge to pass an order.

Ex Post Facto: This means ‘after the fact’. These laws make an act which was legal when committed, illegal after committing it. These laws are specifically prohibited by the US Constitution, Article I, Section 9.

Expropriation: Confiscation of private property or rights by a government authority, with the purpose of public interest or maintaining social equality.

Express Trust: An express trust is a trust expressly declared by a will, deed or any written instrument or can be created orally too. For constituting an express trust, three matters have to be designed – the property subject to the trust, the persons to be benefited and the interests which have to be taken.

Expunge: The official and intentional destruction or erasure of records or information. When an offender who is a minor reaches majority, his records are expunged.

Extortion: An act of obtaining property or valuable security by intentionally putting a person in fear of injury or even dishonestly inducing a person.

Extradition: Extradition is a process whereby under treaty or upon basis of reciprocity one state surrenders to another state at its request, a person accused or convicted of a criminal offense committed against the laws of the requesting state.

Ex Turpi Causa Non Oritur Actio: This Latin doctrine means “an action does not arise from a base cause,” i.e. a claimant will not be able to take action on an act which arises out of his own illegal act.

Extrinsic Evidence: Evidence regarding a contract that is not included in the written version of the contract like the circumstances that surround the contract or statements made by the parties. The court can use extrinsic evidence, if it feels that the contract is ambiguous in nature.

Eyewitness: A person who was actually present at an event and saw the event, usually a crime and testifies in court is called an eyewitness.


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