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Laches is a doctrine that operates much like statutes of limitation to limit the time within which a legal action can be brought.
Laches is seldom successful to prevent legal action prior to the deadline set by the statutes of limitation except when the plaintiff has unnecessarily refused to come forward sooner, witnesses have died, evidence is no longer available, or other reasons exist that some protection should be afforded to the defendant who would be unfairly prejudiced by the inability to defend and the limited economy and resources of the court to hear cases what are unlikely to go forward because of the limitations caused by the plaintiff's unnecessary delay in bringing the case sooner.
Strangely, this all-important term is not widely understood ... for it can have many meanings, depending on usage.
For example, there once was a time when men with dark skin were not permitted to enjoy the same civil rights as men with significantly lighter skin. There were "laws" that kept such people in the back of the bus or drinking from specially-marked water fountains in public buildings. Segregation was the "law" for many years ... until wiser men made new law to replace the old. Such laws derive from human legislation and can be changed.
Even constitutions fall into this category and, though they are not often changed and wisdom urges us to refrain from changing them except upon the highest priority, yet they, too, can be amended, revised, or done away with altogether.
Other laws like the maxims are self-evident truths that never change.
The meaning of "law" and its relationship to equity is the quest of that noble study known as jurisprudence. In American Jurisprudence our laws must submit to constitutions (state and federal) that require all living persons to be treated equally ... well, almost.
Constitutions seek equity, while legislation serves expedience.
There is a higher law than constitutions. That Law is God, ordaining eternally that some things are and will forever remain as they are, that day follows night, that kind action brings good results, that honesty is the best policy, that love is its own reward. This Law is not subject to our laws. When we intentionally harm others, this Law brings consequences we do not enjoy. When we do good to others, this Law brings inner peace and joy. This Law that is God cannot be changed by our legislation or our constitutions, for it matters not one whit what we decree about the force of gravity, for example, nor where we draw the line on the issue of when human life begins. God does not change no matter what we insist, how loudly we protest, nor how many laws we pass.
Hold an apple in your outstretched hand and open your fingers. The apple will fall. Invade your neighbor’s land to murder his children and call it self-defense. You will pay a heavy price that God ordains. Give to those in need and God will reward you in ways past understanding.
This Law should guide us as we make our own laws for, if we are foolish in our legislative bodies and in our courts, God will exact a price from us as certainly as gravity pulls us toward the earth.
If, on the other hand, we protect the weak and poverty inflicted, protecting their equal access to the benefits of our government, and if we refuse to invade the province of our neighbors on the pretence of policing the world but honor them by keeping our own skirts clean, then God will reward us in due season.
Such is the Law of laws ... the Law of Love.
Love never fails.
No student can pretend to know what is needed to be known about law, until he or she submits to the Authority of that Unseen Hand that gives treasures to all who in love will give of themselves. This is the Law we may choose to obey and receive Life more abundantly ... the highest law of all and the greatest wisdom.
Though in years past there may have been a distinction between "lawyer" and "attorney" in this nation (as there is a difference between "solicitor" and "barrister" in England, the distinction is no longer recognized.
A lawyer these days is simply a man or woman who holds himself or herself out as having the competence to assist or represent others in legal matters. See Attorney.
Leading Question
Not contrary to codified law.
Legal Cause
An act or failure to act that by a natural and continuous sequence directly produces or contributes substantially to damage, so it can be reasonably said that, but for the act or failure to act, the damage would not have occurred.
Legal Description
To keep track of interests in real property legal descriptions are written into deeds, mortgages, and other documents identifying particular parcels with specificity.
Such documents must include more than a mere street address, e.g., "1701 Main Street, Jacksonville, Florida".
The legal description to such a parcel might read "Lot 10, Block 27, Plat Book 283 of the Public Records of Duval County, Florida." In those public records will be found even more precise information clarifying the exact location and boundaries, often with an official survey.
To remove criminal penalties. When a particular behavior, previoulsy illegal, is legalized, there remains no criminal punishment for the behavior, i.e., individuals are free to participate in the behavior without fear of criminal prosecution. See decriminalize.
This word is both noun and verb. A levy is an action (usually carried out by the local sheriff, but also sometimes by a federal marshall) that seizes property from a judgment debtor, i.e., one who has been determined by court order to owe another (usually the result of the judgment creditor winning his case). As a verb, of course, the word is used as, "The Sheriff will levy on his property next Tuesday," where as a noun it is, "The judgment debtor’s property is subject to a levy."
Responsibility for the legal cause on which a plaintiff has the right to file a lawsuit to recover his damages. Liability imputes duty. Failure to meet a duty results in a cause of action.
The state of being responsible for the legal cause on which a plaintiff has the right to file a lawsuit to recover his damages.
A form of defamation communicated in print, as opposed to speech. In order for a cause of action to arise for libel, the plaintiff must prove (1) the words printed were false, (2) they were communicated to others in print, and (3) the plaintiff suffered some genuine damage as a result. See also slander.

A right to foreclose on the property of another (tangible personal property or real property) to collect an amount owed but as yet unpaid. It is a non-possessory interest in that the lien holder does not have a right to enjoy the property but, rather, only the right to have a court of competent jurisdidiction foreclose the lien, i.e., to order the property sold to obtain money to satisfy the amount owed.
Preliminary. Pronounced Lim'-u-nee. Usually seen with a "Motion in Limine" that is filed prior to a hearing or trial in which the moving party wishes the court to rule that certain evidence be excluded as a preliminary precaution, i.e., to keep that evidence from even being mentioned. Very powerful when used in a timely manner.
Lis Pendens
When a lawsuit is filed over the right to possess real property or otherwise affecting rights in real property, the savvy litigant also files a notice to alert the rest of the world that rights to the parcel of real property are in dispute. This filing is called a notice of lis pendens, meaning "litigation is pending". If third parties search the public record before dealing with the purported owners of such property, they will find the notice of lis pendens and be duly warned that title in the property is disputed. Caution should be exercised before filing a lis pendens, however, for unless there exist legitimate claims in the property adverse to those of the owner of record, the party filing a lis pendens may be held responsible for damages to the owner and those seeking to deal with the owner in regard to the property. On the other hand, if the lawsuit legitimately challenges claims of interest in the real property, filing a lis pendens so notifies others and tends to prevent the purported owner from selling or otherwise disposing of the property until the relevant issues are formally resolved by the court.
Any party to a lawsuit.
Litigation is the process of prosecuting or defending a lawsuit. Litigation is an unavoidable expense of civilization, for without it people would be required to either suffer the damages caused them by others or resort to violence to redress their grievances. The right to litigate is your most fundamental right in America and other civilized nations. Litigation is part of the process that preserves peace. At the same time, litigation is becoming one of the most expensive and time-consuming enterprises known to man. Without it, we would realize very little progress against the avarice and abuses of those more powerful than ourselves. Yet, at the same time, litigation is constantly tearing at the fabric of the very political machine that makes it possible. Where labor and management create capital, litigation and its attendant expenses of time and money only consume capital and dissipate a nation’s resources. We would do well to find ways to reduce unnecessary litigation in our world, however a truly free people cannot be denied the right to complain when they suffer injuries at the hands of others, and a just government will keep the courthouse doors open to everyone who petitions to be heard. Ours is said to be the most litigious society ever known, yet ours is also the wealthiest and most controlled of all societies in which the weak and few at least are permitted a voice and an opportunity to be heard complaining about the excesses of the powerful and many. Litigation in itself is not an evil. The misuse of litigation is an evil. By learning about the rules and language of litigation, you empower yourself to avoid the horrors of litigation and increase your chance for victory.
Of or pertaining to litigation. Often used derogatorily to describe those individuals or societies of individuals who abuse the process of litigation.