Legal Definitions


Blacks Law Dictionary, 6th Edition, 1990

Belief: A subjective condition that is a conviction of the truth of a proposition, induced into existence within the mind. (Note that belief does not involve truth, but only the conviction of it).

Conflict of Interest: Term used in connection with public officials, fiduciaries and their relationship to matters of private interest or gain to them; a clash between public interest and the private pecuniary interest of the individual or individuals concerned; a conflict of interest arise when a person's personal or financial interest conflicts or appears to conflict with his official responsibility. 18 U.S.C.A. §203 et seq. Examples: An FDA official takes a job with a company producing a product over whom he has had regulatory influence; a company official takes a job at the FDA where he or she is in a position to rule over products created by his former employer or extensions of products or processes thereof.

Conspiracy in Restraint of Trade: All forms of illegal agreements which have as their object interference with free flow of commerce and trade.

Suppressio Veri, Expressio Falsi: Suppression of the truth is equivalent to expression or suggestion of what is false.

Truth: That which is conformable to the actual state of things. (Note: not subjective)

Fact: Reality of events or things the actual occurrence or existence of which is to be determined by evidence. An actual happening in time and space or a mental or physical event.

Fraud: An intentional perversion of the truth for the purpose of inducing anotherin reliance upon it to part with some valuable thing or to surrender a legal right; a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words ot conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive another so that he shall act upon it to his legal inquiry; anything calculated to deceive, whether by a single act or combination, or by suppression of truth, or suggestion of what is false, whether it be by direct falsehood or innuendo, by speech or silence, word of mouth, or look or gesture; fraud comprises all acts, omissions, and concealments involving a branch of legal or equitable duty and resulting in damage to another.

Fraudulent Concealment: The hiding or suppression of a material fact or circumstance which the party is legally or morally bound to disclose, in order to prevent inquiry, escape investigation, or to mislead or hinder the acquisition of information disclosing a right of action.

Fraudulent Intent: Such intent exists where one, either with a view of benefitting oneself or misleading another into a course of action, makes a representation which one knows to be false or which one does not believe to be true.

Deceit: A fraudulent and deceptive misrepresentation, artifice, or device, used by one or more persons to deceive and trick another, who is ignorant of the true facts.

Misrepresentation: Any manifestation by words or other conduct not in accordance with the facts; an untrue statement of fact; an incorrect or false representation which, if accepted, leads the mind to an apprehension of a condition other and different from that which exists.

Proof: The result or effect of evidence, the means by which a fact is proven.

Positive Proof: That which establishes the fact in question, as opposed to negative proof, which establishes the fact by showing that its opposite is not or cannot be true.

Informed Consent:A person's agreement to allow something to happen, based on full disclosure of the facts needed to make the decision intelligently; i.e., knowledge of risks involved, alternatives, etc.; the general priciple of law embodying the duty to disclose to another whatever risks might be incurred from a proposed course of treatment, so that a person, exercising ordinary care for his own welfare, and faced with a choice of undergoing the proposed treatment, or alternative treatment, or none at all, may intelligently exercise his judgment by reasonably balancing the probable or possible risks against the probable or possible benefits.

Convincing Proof: Such as is sufficient to establish the proposition beyond reasonable doubt in an unprejudiced mind. (Note: a mind is not unprejudiced where a belief already exists).

(Keep the following in mind relative to those entities who herein control and manipulate others):

Criminal Conspiracy: A combination or confederation between two or more persons, formed for the purpose of committing, by their joint efforts, some unlawful or criminal act, or some act which is lawful in itself, but becomes unlawful when done by the concerted action of the conspirators, or for the purpose of using criminal or unlawful means to the commission of an act not in itself unlawful. A person is guilty of conspiracy if that person agrees to aid other persons in the planning or commission of such crime, or of an attempt or solicitation of such a crime. A conspiracy may be a continuing one; actors may drop out, and others drop in; the details of operation may change from time to time; the members need not know each other or the part played by others; a member need not know all the details of the plan or the operation; he must, however, know the purpose of the conspiracy and agree to become a party to a plan to effectuate that purpose. A chain-conspiracy is characterized by different activities carried on with the same subject of conspiracy in chain-like manner that each conspirator in chain-like manner performs a separate function which serves in the accomplishment of the overall conspiracy. A civil conspiracy is a concert or combination to defraud or cause other injury to person or property, which results in damage to the person or property. Conspiracy in restraint of trade describes all forms of illegal agreements such as boycotts, price-fixing, etc., which have as their object interference with the free flow of commerce and trade. One cannot agree or conspire with another who does not agree or conspire with him.

Color of Law: Misuse of power, possessed by virtue of law, and made possible only because the wrongdoer is clothed with authority of State. Misuse of power by an official because the person is an official. Unlawful acts under color of law would not have occurred but for the fact that the person committing them was an official then, and there exercising power outside the bounds of lawful authority.

Color of Office: Pretense of official right to do an act made by one has no such right confered by any authority.

Criminal Gross Negligence: Negligence that is accompanied by acts of commission, or omission of a wanton or willful nature, showing a reckless or indifferent disregard of the rights of others, under circumstances reasonably calculated to produce injury, or which make it probable that injury will be occassioned, and the offender knows or is charged with knowledge of the probable results of his acts.

Criminal Behavior: Conduct which causes any social harm which is defined and made punishable by law, presuming the law exists which covers the action.

Quasi Crimes: All offenses not crimes or misdemeanors, but that are in the nature of crimes; a class of offenses against the public which have not been declared crimes, but wrongs against the general or local public which should be punished by penalties.

Criminal Homicide: Criminal homicide constitutes murder when it is committed purposely or knowingly, or committed recklessly under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.

Malicious Abuse of Legal Process: Perversion of court process to accomplish some end which the process was not designed to accomplish, and does not arise from the regular use of process, even with ulterior motives. Intent is to secure ends other than those intended by law through willfull application of court process.

Monopoly: A privilege or peculiar advantage vested in one or more persons or companies, consisting in the exclusive right (or power) to carry on a particular business or trade, manufacture a particular article, or control the sale of the whole supply of a particular commodity. A form of market structure in which one or only a few firms dominate the total sales of a product or service; the two main elements of the Sherman Antitrust Act are: possession of monopoly power and willful acquisition or maintenance of that power, as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic accident.

Monopoly Power: That which must exist to establish a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. The power to fix prices, to exclude competitors, or to control the market in the geographical area in question.

Monopolization: It is monopolization for persons to combine or conspire to acquire or maintain power to exclude competitors from any part of trade or commerce, provided they also have such power that they are able, as group, to exclude actual or potential competition, and provided they have intent and purpose to exercise that power.

Negligence: Omission which a reasonable person, guided by ordinary considerations which ordinarily regulate human affairs, would do, or the doing of something which a reasonable and prudent person would not do; conduct which falls below the standard established by law for the protection of others from unreasonable risk of harm.

Preponderance of evidence: Evidence which is of greater weight or more convincing that the evidence which is offered in opposition to it; it may not be determined by the number of witnesses, but by the greater weight of all evidence, the opportunity for knowledge, information possessed.

Willful Misconduct: Conduct committed with an intentional or reckless disregard for the safety of others, or with an intentional disregard of a duty necessary to the safety of another's property.