Bail - Money or other
security (such as a bail bond) provided to the court to
temporarily allow a person's release from jail and assure their
appearance in court. "Bail" and "Bond" are
often used interchangeably. (Applies mainly to state courts.)
Bail bond - An obligation
signed by the accused to secure his or her presence at the trial.
This obligation means that the accused may lose money by not
properly appearing for the trial. Often referred to simply as
Bailiff - An officer of
the court responsible for keeping order and maintaining
appropriate courtroom decorum and has custody of the jury.
Bankruptcy - Refers to
statutes and judicial proceedings involving persons or businesses
that cannot pay their debts and seek the assistance of the court
in getting a fresh start. Under the protection of the bankruptcy
court, debtors may be released from or "discharged" from
their debts, perhaps by paying a portion of each debt. Bankruptcy
judges preside over these proceedings. The person with the debts
is called the debtor and the people or companies to whom the
debtor owes money are called creditors.
Bankruptcy Judge - The
judge who determines whether a debtor is entitled to a discharge
Bankruptcy law - The area
of federal law dealing with the handling of bankrupt persons or
Bar 1. - Historically, the
partition separating the general public from the space occupied by
the judges, lawyers, and other participants in a trial. 2. More
commonly, the term means the who body of lawyers.
Bar examination - A state
examination taken by prospective lawyers in order to be admitted
and licensed to practice law.
Battery - A beating, or
wrongful physical violence. The actual threat to use force is an
"assault;" the use of it is a battery, which usually
includes an assault.
Bench - The seat occupied
by the judge. More broadly, the court itself.
Bench trial - (Also known
as court trial.) Trial without a jury in which a judge decides the
Bench warrant - An order
issued by a judge for the arrest of a person.
Beneficiary - Someone
named to receive property or benefits in a will. In a trust, a
person who is to receive benefits from the trust.
Bequeath - To give a gift
to someone through a will.
Bequests - Gifts made in a
Best evidence - Primary
evidence; the best evidence available. Evidence short of this is
"secondary." That is, an original letter is "best
evidence," and a photocopy is "secondary evidence."
Beyond a reasonable doubt
- The standard in a criminal case requiring that the jury be
satisfied to a moral certainty that every element of a crime has
been proven by the prosecution. This standard of proof does not
require that the state establish absolute certainty by eliminating
all doubt, but it does require that the evidence be so conclusive
that all reasonable doubts are removed from the mind of the
Bill of particulars - A
statement of the details of the charge made against the defendant.
Bind over - To hold a
person for trial on bond (bail) or in jail. If the judicial
official conducting a hearing finds probable cause to believe the
accused committed a crime, the official will bind over the
accused, normally by setting bail for the accused's appearance at
trial. (This is a state court procedure.)
Bond (See bail bond.) - A
written agreement by which a person insures he will pay a certain
sum of money if he does not perform certain duties property.
Bound supplement - A
supplement to a book or books to update the service bound in
Booking - The process of
photographing, fingerprinting, and recording identifying data of a
suspect. This process follows the arrest.
Breach - The breaking or
violating of a law, right, or duty, either by commission or
omission. The failure of one part to carry out any condition of a
Breach of contract - An
unjustified failure to perform when performance is due.
Brief - A written argument
by counsel arguing a case, which contains a summary of the facts
of the case, pertinent laws, and an argument of how the law
applies to the fact situation. Also called a memorandum of law.
Burden of proof - In the
law of evidence, the necessity or duty of affirmatively proving a
fact or facts in dispute on an issue raised between the parties in
a lawsuit. The responsibility of proving a point (the burden of
proof). It deals with which side must establish a point or points.
(See standard of proof.)
Burglary - The act of
illegal entry with the intent to steal.
Business bankruptcy - A
proceeding under the Bankruptcy Code filed by a business entity.
Bylaws - Rules or laws
adopted by an association or corporation to govern its actions.
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