Posted by: Elmer Brabante | February 14, 2011

Legal Dictionary: Aba – Avu

Abandoned Child. Under the law on domestic adoption, a person below 18 years old and has no proper parental care or guardian or whose parents have deserted him for a period of at least six continuous months and has been judicially declared as such. (Sec. 3(e), RA 8552, Domestic Adoption Act of 1998.)

Abandonment. In labor law, an employer defense against the change of illegal or constructive dismissal. To exist, however, it is essential that (a) the employee must have failed to report for work or must have been absent without justifiable reason; (b) there must have been a clear intention to sever the employer-employee relationship manifested by some over acts. (Philamgen vs. Gramaje, 442 SCRA 274)

Abduction. Generally, the term connotes the taking away of a woman forcibly or with intimidation, resulting in the deprivation of that woman’s liberty for an appreciable length of time. (US vs. Alexander, 8 Phil. 29)

Absent Spouse. A spouse who has been missing for at least four years, it being unknown whether or not he or she is still alive, and the present spouse having a well-founded belief that the missing spouse is already dead.  This is a defense against prosecution for a bigamous marriage. (Art. 41, Family Code)

Absentee. A person whose whereabouts and existence are not known in the sense of the law allowing a subsequent marriage and for purposes of administration of the estate of the absentee and of succession.

Absentee Voting – the process by which qualified citizens of the Philippines living abroad, including dual citizens,  exercise their right to vote for President, Vice President, Senators and Party-list Representatives. (Sec 3(a), RA 9189, Overseas Absentee Voting Law; RA 9225, Citizenship Retention and Reacquisition Act of 2003; Loida Nicolas-Lewis, et al. vs. Comelec, GR 162759, August 4, 2006)

Absolute Title. Also referred to as a title of fee simple, a non-contestable title to a thing.

Absolutely Privileged Communication. In the law of libel, it pertains to privileged communication which is not actionable even if the author has acted in bad faith. An example is found in Sec. 11, Art. VI of the Constitution which exempts a member of Congress from liability for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof. (Borjal vs. CA, 301  SCRA 1)

Abuse of Superior Strength. An aggravating circumstance, it refers to the use of force or strength far in excess of what is necessary to overcome any defense that a victim is capable of putting up by way of resistance.

Academic Freedom. Generally, it refers to the right of individuals in university communities such as professors, teachers, researchers, and administrators to investigate, pursue, discuss and, in the immortal words of Socrates, “to follow the argument wherever it may lead,” free from internal or external interference or pressure.  It pertains to the independence of an academic institution to determine for itself who may teach, what may be taught, how it shall teach, and who may be admitted to study. (Ateneo de Manila vs. Capulong, 222 SCRA 644; Regino vs. Pangasinan Colleges of Science and Technology, 443 SCRA 56)

Acceleration Clause. A contractual stipulation that provides for the acceleration of the date of payment in full under certain specified conditions or circumstances, such as the failure or inability of a debtor in meeting his amortization schedule on time.

Access Device. Any card, plate, code, account number, electronic serial number, personal identification number, or other telecommunications service, equipment, or instrumental identifier, or other means of account access that can be used to obtain money, goods, services, or any other thing of value or to initiate a transfer of funds—other than a transfer originated solely by paper instrument. (Sec.3(a), RA 8484 – Access Devices Regulation Act of 1998)

Accessory. A person who, having knowledge of the commission of the crime, and without having participated therein, either as principal or accomplice, takes part subsequent to its commission either by profiting therefrom, or concealing its effects, or harboring or assisting in the escape of the principal of the crime. (Art. 19, Revised Penal Code)

Accessory Penalty. An additional penalty which is imposed as a consequence of the principal penalty, depending on the nature of the offense, e.g., suspension, perpetual or temporary disqualification.

Accion Publiciana. An action for recovery of possession of property filed one year of the dispossession. It is a plenary action in an ordinary civil proceeding to determine the better right of possession of realty independently of title. (Ramos-Balalio vs. Ramos, 479 SCRA 533)

Accion Reinvindicatoria. An action for the recovery of title or ownership over a piece of land.

Accomplice. A person who cooperates in the execution of the offense by previous or simultaneous acts. (Art. 18, Revised Penal Code)

Accretion. A mode of acquiring property by a riparian owner which requires the concurrence of the following requisites: (a) that the accumulation of the soil or sediment is gradual and imperceptible; (b) that it is the result of the action of the waters of the river; and (c) that the land where the accretion has taken place is adjacent to the bank of the river. This is the opposite of avulsion. (Art. 457, Civil Code; Navarro vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 268 SCRA 74)

Accrued Interest. Interest which has fallen due but remains unpaid.

Acknowledgment. Sometimes also referred to as verification, it is a sworn statement usually appended to a legal document or pleading that the signer or verifier acknowledges the fact that he has read and caused the document or pleading to be prepared, and that he knows the contents thereof of his own personal knowledge.

Acquisitive Prescription. The acquisition of ownership and other real rights through the lapse of time. (Art. 1106, Civil Code)

Acquittal. A judgment by a court that the accused is found not guilty of the criminal charge against him and is, therefore, absolved from prosecution for that crime.

Act of God. Also referred to as Fortuitious Event or Force Majeure, a natural disaster the occurrence of which cannot be foreseen or prevented, such as earthquakes, typhoons, tsunamis, floods, etc.

Act of State. A sovereign act of government which cannot be the subject of a suit or be actionable in law.

Act of State Doctrine. Respect for another sovereign state’s judicial acts. “Everyone sovereign state is bound to respect the independence of every other sovereign state, and the courts of one country will not sit in judgment on the acts of the government of another, done within its own territory.”

Action for Reconveyance. One that seeks to transfer property, wrongfully registered by another, to its rightful and legal owner.

Action in Personam. A suit directed against specific persons and which seeks personal judgments. (Sec. 15, Rule 14, Rules of Court)

Action in Rem. A suit directed against the thing or property or status of a person and which seeks a judgment with respect thereto as against the whole world. (Sec. 15, Rule 14, Rules of Court; Romualdez-Licaros vs. Licaros, 401 SCRA 762)

Actionable. A matter or action that creates a ground, i.e., a cause of action, or a suit at law.

Acts of Lasciviousness. Unlawful sexual acts committed by persons of either sex which do not amount to rape. (Art. 336, RPC)

Actual Case or Controversy. A conflict involving opposite legal claims susceptible of judicial resolution, one that is “definite and concrete, touching the legal relations of parties having adverse legal interests,” constituting a real and substantial controversy admitting of specific relief. (David vs. Arroyo, 489 SCRA 160)

Actual Damages. Also called as compensatory damages, these are compensation to which a person is entitled for any pecuniary loss which he proves to have been duly suffered by him. (Art. 2199, Civil Code)

Actual Fraud. Sometimes referred to as positive fraud, it arises from an intentional deception practiced by means of misrepresentation or concealment or a material fact.

Ad Interim Appointment. An appointment made by the President during a congressional recess, effective only until disapproved by the Commission on Appointments or until the next adjournment of Congress.

Ada. Customary law which forms part of Islamic Law. Unless embodied in the Muslim Code of the Philippines, it must be proven in evidence as a fact. (PD 1083, Muslim Code of the Philippines)

Adhesion Contract. A contract drafted by the stronger party, then presented for acceptance to the weaker party who has no power to modify its terms.

Adjudicate. The act of a judge in rendering a judgment, or making a decision between two opposed or competing claims, or upholding or denying a cause of action.

Administrative Law. The body of laws, rules and regulations, rulings and resolutions which govern the activities of the government bureaucracy as administered by the Executive Branch in the exercise of its quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial powers.

Administrator (m) or Administratrix (f). The person entrusted with the care, custody and management of the estate of a deceased person until the estate is partitioned and distributed to the heirs, legatees, and devisees. (Rule 78)

Admiralty Law. The branch of law which deals with maritime matters.

Admission. In the law of evidence, it refers to a statement, oral or written, made by a party about the existence of a relevant fact which can be taken against him that is material in a court proceeding.

Adoption. A juridical act which creates between two persons a relationship similar to that which results from legitimate paternity and filiation. (Prasnik vs. Republic, 98 Phil. 665)

ADR Provider. An institution or person accredited as mediator, conciliator, arbitrator, neutral evaluator, or any person exercising similar functions in any Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system. (Sec. 3(b), RA 9285, Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004)

Adultery. A crime committed by a married woman who has sexual intercourse with a man other than her husband and by the man who has carnal knowledge of her, knowing her to be married even if the marriage is subsequently  declared void. (Art. 333, RPC)

Advance Sheet. A promulgated decision of the court which is made available in a temporary form prior to printing or publication.

Adverse Claim. It usually refers to a claim that is adverse to the title of a registered owner over a certain property, e.g., a piece of land.

Adverse Party. It usually refers to a party litigant in a case who would be adversely affected by the court’s decision. (Sec. 3, Rule 41, Rules of Court)

Adverse Possession. The exercise of proprietary rights in the concept of an owner, usually over a disputed piece of land.

Advertiser. The client of the advertising agency or the sponsor of the advertisement on whose account the advertising is prepared, conceptualized, presented or disseminated.  (Sec. 4(d), RA 7394, Consumer Act of the Philippines)

Advertising. The business of conceptualizing, presenting or making available to the public, through any form of mass media, fact, data or information about the attributes, features, quality or availability of consumer products, services, or credit. (Sec. 4(b), RA 7394)

Advertising Agency. A service organization or enterprise creating, conducting, producing, implementing or giving counsel on promotional campaigns or programs through any medium for and in behalf of any advertiser. (Sec. 4©, RA 7394)

Advocate. A person who champions the cause of another in a court of law. It usually refers to a legal counselor- or attorney-at-law.

Aerodome. A defined area on land or water, including any buildings, installations and equipment intended to be used either wholly or in part for the arrival, departure and movement of aircraft. (Sec.3(b), RA 776, Civil Aeronautics Acts)

Aeronautics. The science and art of flight. (Sec. 3(c), RA 776)

Affidavit. An ex parte statement in writing made under oath before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths, about facts which the affiant either knows of his own personal knowledge or is aware of to the best of his knowledge.

Affidavit of Desistance. A sworn statement, executed by a complainant in a criminal or administrative case, that he or she is discontinuing or disavowing his complaint for whatever reason he or she may site. (People vs. Dela Cerna, 390 SCRA 538)

Affirmative Defense. An allegation of new matter which, while hypothetically admitting the material allegations in the pleading of the claimant, would nevertheless prevent or bar recovery by him. Affirmative defense include fraud, statute of limitations, release or payment, illegality, statute of frauds, estoppel, former recovery, discharge in bankruptcy, and any other matter by way of confession and avoidance. (Sec. 5, Rule 6, Rules of Court)

Agabon Doctrine. A modification of the Wenphil Doctrine in that the indemnity to be paid to an otherwise legally dismissed employee has been significantly increased in cse the termination was effected without complying with the due process requirements of notice and hearing. This is to discourage “dismiss now, pay later” practices resorted to by employers under the Wenphil Doctrine which imposed very nominal damages only. (Art. 282, Labor Code; Agabon vs. NLRC, 442 SCRA 573)

Agama Arbitration Council. An arbitration body formed to assist the Shari’a courts in resolving disputes affecting domestic and family relations between parties in the areas governed by the Muslim Code of the Philippines.

Age of Criminal Responsibility. The age when a juvenile who is nine years old or over but under fifteen years commits an offense with discernment.

Age of Majority. Attainment of the age of 18 years. Once attained, a person gains emancipation from parental authority which means that such person is now qualified and responsible for all acts of civil life. (Art. 234, Family Code, as amended by RA 6809)

Agency. A contract whereby a person binds himself to render some service or to do something in representation or on behalf of another, with the consent or authority of the latter.  Such a person is the agent and the person he represents is called the principal. (Art. 1868, Civil Code)

Agency Fee. A reasonable amount assessed and checked off by a labor union from the wage of a non-union member in the collective bargaining unit who accepts the benefits of the labor contract negotiated by the union. Note that the amount collected shall be equal to the fee collected from the members even as no check-off authorization is required in such cases. (Art. 248(e), Labor Code)

Agency Shop. A union security clause in a collective bargaining agreement that requires even a non-member or the labor organization to pay union dues as a condition of continued employment.

Agent of a Person in Authority. Any person who, by direct provision of law or by election or appointment by competent authority, is charged with the maintenance of public order and the protection and security of life and property, as well as any person who comes to the aid of persons in authority. (Art. 152, RPC)

Aggravating Circumstance. A circumstance which, if present in the commission of the felony, will serve to increase the penalty. It can be personal to the offender such as if he is a recidivist or is a public officer. It can pertain to how the crime is committed, e.g., with contempt or abuse of confidence, or the period of the day when the crime is committed as during nighttime.

Agrarian Dispute. A case, controversy, matter or incident which involves the implementation of agrarian laws and their implementing rules and regulations, and over which the DARAB exercises primary jurisdiction, both original and appellate, to determine and adjudicate. 9Sec. 50, RA 667, CARL; Arzaga vs. Copias, 400 SCRA 148)

Agrarian Reform. More commonly referred to as “land reform,” it means the redistribution of lands, regardless of crops or fruits produced, to farmers and regular farm workers who are landless, irrespective of tenurial arrangement, to include the totality of factors and support services designed to lift the economic status of the beneficiaries and all other arrangements or alternatives to the physical redistribution of lands, such as production or profit-sharing, labor administration and the distribution of shares of stock, which will allow beneficiaries to receive a just share of the fruits of the lands they work. In sum, it refers to the government’s program for the redistribution of lands to landless tenants and farmworkers with the ultimate objective of establishing owner-cultivator of economic-size farms as the basis of Philippine agriculture. (Sec 3(a), RA 6657, CARL)

Agricultural Land. Land that is devoted to agricultural activity, and not otherwise classified as mineral, forest, residential, commercial or industrial land, thus making it subject to government acquisition under its land reform program. (Sec 3(c), RA 6657)

Agricultural Tenancy. The physical possession by a person of agricultural land belonging to another for the purpose of production through the labor of the former in consideration of which the former agrees to share the harvest with the latter, or to pay a price certain either in produce or in cash, or both. (Sec 3, RA 1199, Agricultural Tenancy Act; Mon vs. CA, 427 SCRA 165)

Air Carrier. Air transportation for pay or hire, the navigation of aircraft in furtherance of a business, or the navigation of aircraft from one place to another for operation in the conduct of a business. (Sec 3(f), RA 776, Civil Aeronautics Act)

Air Transportation. Service or carriage of persons, property, or mail, in whole or in part, by aircraft. (Sec 3(h), RA 776, Civil Aeronautics Act)

Airway. A path through the navigable air space identified by an area specified width on the surface of the earth designated or approved by the Civil Aeronautics Administration, now called the Air Transportation Office (ATO), as suitable for air commerce or air transportation. (Sec3(n), RA 776)

Airway Bill. A bill of lading which governs the relationship of shipper and carrier in the transport of goods by air.

Airworthiness. An attribute pertaining to an aircraft which means that its engine propellers, and other components and accessories, are of proper design and construction, and are safe for air navigation purposes, such design and construction being consistent with accepted engineering practice and in accordance with aerodynamic laws and aircraft science. (Sec 3(o), RA 776)

Alarm. A light felony created by any person who causes alarm or danger such as firing a gun, exploding a firecracker, or otherwise commits any act calculated to disturb public tranquility. (Art. 155, RPC)

Aleatory Contract. A contract whereby one of the parties or both reciprocally binds themselves to give or to do something in consideration of what the other shall give or do upon the happening of an event which is uncertain, or which is to occur at an indeterminate time. A life or non-life insurance policy is a good example of an aleatory contract. (Art. 2010, Civil Code)

Alevosia. Treachery, an act involving means, methods or forms employed by the offender to insure the execution of any of the crimes against persons, without risk to himself arising from the defense which the victim or offended party might make. (Aart. 14(16), RPC)

Alias. A fictitious name different from the one with which a person was registered at birth in the Local Civil Registry, or with which a person was registered in the bureau of immigration upon entry. (CA 142, as amended by RA 6085, Anti-Alias Law)

Alias Writ. A writ issued by a court to replace one that was previously issued or failed to be enforced.

Alibi. A weak defense based on what is usually a self-serving allegation that a person was at another place for such a period of time that it was impossible for him to have been at the place where and when the crime was committed. As a mode of deflecting criminal liability, the accused must establish with clear and convincing evidence not only that hw was somewhere else when the crime was committed but also that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime at the time it was committed.

Alien. A person who is not a citizen of the Philippines who may be living permanently or temporarily on its soil. He enjoys the same civil or human rights of a citizen.

Alienation of Affection. Actionable behavior by a third person who causes a split or loss of affection between two spouses by his wrongful conduct such that a spouse voluntarily leaves by being thus enticed away.

Alimony Pendente Lite. The payment of alimony during the pendency of an action between spouses.

Allision. A term in admiralty law which refers to a collision between a moving vessel and a stationary vessel or marine object.

Alluvion. see Accretion.

Alternative Circumstance. A circumstance which may be aggravating or mitigating depending on the nature and effects of the crime and the other condition attending its commission, e.g., relationship, intoxication, education of the offender, etc. (Art. 15, RPC)

Alternative Defendants. A situation that where the plaintiff is uncertain against which of several persons hi is entitled to relief, he may join any or all of them as defendants in the alternative, although a right to relief against one may be inconsistent with a right to relief against the other. (Sec. 13, Rule 3, Rules of Court)

Alternative Dispute Resolution. ADR for short, it refers to the procedure or method used to resolve a dispute or controversy, other that by adjudication of a presiding judge of a court or an officer of a government agency in which a neutral third party participates to assist in the resolution of issues, which includes, arbitration, mediation, conciliation, early neutral evaluation, mini-trial, or any combination thereof. (Sec 3(a), RA 9285, Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 2004)

Alternative Medicine. A catch-all term embracing the sum total of knowledge, skills and practices on health care, other than those embodied in biomedicince used the prevention, diagnosis, and elimination of physical or mental disorder.  As a rule, it includes the use of traditional healing practices as well as herbal medicine and natural products. (RA 8423, Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act of 1997)

Amicus Curiae. A “friend of the court” whose legal learning or expertise is judicially sought to advise on matters of which a judge may be doubtful or in need of special assistance.

Amnesty. An act of the President, with the concurrence of all the members of the Congress, granting pardon to a class of offenders, usually accused or convicted of political offenses, thus absolving them of criminal liability. Generally, it refers to a general pardon extended by the President to a group of persons accused of political offenses with the effect of “wiping the slate clean” as regards those pardoned. (Art. VII, Sec. 19, Constitution; Tolentino vs. Catoy, 82 Phil. 300)

Amortization. The extinguishment of a debt or loan through payment by installment over a stipulated period of time.

Ancestral Domain. All areas generally belonging to indigenous cultural communities and indigenous peoples comprising lands, inland waters, coastal areas and natural resources therein, held under claim of ownership and possessed and occupied by them since time immemorial. (RA 8371, IPRA of 1997)

Ancestral Lands. In agrarian reform, it refers to ancestral lands belonging to an indigenous cultural community, including lands in the actual, continuous and open possession and occupation of that indigenous community and its members whose right to such lands shall be protected to ensure their economic, social and cultural well-being. It also refers to lands exclusively and actually possessed, occupied, or utilized by indigenous cultural communities by themselves or through their ancestors in accordance with their customs and traditions since time immemorial. (Sec. 7, RA 6657, CARL; Sec. 3, RA 7942, Philippine Mining Act of 1995)

Ancient Document. A document which has been in existence for more than 30 years since its execution. To be admissible in evidence without further proof of its authenticity, it must be found in the possession of its proper custodian, and not blemished or marred by suspicious alterations or markings.

Answer. The pleading in which a defending party sets forth his defenses against the complaint which must be filed within 15 days after service of summons. (Sec. 4, Rule 11, ROC)

Antedated Check. A check that is dated earlier than when it was actually drawn or delivered to make it appear that it had been drawn earlier but delayed in delivery. Note that it is not invalid for that reason unless it is drawn for an illegal or fraudulent purpose. (Sec. 8, ACT 2031, Negotiable Instruments Law)

Antichresis. A contract that entitles the creditor to receive the fruits of an immovable property of his debtor, with the obligation to apply them to the payment of the interest, if owing, and thereafter to the principal of his credit. (Art. 2132, Civil Code)

Anti-Dumping Duty. The amount of duty levied on a “dumped” product, commodity or article of commerce to discourage its importation into the Philippines. (RA 8752, Anti-Dumping Act of 1999)

Antique. A rare cultural item or property which is at lest 100 years old. (Sec.3, RA 4846, Cultural Properties Preservation and Protection Act)

Anti-Subversion Act. The law which criminalizes any act or conspiracy to overthrow the government for the purpose of establishing a totalitarian regime, and to a place the government under the control and domination of an alien power. (Sec. 2, RA 1700, Anti-Subversion Act)

Apparent Easement. An easement which is made known and is continually kept in view by external signs that reveal the use and enjoyment of the same. (Art. 615, Civil Code)

Appeal. The remedial procedure by which an aggrieved party elevates the decision of a lower court to a higher court for review and reconsideration with a view to having it reversed or modified.

Appeal by Certiorari. An appeal to the Supreme Court where, generally, only questions of law are raised or involved.  Note that review by the Supreme Court is not a matter of right but of sound judicial discretion. (Rule 45, Rules of Court)

Appearance. A judicial term to denote a party’s or a counsel’s voluntary submission to a court’s jurisdiction.

Appellant. The party in a case who appeals a lower court’s decision to a higher court.

Appellee. The prevailing party in a case against whom a decision is appealed to a higher court.

Apprentice. A worker who is covered by a written apprenticeship agreement with an individual employer, who is at least 14 years old, engaged in a trade or occupation which requires practical training on the job, supplemented by theoretical instruction. As a rule, the period of apprenticeship shall not exceed six months for which the apprentice must be compensated at a rate not lower that 75 percent of the applicable minimum wage. The term is no to be confused with a learner. (Art. 58, Labor Code)

Apprenticeship. Practical training on the job supplemented by related theoretical instruction. (Sec 58(a), Labor Code)

Appropriations Law – a statute, the primary and specific purpose of which, is to authorize release of public funds from treasury.

Arbitrary Detention. The detention of a person by a public officer without legal grounds. But even with legal grounds, the delay in the delivery of a detained person to the proper judicial authorities may result in arbitrary detention. It is to be differentiated from illegal detention. (Arts. 124-125, RPC)

Arbitration. A form of alternative dispute resolution whereby a disinterested person or a panel of three or more persons is selected by a contending parties to act as arbiter or judge in settling their dispute or respective claims against one another.

Archipelagic Doctrine. An integration of a group of islands to the sea and their oneness so that together they can constitute one unit, one country, and one state.  An imaginary single baseline is drawn around the islands by joining appropriate points of the outermost islands of the archipelago with straight lines and all islands and waters enclosed within the baseline form part of the territory. Main purpose is to protect the territorial interests of an archipelago. (see last sentence, Art. I, Constitution)

Archipelago. A group of islands, such as the Philippines, so close to each other that they are historically regarded as an intrinsic whole—geographically, economically and politically—and this includes the natural features and seas between the islands which are considered as internal archipelagic waters.

Arraignment. A formal procedure in criminal prosecution “to afford an accused due process” and it is also the means of implementing the constitutional rights of an accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. It refers to the appearance of the accused in open court wherein he is informed of the complaint or information against him before he is required to enter his plea of guilty or not guilty of the crime imputed to him. (Sec. 1, Rule 116, Rules of Court; People vs. Nuela, 366 SCRA 705)

Arrest. The taking of a person into custody in order that he may be bound to answer for the commission of an offense. (Sec. 1, Rule 113, ROC)

Arresto Mayor. A penalty whose duration ranges from one day to 30 days of incarceration.

Arson. A felony committed by any person who burns or sets the property of another or even his own property on fire when done under circumstances which pose a danger to the life or property of another. (Sec. 1, PD 1613)

Artificial Insemination. The impregnation of a female with semen from a male without sexual intercourse. The child born as a result of this procedure is considered a legitimate child if born during the marriage of the parents, with their permission and authority. (Art. 164, Family Code)

Assignment of Credit. An agreement by virtue of which the owner of a credit, known as the assignor, by a legal cause, such as sale, dacion en pago, exchange or donation, and without the consent of the debtor, transfers his credit and accessory right to another, known as the assignee, who acquires the power to enforce it to the same extent as the assignor can enforce against the debtor. (Lo vs. KJS Eco-Formwork System Phil., Inc., 413 SCRA 182)

Assignment of Errors. A recitation of specific errors claimed to have been committed by lower court to enable the appellate court and the opposing party to determine as to what points the appellant intends to ask for a reversal of judgment. (People vs. Dela Concha, 389 SCRA 280)

Assumpsit. A common law term which refers to the recovery of damages for the non-performance of a contract.

Assumption of Jurisdiction. It usually refers to an act of the Secretary of the DOLE which amounts to a “cease-and-desist” order prohibiting a union from striking whenever in his opinion there exists a labor dispute causing or like to cause a strike or lockout in an industry that is indispensable to the national interest by resolving the dispute himself or certifying it to the NLRC for compulsory arbitration.

Assumption of Risk Doctrine. A doctrine in tort or contract law relieving an obligor from any injury or liability that may befall the oblige who has knowingly assumed in advance the possibility of its occurrence.

Assurance Fund. A fund created under the Land Registration Act for the purpose of indemnifying an injured party for any damage he may suffer as a result of an improvident or illegal registration of land titles.

Attachment. A provisional remedy by which the property of an adverse party is taken into legal custody, either at the commencement of an action or at any time thereafter, as a security for the satisfaction of any judgment that may be recovered by the plaintiff of any proper party. (Adlawan vs. Tomol, 184 SCRA 31; CEIC vs. CA, 251 SCRA 257; Spouses Salgado vs. CA, 128 SCRA 395)

Attempted Felony. A felony is attempted when the offender commences the commission of a felony directly by overt acts, but did not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. (Art. 6, RPC)

Attentat Clause. A provision in an extradition treaty stipulating that assassination attempts on the life of a head of a state or members of his family are not to be considered as political offenses for purposes of extradition, thus making the fugitive extraditable to answer for his crimes.

Attestation Clause. A necessary clause at the end of a will denoting that the will is a duly executed will of so many pages signed by the testator himself and at least three witnesses in the presence of one another in each and every page, in accordance with all the formalities required by law. (Art. 805, Civil Code)

Attractive Nuisance. The presence or maintenance on one’s premises of a potentially dangerous attraction to children who, because of their natural curiosity, may thereby be exposed to harm or injury, subjecting its owner or maintainer to tort liability. A swimming pool, an uncovered well, open car trunk, deep pits, and the like are some examples of an “attractive nuisance.”

Australian Ballot System. The electoral system after which our own balloting system is patterned which is characterized by absolute secrecy in voting.

Authorized Cause. A term which is associated with the legal termination of an employee’s services who is without fault for a cause that cannot be attributed to him, such as the installation of labor-saving devices, redundancy, retrenchment to prevent losses, or the closing or cessation of business operations. (Art. 283, Labor Code)

Avulsion. A sudden change in the course of a stream or river forming the boundary between two parcels of land such that a riparian owner loses part of his property to another riparian owner whose property is thereby increased in size as a result of that change in the river’s or stream’s course. In the law on property, such a change will not alter the boundaries between the riparian owners, i.e., property ownership will not be affected, in contrast to accretion or alluvion where the change in boundaries is gradual resulting from natural causes.



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