Glossary of Tort Law Terms
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Elective Share: Refers to
probate laws that allow a spouse to take a certain portion of an estate when the
other spouse dies, regardless of what was written in the spouse's will.
Emancipation: When a minor
has achieved independence from his or her parents, often by getting married
before reaching age 18 or by becoming fully self-supporting.
En Banc: "In the
bench" or "full bench." Refers to court sessions with the entire
membership of a court participating rather than the usual quorum. U.S. courts of
appeals usually sit in panels of three judges, but may expand to a larger number
in certain cases. They are then said to be sitting en banc.
Encumbrance: Any claim or
restriction on a property's title.
Equal Protection Clause:
Portion of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that prohibits
discrimination by state government institutions. The clause grants all people
"equal protection of the laws," which means that the states must apply
the law equally and cannot give preference to one person or class of persons
Establishment Clause: Portion
of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that prohibits government from
"establishing" a religion.
Estate: All the property a
Evidence: The various things
presented in court to prove an alleged fact. May include testimony, documents,
photographs, maps and video tapes.
Ex Parte: Latin that means
"by or for one party." Refers to situations in which only one party
(and not the adversary) appears before a judge. Such meetings are often
Executor: Person named in a
will to oversee and manage an estate.
Exigent Circumstances: Emergency
Expert Witness: A witness
with a specialized knowledge of a subject who is allowed to discuss an event in
court even though he or she was not present. For example, an arson expert could
testify about the probable cause of a suspicious fire.
Express Warranty: An
assertion or promise concerning goods or services. Statements such as "This
air conditioner will cool a five-room house," or "We will repair any
problems in the first year" are express warranties.