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Legal Terms Glossary -E-


Elements of a crime -Specific factors that define a crime which the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction: (1) that a crime has actually occurred, (2) that the accused intended the crime to happen, and (3) a timely relationship between the first two factors.

Eminent Domain– The power of the government to take private property for public use through condemnation.

En Banc– All the judges of a court sitting together. Appellate courts can consist of a dozen or more judges, but often they hear cases in panels of three judges. If a case is heard or reheard by the full court, it is heard en banc.

Encyclopedia– A book or series of books arranged alphabetically by topics containing information on areas of law, including citations to support the information.

Endorsement – A written agreement that changes the terms of an insurance policy by adding or subtracting coverage.

Enjoining -An order by the court telling a person to stop performing a specific act.

Entity– A person or legally recognized organization.

Entrapment– The act of inducing a person to commit a crime so that a criminal charge will be brought against him.

Entry– A statement of conclusion reached by the court and placed in the court record.

Environment– The conditions, influences, or forces which affect the desirability and value of property, as well as the effect on people’s lives.

Environmental Protection (EPA) -A federal agency created to permit coordinated and environment effective governmental action to preserve the quality of the . Agency

Equal Protection of the Law -The guarantee in the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that all persons be treated equally by the law.

Equity– Justice administered according to fairness; the spirit or habit of fairness in dealing with other persons.

Escheat– The process by which a deceased person’s property goes to the state if no heir can be found.

Escrow– Money or a written instrument such as a deed that, by agreement between two parties, is held by a neutral third party (held in escrow) until all conditions of the agreement are met.

Esquire– In the United States the title commonly appended after the name of an attorney. In English law a title of dignity next above gentleman and below knight. Title also given to barristers at law and others. Abbreviated: Esq.

Estate– A person’s property.

Estate tax– Generally, a tax on the privilege of transferring property to others after a person’s death. In addition to federal estate taxes, many states have their own estate taxes.

Estoppel -An impediment that prevents a person from asserting or doing something contrary to his own previous assertion or act.

Ethics– Of or relating to moral action and conduct; professionally right; conforming to professional standards.

Evidence– Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.

Exceptions– Declarations by either side in a civil or criminal case reserving the right to appeal a judge’s ruling upon a motion. Also, in regulatory cases, objections by either side to points made by the other side or to rulings by the agency or one of its hearing officers.

Exclusion – A contractual provision in an insurance policy that denies or restricts coverage for certain perils, persons, property or locations.

Exclusionary Rule– The rule preventing illegally obtained evidence to be used in any trial.

Execute- To complete; to sign; to carry out according to its terms.

Executor -A personal representative, named in a will, who administers an estate.

Exempt property -All the property of a debtor which is not attachable under the Bankruptcy Code or the state statute.

Exhibit -A document or other item introduced as evidence during a trial or hearing.

Exonerate– Removal of a charge, responsibility, or duty.

Ex parte -On behalf of only one party, without notice to any other party. For example, a request for a search warrant is an ex parte proceeding, since the person subject to the search is not notified of the proceeding and is not present at the hearing.

Ex parte proceeding– Action Circumstances which render a crime less aggravated, heinous, or reprehensible than it would otherwise be.

Expungement -The process by which the record of criminal conviction is destroyed or sealed.

Extradition -The surrender of an accused criminal by one state to the jurisdiction of another.

Extraordinary Medical Benefits – This coverage pays when medical and rehabilitation expenses exceed $100,000. It provides a maximum of $1 million of coverage.