Annapolis Land Use & Zoning Lawyer, Maryland, page 2

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LEGAL TERMS

DIRECT EXAMINATION

At trial, the initial questioning of a party or witness by the side that called him or her to testify. The major purpose of direct examination is to explain you... (more...)
At trial, the initial questioning of a party or witness by the side that called him or her to testify. The major purpose of direct examination is to explain your version of events to the judge or jury and to undercut your adversary's version. Good direct examination seeks to prove all facts necessary to satisfy the plaintiff's legal claims or causes of action -- for example, that the defendant breached a valid contract and, as a result, the plaintiff suffered a loss.

ILLUSORY PROMISE

A promise that pledges nothing, because it is vague or because the promisor can choose whether or not to honor it. Such promises are not legally binding. For ex... (more...)
A promise that pledges nothing, because it is vague or because the promisor can choose whether or not to honor it. Such promises are not legally binding. For example, if you get a new job and promise to work for three years, unless you resign sooner, you haven't made a valid contract and can resign or be fired at any time.

CAUSE OF ACTION

A specific legal claim -- such as for negligence, breach of contract or medical malpractice -- for which a plaintiff seeks compensation. Each cause of action is... (more...)
A specific legal claim -- such as for negligence, breach of contract or medical malpractice -- for which a plaintiff seeks compensation. Each cause of action is divided into discrete elements, all of which must be proved to present a winning case.

EVIDENCE

The many types of information presented to a judge or jury designed to convince them of the truth or falsity of key facts. Evidence typically includes testimony... (more...)
The many types of information presented to a judge or jury designed to convince them of the truth or falsity of key facts. Evidence typically includes testimony of witnesses, documents, photographs, items of damaged property, government records, videos and laboratory reports. Rules that are as strict as they are quirky and technical govern what types of evidence can be properly admitted as part of a trial. For example, the hearsay rule purports to prevent secondhand testimony of the 'he said, she said' variety, but the existence of dozens of exceptions often means that hairsplitting lawyers can find a way to introduce such testimony into evidence. See also admissible evidence, inadmissible evidence.

LIQUID ASSETS

Business property that can be quickly and easily converted into cash, such as stock, bank accounts and accounts receivable.

FIERI FACIAS

Latin for 'that you cause to be done.' This is a court document that instructs a sheriff to seize and sell a defendant's property in order to satisfy a monetary... (more...)
Latin for 'that you cause to be done.' This is a court document that instructs a sheriff to seize and sell a defendant's property in order to satisfy a monetary judgment against the defendant.

ESTOPPEL

(1) A legal principle that prevents a person from asserting or denying something in court that contradicts what has already been established as the truth. equit... (more...)
(1) A legal principle that prevents a person from asserting or denying something in court that contradicts what has already been established as the truth. equitable estoppelA type of estoppel that bars a person from adopting a position in court that contradicts his or her past statements or actions when that contradictory stance would be unfair to another person who relied on the original position. For example, if a landlord agrees to allow a tenant to pay the rent ten days late for six months, it would be unfair to allow the landlord to bring a court action in the fourth month to evict the tenant for being a week late with the rent. The landlord would be estopped from asserting his right to evict the tenant for late payment of rent. Also known as estoppel in pais.estoppel by deedA type of estoppel that prevents a person from denying the truth of anything that he or she stated in a deed, especially regarding who has valid ownership of the property. For example, someone who grants a deed to real estate before he actually owns the property can't later go back and undo the sale for that reason if, say, the new owner strikes oil in the backyard.estoppel by silenceA type of estoppel that prevents a person from asserting something when she had both the duty and the opportunity to speak up earlier, and her silence put another person at a disadvantage. For example, Edwards' Roofing Company has the wrong address and begins ripping the roof from Betty's house by mistake. If Betty sees this but remains silent, she cannot wait until the new roof is installed and then refuse to pay, asserting that the work was done without her agreement.estoppel in paisSee equitable estoppel.promissory estoppelA type of estoppel that prevents a person who made a promise from reneging when someone else has reasonably relied on the promise and will suffer a loss if the promise is broken. For example, Forrest tells Antonio to go ahead and buy a boat without a motor, because he will sell Antonio an old boat motor at a very reasonable price. If Antonio relies on Forrest's promise and buys the motorless boat, Forrest cannot then deny his promise to sell John the motor at the agreed-upon price.(2) A legal doctrine that prevents the relitigation of facts or issues that were previously resolved in court. For example, Alvin loses control of his car and accidentally sideswipes several parked cars. When the first car owner sues Alvin for damages, the court determines that Alvin was legally drunk at the time of the accident. Alvin will not be able to deny this fact in subsequent lawsuits against him. This type of estoppel is most commonly called collateral estoppel.

NONDISCLOSURE AGREEMENT

A legally binding contract in which a person or business promises to treat specific information as a trade secret and not disclose it to others without proper a... (more...)
A legally binding contract in which a person or business promises to treat specific information as a trade secret and not disclose it to others without proper authorization. Nondisclosure agreements are often used when a business discloses a trade secret to another person or business for such purposes as development, marketing, evaluation or securing financial backing. Although nondisclosure agreements are usually in the form of written contracts, they may also be implied if the context of a business relationship suggests that the parties intended to make an agreement. For example, a business that conducts patent searches for inventors is expected to keep information about the invention secret, even if no written agreement is signed, because the nature of the business is to deal in confidential information.

COMMUNITY PROPERTY WITH RIGHT OF SURVIVORSHIP

A way for married couples to hold title to property, available in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin. It allows one spouse's half-interest in comm... (more...)
A way for married couples to hold title to property, available in Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin. It allows one spouse's half-interest in community property to pass to the surviving spouse without probate.

SAMPLE LEGAL CASES

PEOPLE'S COUNSEL FOR BALTIMORE CTY. v. Loyola College

... The synthesis of earlier cases threaded 168 through its reasoning supplies a lucid explanation of the legislative calculus for why some land uses, at the time of original adoption or later amendment of the text of a zoning ordinance, are placed in the blessed category of permitted ...

Anderson House v. City of Rockville

... in consolidated cases 266338-V, Petition of Anderson House, LLC for Judicial Review of the Decision of the Mayor and Council of Rockville in the case of Zoning Map Amendment XXXX-XXXXX, and 270350-V, Anderson House, LLC v. Mayor and City Council of Rockville. ...

Trail v. Terrapin Run

... Certiorari: "May a board of appeals deriving zoning authority under Article 66B grant a special exception, in the absence of an affirmative finding that the proposed use conforms to the jurisdiction's comprehensive plan?" [2]. We ...