Legal Terms

Aboriginal – this word can either define a type of people who were the origin settlers of a land, or can also be used to describe something that pertains to these people – i.e. aboriginal land.

Arbitration – this is the hearing of a dispute by a person that both parties have agreed on, resulting in a resolution that determines the overall outcome.

Assets – these are the items owned by a person – including cash itself – that could be converted in to monetary form. Examples of this include houses and cars.

Bankruptcy – this is the situation where someone finds themselves in the position whereby they are unable to pay back all of the debts that they owe to either one or several lenders.

Civil Law – this is the body of laws in Canada that relates to private matter and disputes, and has no criminal element to it. It can be used in various cases whereby a person feels they have been unfairly treated by another person or organization.

Client – this is the term used for the person using the professional services of a lawyer for any reason.

Compliance – the act of conforming to a specific rule or law laid out. Failure to do so could lead to prosecution or other legal difficulties.

Consumer – this is a person or organization that purchases any good or service from a supplier in exchange for money or other items.

Contract – a contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties that, if broken, can lead to litigation being filed.

Debtor – a person or organization that owes money to a lender.

Emigration – the act of leaving one country to set up permanent residence in another country. For those leaving Canada to live in the USA, Canadian citizens would refer to them as emigrants.

Equity – the value of any property or business after considerations of loans and mortgages are taken away. Essentially, the amount of the property that the owner actually owns.

Estate – the property of a person, including land and other personal items. Most commonly associated in legal terms with those that have deceased and left a will.

First Nations – refers to the indigenous people of Canada.

Franchise – is the right given to someone to utilize another company’s name in order to conduct business and to market its products. Often seen in the restaurant industry in Canada.

Funding – money given to a person or business by a third party in order to facilitate a specific goal.

Immigration – the practice of moving in to a country permanently from another country. Those moving to Canada from the USA would be referred to as immigrants by Canadians.

Insolvency – the stage before bankruptcy, where the person or organization realizes they can no longer afford to pay their creditors. Although often leading to bankruptcy, this is not a foregone conclusion.

Inheritance – the money or other part of an estate gained by someone due to the passing away of another person.