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Glossary of Legal Terms I

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IMPLIED TERM: in a contract or agreement, an implied term is one which is not actually written into the contract but nevertheless the parties to the contract will be expected to adhere to it. Implied terms can come from a number of sources, including a custom within a particular trade, a course of dealing between parties who have contracted on a number of occasions before or simply terms in other contracts which have been entered into before. However, the most common source of implied terms is statute law which may require that all contracts of a particular type take effect as if a particular term or clause had been included.

INDEMNITY: an indemnity is a payment or compensation by one person to another to make up for a loss which the other has suffered.

INDENTURE: an old legal term, an indenture is another word for a deed or even a contract such as for apprenticeship. The word comes from the Latin for "toothlike" and refer to the fact that originally it was a document which came in two parts and the toothed serrations or tear could be matched up to prove it was the same document.

INJUNCTION: an injunction is an order of the court stopping someone from doing a particular act which is against the rights of another person. Injunctions can take many forms from an injunction preventing a husband from entering the matrimonial home to an injunction preventing the publication of something which could be deemed to libelous. It is contempt of court to act in breach of an injunction.

INQUEST: an inquest is a formal enquiry by a court into the reasons for a person's death. It is presided over by a Coroner, who is an official (but not a judge) who acts in quasi-judicial capacity in directing a jury as to the kind of decision which it should reach. Usually an inquest will be held where there are suspicious circumstances surrounding the person's death or where the cause of death is unknown.

INSIDER DEALING: often in the news, insider dealing is where someone who has knowledge about a limited company's financial and trading position that is not known to the rest of the public (for example because they are employed by the company) buy and sell that company's securities and make a profit as a result.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: this is the term used to describe a number of different areas of property, including copyrights, patents and trademarks, all of which are capable of being owned but which do not necessarily exist in a tangible form.

INTESTATE: a person is said to have died intestate if they have died without making a will or if there is property which they own to which their will does not apply. The probate court appoints an administrator to distribute the deceased person's property according to state law.


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Steven J. Williams, P.C.
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