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Taft-Hartley
The name of an American federal labor law which was passed in 1947, and which sought to "equalize legal responsibilities of labor organizations and employers"; ie. balance the Wagner Act, which, it was felt, may have gone to far in protecting union rights. Where the Wagner Act had was aimed primarily at employer behavior, the Taft-Hartley was aimed at unions and sought to restrain their activities under certain circumstances, by detailing union rights and duties. For example, the Taft-Hartley Act exempted supervisors from it's provisions, allowed employees to decline participation in union activities and permitted union decertification petitions.
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.
Tenants in common
Similar to joints tenants. All tenants in common share equal property rights except that, upon the death of a tenant in common, that share does not go to the surviving tenants but is transferred to the estate of the deceased tenant. Unity of possession but distinct titles.
Tender
An unconditional offer of a party to a contract to perform their part of the bargain. For example, if the contract is a loan contract, a tender would be an act of the debtor where he produces the amount owing and offers to the creditor. In real property law, when a party suspects that the other may be preparing to renege, he or she can write a tender in which they unequivocally re-assert their intention to respect the contract and tender their end of the bargain; either by paying the purchase or delivering the title.
Tenement
Property that could be subject to tenure under English land law; usually land, buildings or apartments. The word is rarely used nowadays except to refer to dominant or servient tenements when qualifying easements.
Tenure
A right of holding or occupying land or a position for a certain amount of time. The term was first used in the English feudal land system, whereby all land belonged to the king but was lent out to lords for a certain period of time; the lord never owning, but having tenure in the land. Used in modern law mostly to refer to a position a person occupies such as in the expression "a judge holds tenure for life and on good behavior."
Testamentary trust
A trust which is to take effect only upon the death of the settlor and is commonly found as part of a will. Trusts which take effect during the life of the settlor are called inter vivos trusts.
Testator
A person who dies with a valid will.
Testimony
The verbal presentation of a witness in a judicial proceeding.
Torrens land registration system
A land registration system invented by Robert Torrens and in which the government is the keeper of the master record of all land and their owners. In the Torrens system, a land title certificate suffices to show full, valid and indefeasible title. Used in Australia and several Canadian provinces.
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, trover and detinue). This is a procedure frequently used by a trust beneficiary to recover misappropriated trust property.
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 th 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 .
Trespass
Unlawful interference with another's person, property or rights. Theoretically, all torts are trespasses.
Trover
An old English and common law legal proceeding against a person who had found someone else's property and has converted that property to their own purposes. The action of trover did not ask for the return of the property but for damages in an amount equal to the replacement value of the property. English law replaced the action of trover with that of conversion in 1852.
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.
Trustee
The person who holds property rights for the benefit of another through the legal mechanism of the trust. A trustee usually has full management and administration rights over the property but these rights must always be exercised to the full advantage of the beneficiary. All profits from the property go to the beneficiary although the trustee is entitled to reimbursement for administrative costs. There is no legal impediment for a trustee to also be a beneficiary of the same property.
Trustee de son tort
A trustee "of his own wrong"; a person who is not a regularly appointed trustee but because of his or her intermeddling with the trust and the exercise of some control over the trust property, can be held by a court as "constructive" trustee which entails liability for losses to the trust.

 

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Last modified: 01/31/03