An order compelling a person to appear to testify or produce documents.


The closing argument in a trial.


a legal document that notifies a party that a lawsuit has been initiated and states when and where the party must appear to answer the charges.

Tangible Personal Property:

Anything other than real estate or money, including furniture, cars, jewelry and china.

Tenancy In Common:

a type of joint ownership that allows a person to sell his share or leave it in a will without the consent of the other owners. If a person dies without a will, his share goes to his heirs, not to the other owners.

Testamentary Trust:

a trust created by the provisions in a will. Typically comes into existence after the writer of the will dies.


The person who makes a will.


Ownership of property.

Title Search:

a review of the land records to determine the ownership and description of the property.


a civil wrong that result in an injury to a person or property.

Totten Trust:

a bank account in your name for which you name a beneficiary. Upon the death of the named holder of the account the money transfers automatically to the beneficiary.

Trade Name:

The name used to identify a business.


a word, name or symbol used to identify products sold or services provided by a business. Distinguishes the products or services of one business from those of others in the same field. a business using a trademark has the right to prevent other businesses from using it and can get money to compensate for its infringement.


Property given to a trustee to manage for the benefit of a third person. Generally the beneficiary gets interest and dividends on the trust assets for a set number of years.


Person or institution that oversees and manages a trust.

Uniform Commercial Code:

a model statute covering things such as the sale of goods, credit, and bank transactions. All states have adopted and adapted the entire UCC, with the exception of Louisiana, which only adopted parts of it.

Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act:

Law that allows an order of child support issued in one state to be enforced in another state.

Unjust Taking:

When the government acquires private property and fails to compensate an owner fairly. a taking can occur even without the actual physical seizure of property, such as when a government regulation has substantially devalued a property.

Valid Claim:

a grievance that can be resolved by legal action.


The formal decision issued by a jury on the issues of fact that were presented at trial.

Vested Right:

An absolute right. When a retirement plan is fully vested, the employee has an absolute right to the entire amount of money in the account.

Vicarious Liability:

When one person is liable for the negligent actions of another person, even though the first person was not directly responsible for the injury. For instance, a parent sometimes can be vicariously liable for the harmful acts of a child and an employer sometimes can be vicariously liable for the acts of a worker.

Visitation Right:

The right granted to a parent or other relative to visit a child on a specified basis. Usually occurs during a divorce proceeding.

Void Marriage:

One of two types of marriages that can be annulled. a void marriage is one that is void and invalid from its beginning. It is as though the marriage never existed and it requires no formality to terminate it. For instance, an incestuous marriage would likely be considered void.

Voidable Marriage:

a valid marriage that can be annulled if challenged, but that otherwise remains legitimate. For instance, if one of the parties was a minor at the time of marriage, the marriage could be annulled if challenged. If it's never challenged, the marriage is considered valid.

Voir Dire:

a French phrase that means "to speak the truth." The process of interviewing prospective jurors. Pronounced "vwa dear."

Wage Execution:

See garnishment.


An official order authorizing a specific act, such as an arrest or the search of someone's home.


a promise about a product made by either a manufacturer or a seller.


Person who comes to court and swears under oath to give truthful evidence.

Worker'S Compensation:

a benefit paid to an employee who suffers a work-related injury or illness.


a judicial order.

Wrongful Discharge:

When an employee is fired for reasons that are not legitimate, typically either because they are unlawful or because they violate the terms of an employment contract.


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