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Terms and Definitions

# 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
There are 18 names in this directory beginning with the letter L.
Larceny
The felonious taking and carrying away of the personal property of another, without the person's consent, by someone who is not entitled to possession, with intent to deprive the owner of the property and to convert it to the use of the taker or another person other than the owner. Larceny is sometimes classified as either grand larceny or petit (petty) larceny, according to the value of the property taken or method employed.
Law
The legislative pronouncement of rules to guide one's actions in society; the total of those rules of conduct put in force by legislative authority or court decisions, or established by local custom.
Leading Question
A question posed by a trial lawyer that is sometimes improper because it suggests to the witness the answer he or she is to deliver, or in effect prompts answers in disregard of actual memory. For example: In direct examination during the trial, the witness is asked "Isn't it true that you saw Rich standing outside the store waiting for a friend when the robbery occurred?" That question would be objected to as a leading question since it suggests to the witness how he should explain or recall the event; instead of simply inquiring how the event actually took place. However, leading questions are proper as part of cross-examination is to test the credibility of the statement made during direct examination.
Lease
An agreement by the lessor (owner) temporarily to give up possession of property while retaining legal ownership (title); an agreement by the owner-landlord to turn over, for all purposes not prohibited by terms of the lease specifically described premises to exclusive possession of the lessee for a definite period and for a consideration commonly called rent.
Legacy
A deposition by will of property; synonymous with bequest but properly distinguished from devise, which is a disposition of real property.
Legal Aid Society
State-funded and state-administered offices established throughout the country to deliver legal services to financially needy litigants, that is, those unable to retain private counsel.
Liability
An obligation to do or refrain from doing something; a duty that eventually must be performed; an obligation to pay money owed, as opposed to an asset; responsibility for one's conduct, such as contractual liability, tort liability, criminal liability, etc.
Liable
Responsible for; obligated in law.
License
A grant of permission needed to legalize doing a particular thing, exercising a certain privilege or pursuing a particular business or occupation. Licenses may be granted by private persons or by governmental authority.
Lien
A charge, hold or claim upon the property of another as security for some debt or charge. The term connotes the right the law gives to have a debt satisfied out of the property to which it attaches, if necessary by the sale of the property.
Limited Jurisdiction
Refers to courts that are only authorized to hear and decide certain or special types of cases; also known as special jurisdiction. For example: The Court of Claims has limited jurisdiction to only hear claims against the United States based on certain types of violations. A small claims court is limited to a specified dollar amount that it can litigate.
Limited Liability
The limitation placed on the amount of investor of a corporation can lose resulting from a lawsuit against the corporation or other loss suffered by corporation; the liability for losses that is limited to the amount an investor or shareholder invests in the corporation. The corporation itself also enjoys limited liability in as much as the obligations are always limited to its assets unless, with regard to particular transactions, personal responsibility is assumed by an officer or shareholder of the corporation.
Lineup
The police procedure in which a person suspected of a crime is placed in a line with several other persons and a witness to the crime attempts to identify the suspect as the person who committed the crime. The procedure must not be "unduly suggestive," or the identification will not be admissible in a criminal trial.
Litigants
The parties actively involved in a lawsuit; plaintiffs or defendants involved in litigation.
Litigation
A judicial contest aimed at determining and enforcing legal rights.
Lobbyist
One engaged in the business of persuading legislators to pass laws that are favorable, and to defeat those that are unfavorable, to the interest of the lobbyist or of the lobbyist's clients.
Logrolling
Refers to schemes by legislators to force passage of desired bills without convincing their colleagues of the merits of their proposals. One type of logrolling is the inclusion under one bill of secondary bills, each of which probably would not be approved if voted on singly.
Loiter
To linger for no evident reason, particularly in a public place, around a school or transportation facility. There are criminal prohibition of such behavior as loitering for purposes of begging, gambling, soliciting another to engage in sexual intercourse, or for the purpose of selling or using of drugs.