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LEGAL DICTIONARY - LETTER T


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TAMPER
To interfere improperly or in violation of the law such as to tamper with a document. The term "jury tampering" means to illegally disrupt the independence of a jury member with a view to influencing that juror otherwise than by the production of evidence in open court.

TENANCY BY THE ENTIRETIES
A form of co-ownership in English law where, when a husband transferred land to his wife, the property could not be sold unless both spouses agreed nor could it be severed except by ending the marriage.

TENANT
A person to whom a landlord grants temporary and exclusive use of land or a part of a building, usually in exchange for rent. The contract for this type of legal arrangement is called a lease. The word "tenant" originated under the feudal system, referring to land "owners" who held their land on tenure granted by a lord.

TESTIFY 
To provide oral evidence under oath at a trial or at a deposition.

TESTIMONY
Oral evidence given under oath by a witness in answer to questions posed by attorneys at trial or at a deposition (questioning under oath outside of court).

TORT
Derived from the Latin word tortus which meant wrong. In French, "tort" means a wrong". Tort refers to that body of the law which will allow an injured person to obtain compensation from the person who caused the injury. Every person is expected to conduct themselves without injuring others. When they do so, either intentionally or by negligence, they can be required by a court to pay money to the injured party ("damages") so that, ultimately, they will suffer the pain cause by their action. Tort also serves as a deterrent by sending a message to the community as to what is unacceptable conduct.

TORT-FEASOR
Name given to a person or persons who have committed a tort.

TRACING
A legal proceeding taken under the law of equity where the plaintiff attempts to reclaim specific property, through the court, whether the property is still in the first acquirer's hands or it has passed onto others, and even if the property has been converted (related common law terms: conversion, trove and detinue). This is a procedure frequently used by a trust beneficiary to recover misappropriated trust property.

TRADEMARK 
A word, phrase, logo, symbol, color, sound or smell used by a business to identify a product and distinguish it from those of its competitors. If the business uses the name or logo to identify a service, such as photo copying, it is called a service mark. In practice, the legal protections for trademarks and service marks are identical.

TRANSFEREE
A person who receives property being transferred (the person from whom the property is moving is the transferor).

TRANSFEROR
A person from whom property moves. Property is transferred from the transferor to the transferor. I sell you my house and in transferring title to you, I am the transferor and you, the transferee.

TREATY
A formal agreement between two states signed by official representatives of each state. A treaty may be "law-making" in that it is the declared intention of the signatories to make or amend their internal laws to give effect to the treaty. The Berne Convention is an example of such as treaty. Other treaties are just contracts between the signatories to conduct themselves in a certain way or to do a certain thing. These latter type of treaties are usually private to two or a limited number of states and may be binding only through the International Court of Justice.

TRIAL
The presentation of evidence in court to a trier of facts who applies the applicable law to those facts and then decides the case.

TRIBUNAL
Latin: a platform for magistrates, a court or forum of justice that decides or determines.

TRUST
Property given by a person called the donor or settlor, to a trustee, for the benefit of another person (the beneficiary or donee). The trustee manages and administers the property, actual ownership is shared between the trustee and the beneficiary and all the profits go to the beneficiary. The word "fiduciary" can be used to describe the responsibilities of the trustee towards the beneficiary. A will is a form of trust but trusts can be formed during the lifetime of the settlor in which case it is called an inter vivos or living trust.