Glossary of Legal Terms – C

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

DISCLAIMER

This glossary should not be relied upon as legal advice. It is provided for general informational purposes only. To properly advise on any given situation requires a knowledge of the facts surrounding that situation. Laws and the statutory definitions of terms will vary from state to state. Specific questions should be directed to an attorney licensed in your state.

Calendar: List of cases scheduled for hearing in court.

Call option:  A clause in a loan agreement that allows a lender to ask for the balance at any time.

Can lights:  Cylindrical chambers with bulbs recessed into the ceiling.

Cancellation clause:  A clause that details the conditions under which each party may terminate the agreement.

Cancer misdiagnosis: Caused by medical negligence when a medical specialist fails to follow the acceptable standards of care required of his/her professional capacity. Cancer misdiagnosis related to medical negligence can occur when a medical professional fails to do any of the following: pay attention or respond to a patient’s complaints or symptoms, order the proper tests that would lead to correct diagnosis, refer a patient to a specialist in a timely manner, or treat a patient in the appropriate manner given their medical condition.

Cancer: A disease manifested by the presence of a malignant tumor. This tumor must be characterized by the uncontrolled growth and spread of malignant cells, the invasion of tissue, or leukemia.

Cantilever:   A projecting structure supported on one end, such as a balcony.

Cap:   A limit on the amount the interest rate or monthly payment can increase in an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Cape Cod style:   A wood-frame or shingled house with a steep roof and several windows projecting from the second floor.

Capital crime: A crime punishable by death.

Capital expenditure:   The cost of making improvements on a property.

Capital gains tax:   A tax placed on the profits from the sale of real estate or investments.

Capital gains:   Profits an investor makes from the sale of real estate or investments.

Capital improvement:   Any improvement that extends the life or increases the value of a piece of property.

Capital:   Money used to create income, such as funds invested in rental property.

Capitalization rate:   The percentage rate of return estimated from the net income of a piece of property.

Capitalization:   A mathematical formula that investors use to compute the value of a property based on net income.

Caption: The heading on a legal document listing the parties, the court, the case number, and related information.

Caravan:   A group of real estate agents who tour a house that has been recently listed for sale.

Carcinogen: A substance or agent that causes cancer.

Carpor:t   A roof that covers a driveway or other parking area.

Carrier: One engaged in the transportation of goods or freight; an insurance company.

Case Law: Law established by previous decisions of appellate courts, particularly the Supreme Court.

Casement window:   A window hinged on its sides to allow it to swing open vertically.

Cash collateral: Various kinds of cash assets such as, money, securities, documents of title, and proceeds, products, offspring, rents or profits of property, upon which a creditor has a lien or other secured interest.

Cash flow:  The amount of cash a rental property investor receives after deducting operating expenses and loan payments from gross income.

Cashier’s check:   A check the bank draws on itself rather than on a depositor’s account.

Cash-out refinance:   The refinancing of a mortgage in which the money received from the new loan is greater than the amount due on the old loan. The borrower can use the extra funds in any manner.

Casualty: A loss of property due to fire, storm shipwreck or other casualty, which is allowable as a deduction in computing taxable income.

Cathedral ceiling:   A high open ceiling formed by finishing exposed roof rafters.

Caulk:   An acrylic or silicon sealant used to fill cracks, crevices and holes in a home.

Causation: The act by which an effect is produced. See also “legal cause” and “proximate cause.”

Cause of Action: Fact or facts that give someone the right to seek a remedy through the court because the facts of the case apply to a certain law sought to be enforced.

Cause: A lawsuit, litigation, or action. Any question, civil or criminal, litigated or contested before a court of justice.

Caveat emptor:   A legal principle derived from Latin than means “let the buyer beware.”

Caveat:   A formal notice, that asks a court to suspend action until the party which filed the challenge can be heard.

Caveat: A warning; a note of caution.

Cavedium:   A courtyard or atrium.

Ceiling height:   The standard height of a ceiling is eight feet.

Celebrex: A brand of medication used to relieve the signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in adults. Celebrex use can result in stomach bleeding and liver damage.

Central air conditioning:   A device that generates cold air through an outside unit that is connected to ductwork inside the house.

Central business district:   The area of a city where most large businesses are located.

Central Nervous System: The brain and the spinal cord. Receives sensory impulses from the rest of the nervous system and then controls the body’s response to those impulses.

Cerebral palsy: A medical condition caused by a permanent brain injury that occurs before, during, or shortly after birth. The effect of cerebral palsy is characterized by lack of muscle control and body movement. The cerebral palsy diagnosis is usually made shortly after birth, but may show up later in childhood.

Certificate of Deposit (CD) :   A document which shows that the bearer has a specified amount of money on deposit with a bank, stock-brokerage firm or other financial institution.

Certificate of deposit index:   An index based on the interest rates on six-month CDs. It used to determine the interest rate for some adjustable-rate mortgages.

Certificate of eligibility:   A document issued by the Veterans Administration that verifies the eligibility of a veteran for a loan program.

Certificate of occupancy:   A document which states that a home or other building has met all building codes and is suitable for habitation.

Certificate of sale:   A document issued at a judicial sale, which entitles the buyer to receive a deed after court confirmation of the purchase of the property.

Certificate of title:   A written opinion on the status of a piece of property based on an examination of the public record.

Certification: 1. Written attestation. 2. Authorized declaration verifying that an instrument is a true and correct copy of the original.

Certify: To make known or establish as a fact; to declare in writing.

Certiorari: (Latin: “To be informed of.”) Writ issued by a superior or higher court to a lower court requiring the lower court to produce a certified record of a case tried there so that the superior court can examine the lower court proceedings for errors. See record.

Chain of title:   The official record that details the ownership history of a piece of property.

Chair railing:   Decorative trim installed on a wall about 32 inches above the floor, which protects against scuffs from furniture.

Challenge for Cause: Objection to the seating of a particular juror for a stated reason (usually bias or prejudice for or against one of the parties in the lawsuit). The judge has the discretion to deny the challenge. This differs from peremptory challenge

Challenge: An objection, such as when an attorney objects at a hearing to the seating of a particular person on a civil or criminal jury.

Chambers: A judge’s private office. A hearing in chambers takes place in the judge’s office outside of the presence of the jury and the public.

Change frequency:   The adjustment schedule on an adjustable-rate mortgage.

Change of Venue: Moving a lawsuit or criminal trial to another place for trial.

Change order:   A modification of the construction contract to authorize a change in the work, an adjustment in the amount of the contract or a change in the contract time. The owner, architect and contractor must sign the change.

Chapter 11: A financial reorganization of a business.

Chapter 12: A financial reorganization of a family farming enterprise.

Chapter 13: An adjustment of debts of an individual.

Chapter 20: Courthouse slang; a chapter 7 bankruptcy which, after final discharge, is quickly followed by the same debtor filing a chapter 13

.

Chapter 7: A liquidation bankruptcy for an individual, husband and wife, partnership or corporation; typically, nonexempt property is liquidated (sold) and the proceeds paid out to creditors on a pro-rata bases, and the debtor is discharged of liability for the debts. Certain categories of debtors are not entitled to a discharge, and certain categories of property are exempt (i.e., can not be taken from the debtor)

.

Chapter 9: A financial reorganization of a public entity.

Charge to the Jury: The judge’s instructions to the jury concerning the law that applies to the facts of the case on trial.

Chattel mortgage   A lien on personal property used as collateral for a loan.

Chattel:   Personal property such as furniture, clothing or a car.

Check: A draft or order to pay money.

Chief Judge: Presiding or Administrative Judge in a court.

Child support: A legal responsibility that both parents have to provide adequate financial support for the children until each reaches the age of emancipation.  The goal is to keep the children in the same quality of lifestyle that they would have experienced had the divorce not taken place.

Chimney back:   The back wall or lining of a fireplace or furnace chimney.

Chimney flue:   The passage inside a chimney that channels smoke and heat to the outside.

Chimney pot:   A short pipe at the top of a chimney that increases ventilation to the fireplace and reduces smoke.

Cinder block:   A block made of ash and cement that is used in construction.

Cinder fill:   Cinders used below a basement or around a foundation to promote drainage.

Circuit breaker:   An electric fuse that activates or deactivates a circuit.

Circumstantial Evidence: Indirect or secondary evidence through which a fact may be proved by inference.

Cistern:   A tank used to store rainwater.

Citation: 1. A reference to a source of legal authority. 2. A direction to appear in court, as when a defendant is cited into court, rather than arrested.

Civil Action: A lawsuit outside of the criminal justice system, seeking redress or an award of damage for a civil wrong.

Civil Complaint: The first pleading in a civil case filed by the plaintiff. It alleges the material facts and legal theories to support the plaintiff’s claim against the defendant.

Civil Law: Body of law concerned with private rights and remedies, as contrasted with criminal law.

Civil Lawsuit: A lawsuit in which one does not need to prove criminal liability.

Civil Procedure: The rules and process by which a civil case is tried and appealed, including the preparations for trial, the rules of evidence and trial conduct, and the procedure for pursuing appeals.

Civil Rights: The right to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, including such constitutional rights as free expression and religion, without discrimination in treatment by reason of race, color, sex, age, religion, previous condition of servitude or national origin.

Civil: Generally pertains to disputes, not involving crimes, including family matters, contracts, medical malpractice, collection of debts, and compensation for personal injury or property loss.

Claim Petition: In cases where a worker is injured on the job, the injured employee files a claim petition to seek initial compensation. This occurs when there has been a Notice of Denial – no workers’ compensation payments have been made or medical benefits have not been paid.

Claim: An asserted right to money, property or relief.

Claimant: A party asserting or presenting a claim.

Claims agent: A claims agent is a person appointed to manage the filing and retention of proofs of claim.

Class Action: A means by which one or more individuals are able to sue for themselves and as representatives of other people. A class action requires: an identifiable group of people with a well-defined interest in the facts and law of the suit; too many people in the group for it to be practical to bring them all before the court; and the individuals bringing suit are able to adequately represent the entire group.

Class of creditors: A group of creditors entitled to similar treatment in a bankruptcy case

Classified property tax:   A tax that varies in rate depending on the use of the property.

Clause: A paragraph or subdivision of a legal document such as a contract.

Clear and Convincing Evidence: Standard of proof commonly used in civil lawsuits and in regulatory agency cases. It governs the amount of proof that must be offered in order for the plaintiff to win the case.

Clear title:   A property that does not have liens, defects or other legal encumbrances.

Clemency or Executive Clemency: Act of grace or mercy by the president or governor to ease the consequences of a criminal act, accusation, or conviction. It may take the form of commutation or pardon.

Clerk Of Court: An officer of the court who has clerical duties, including record keeping, filing and making certified copies.

Closing Argument:  The closing statement, by counsel, to theTrier of facts after all parties have concluded their presentation of evidence.

Closing costs:   Expenses incidental to the sale of real estate, including loan, title and appraisal fees.

Closing statement:  A document which details the final financial settlement between a buyer and seller and the costs paid by each party.

Closing:   The final procedure in which documents are signed and recorded, and the property is transferred.

Cloud on title:  An invalid encumbrance on real property.

Cluster development:   A method of squeezing more homes into less space.

Co- Defendant:  A defendant joined together with one or more other defendants in the same case.

Code:  A compilation or collection of laws and statutes.

Co-debtor stay: In Chapter 13 cases, an automatic stay which restrains creditor actions against someone who is co-liable with the debtor on a consumer debt, but who has not filed bankruptcy, and the debtor has agreed to pay the 100% of the debt through the chapter 13 plan.

Codicil (kod’i-sil): An amendment to a will.

Codicil:   A change to a will that adds or subtracts provisions or clarifies portions of the document.

Cognitive Functions: The skills of the brain including memory, attention, and concentration.

Co-housing:   Individual housing units that are clustered around a common building where residents share cooking and other activities.

Coign:   The cornerstone of a building that differs in shape or color from the rest of the wall.

Co-insurance:   Coverage that involves the use of two or more insurers..

Collar beam:   The structural element that connects roof rafters.

Collateral security:   Additional security that a borrower supplies to obtain a loan.

Collateral Source Rule: The rule ensures that compensation awarded to a plaintiff in a lawsuit will not be reduced if the plaintiff receives compensation for the same injury from another source, such as insurance. Under the rule, a defendant tort-feasor is unable to benefit from the fact that the plaintiff received money from another source, such as insurance, because of the defendant’s tort.

Collateral: Property pledged to secure payment of a debt

Collection   The series of steps a lender takes to bring a delinquent mortgage up to date.

Collective bargaining agreement: An employment agreement entered into by an employee with a group of employees to negotiate with the employer over pay, benefits etc.

Collusion:   The action of two or more people to break the law.

Collusion: An agreement to commit fraud. In a divorce proceeding, the husband and wife may lie to the court to facilitate obtaining the divorce in a quicker manner.

Colonia:   Unincorporated communities along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Column footing:   The support base for a load-bearing column. The footing is usually made of reinforced concrete.

Column:   A slender upright structure that consists of a base, a round or square shaft and a capital.

Co-maker:   A person who signs a promissory note with the borrower and assumes responsibility for the loan.

Combination door:   An outer door with interchangeable screen and glass panels.

Combination window:   A window with interchangeable screen and glass panels.

Commercial bank:   A financial institution that provides a broad range of services, from checking and savings accounts to business loans and credit cards.

Commercial property:   An area that is zoned for businesses.

Commingling:   The mixing of money held in trust with other funds.

Commission:   The negotiable percentage of the sales price of a home that is paid to the agents of the buyer and seller.

Commit: To send a person to prison, asylum, or reformatory by a court order.

Commitment fee:   The fee a lender charges for promising to make a loan.

Commitment:   A promise by a lender to make a loan with specific terms for a specified period.

Common area:   An area inside a housing development that is owned by all residents.

Common law marriage: Two people agree, live together and hold themselves out to the public as husband and wife, but do not go through a ceremonial marriage.

Common law:   A body of laws based on custom, usage and rulings by courts in various jurisdictions.

Common Law: Law deriving its authority from usage and customs or judgments of courts recognizing and enforcing such usages and customs. Generally, law made by judges rather than by legislatures.

Common-area assessments:   Fees paid by the owners of a condominium project or planned-unit development to maintain, repair, improve or operate common areas.

Common-interest development:   A project composed of individually owned units that share usage and financial responsibility for common areas.

Community property:   Property accumulated through the joint efforts of husband and wife. It is a classification of property peculiar to certain states.

Community Reinvestment Act:   A federal law that encourages financial institutions to loan money in the neighborhoods where minority depositors live.

Commutation: The reduction of a sentence, as from death to life imprisonment.

Commute:   The distance and time it takes a person to reach the workplace.

Comparables:   Properties used as comparisons to determine the value of a certain property.

Comparative market analysis:   An estimate of the value of a property based on an analysis of sales of properties with similar characteristics.

Comparative Negligence: The doctrine providing that any award for injury caused by a defendant is reduced proportionately by the plaintiff’s relative degree of negligence.

Compensatory Damages: An award of monetary damages intended to compensate a plaintiff for economic and non-economic losses sustained as a result of another’s negligence, breach of contract or misfeasance.

Competent:   A term for a buyer who is legally fit to enter into a sales contract.

Competent: Having the ability to understand the nature and consequences of one’s actions.

Complainant: The party who complains or sues; one who applies to the court for legal redress. Also called the plaintiff.

Complaint: The initial pleading filed in a lawsuit by the plaintiff setting out the facts upon which the claim is based.

Compound interest:   The interest paid on the principal balance in a mortgage and on the accrued and unpaid interest of the loan.

Compromise and Release: In workers’ compensation cases, this occurs when a lump sum payment of money is paid by the insurance carrier to an injured worker to resolve the case. This lump sum is in lieu of the weekly compensation benefits the injured worker is receiving and may or may not include future medical benefits.

Conciliation: A form of alternative dispute resolution in which the parties bring their dispute to a neutral third party, who helps lower tensions, improve communications, and explore possible solutions. Conciliation is similar to mediation, but it may be less formal.

Conclusion of Fact: The inference drawn by a jury or the decider of fact based upon the evidence.

Concrete tilt-up:   The process of pouring concrete into forms on the ground, allowing the forms to harden and then raising the material to a vertical position to form walls.

Concurrent Sentences: Sentences for more than one crime that are to be served at the same time, rather than one after the other. See also cumulative sentences.

Condemnation:   The process the government uses to take private property for public use without the consent of the owner.

Condemnation: The legal process by which the government takes private land for public use, paying the owners a fair price.

Conditional commitment:   A promise by a lender to make a loan if the borrower meets certain conditions.

Condominium conversion:   The change in title from a single owner of an entire project or building to multiple owners of individual units.

Condominium:   Individual units in a building or development in which owners hold title to the interior space while common areas such as parking lots, community rooms and recreational areas are owned by all the residents.

Condonation: An express or implied forgiveness by the innocent spouse of the marital fault committed by the other spouse.

Conduit:   A metal pipe that houses electrical wiring.

Confidential Communication: A communication not intended to be disclosed to third parties, as between a lawyer and client.

Confidential Relationship: A fiduciary or other relationship which requires the utmost of good faith, and often, an understanding that communications between the parties are private.

Confirmation: A court’s approval of a debtor’s proposed plan in one of the reorganization chapters.

Consecutive Sentences: Successive sentences, one beginning at the expiration of another, imposed against a person convicted of two or more violations.

Consensual lien: A lien granted by agreement between the lien holder and the debtor, such as a mortgage or a UCC security interest.

Consent judgment:   A binding written agreement between two parties to have a judgment entered and recorded.

Conservator:   A court-appointed guardian.

Conservatorship: Legal right given to a person to manage the property and financial affairs of a person deemed incapable of doing that for himself or herself. (See also guardianship. Conservators have somewhat less responsibility than guardians.)

Consideration:   Anything that is legal, has value and induces a person to enter into a contract.

Consideration: Something of real value given in return for performance or the promise of performance, which induces a party to make an agreement or enter into a binding contract.

Consolidate: To join together, as several lawsuits with identical parties or issues.

Consortium: Affection, company and sexual relations between spouses.

Construction budget:   The funding that an owner arranges for the construction of a project.

Construction documents:   Drawings and specifications from an architect that provide detailed requirements for the construction of a project.

Construction loan:   Short-term loans a lender makes for the construction of homes and buildings. The lender disburses the funds in stages.

Construction to permanent loan:   The conversion of a construction loan to a longer-term traditional mortgage after construction has been completed.

Constructive trust: An equitable remedy under which a person who has acquired property by a wrongful act is deemed to hold the property in trust for the victim of the wrong.

Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS):   A nationwide, nonprofit organization that helps consumers get out of debt and improve their credit profile.

Consumer debt: Debt incurred by an individual primarily for a personal, family, or household purpose.

Contemporary style:   A design that features streamlined shapes, large unadorned windows and industrial materials.

Contempt of Court: Willful disobedience of a judge’s command or of an official court order.

Contested matter: A dispute in a bankruptcy proceeding that may be adjudicated by motion in the bankruptcy court.

Contiguous lots:   Pieces of property that are adjoined.

Contingency fee: A fee arrangement in which the plaintiff and his or her attorney agree that the fees due to the attorney will be determined by the amount of the judgment granted if in the favor of the plaintiff.

Contingency listing:   A property listing with a special condition attached.

Contingency:   A condition specified in a purchase contract, such as a satisfactory home inspection.

Contingent fee:   A fee that must be paid if a certain event occurs.

Continuance: A temporary stay or postponement of a legal proceeding.

Contract for deed:  A contract in which the seller agrees to defer all or part of the purchase price for a specified period of time.

Contract to purchase:   A contract the buyer initiates which details the purchase price and conditions of the transaction and is accepted by the seller. Also known as an agreement of sale.

Contract:   An agreement between two or more parties that creates or modifies an existing relationship.

Contract: A legally enforceable agreement between two or more competent parties made either orally or in writing.

Contractor:   The individual who contracts for the construction of a home or project.

Contractual lien:   A voluntary obligation such as a mortgage or trust deed.

Contributory Negligence: Broadly, carelessness on the plaintiff’s part. More precisely, conduct which falls below the standard of care established by law for the protection of one’s self against unreasonable risk of harm.

Contributory Negligence: The doctrine under which one cannot recover for personal injury when one’s own negligence contributed to the cause of the injury. This doctrine has by and large been replaced with the doctrine of comparative negligence.

Controlled growth:   Any restrictions imposed on the amount or type of new development in an area.

Conventional loan:   A long-term loan a lender makes for the purchase of a home.

Convertible adjustable-rate mortgage:   A mortgage which starts as an adjustable-rate loan, but allows the borrower to convert the loan to a fixed-rate mortgage during a specified period of time.

Conveyance tax:   A tax imposed on the transfer of real property.

Conveyance:   The transfer of title of property.

Conviction: A judgment of guilt against a criminal defendant.

Cooperating broker:   A real estate broker who finds a buyer for a property that another broker has listed.

Cooperative corporation:   A business trust that holds the title to a cooperative residential building and grants occupancy rights to shareholders in the corporation.

Cooperative mortgages:   Any loans related to a cooperative residential project.

Cooperative project:   A project in which a corporation holds title and sells shares representing individual units to buyers who then receive a proprietary lease as their title.

Core proceeding: A proceeding in a bankruptcy case that involves the adjudication of rights created by the Code, or concerns issues that could only arise in a bankruptcy case.

Corner bead:   A reinforcement placed in the corner where two walls intersect.

Corner influence:   The effect on the value of a property because it is situated on a corner or near a corner.

Cornice:   A horizontal molding that projects from the top of a structure or wall.

Corporate relocation:   An arrangement by which employers pay to transfer and move employees.

Corpus Delicti:  Body of the crime. The objective proof that a crime has been committed. It sometimes refers to the body of the victim of a homicide or to the charred shell of a burned house, but the term has a broader meaning. For the state to introduce a confession or to convict the accused, it must prove a corpus delicti, that is, the occurrence of a specific injury or loss and a criminal act as the source of that particular injury or loss.

Corrective work:   Necessary or desired repairs to remedy problems uncovered by a home or specialized inspection.

Corroborating Evidence: Supplementary evidence that tends to strengthen or confirm the initial evidence.

Co-signer:   A second party who signs a promissory note and takes responsibility for the debt.

Cost-plus contract:   A construction contract that determines the builder’s profit based on a percentage of the cost of labor and materials.

Costs: Expenses incurred in the prosecution of a lawsuit, including filing fees, deposition expenses and witness fees.

Cottage:   A small, one-story house.

Counsel: Legal adviser; a term used to refer to lawyers in a case.

Counterclaim: A claim filed by the defendant against a plaintiff as part of defendant’s response to a lawsuit.

Counteroffer:   A response to an offer.

Court Administrator/Clerk of court: An officer appointed by the Court or elected to oversee the administrative, non-judicial activities of the court.

Court Costs: The expenses of prosecuting or defending a lawsuit, other than the attorneys’ fees. An amount of money may be awarded to the successful party (and may be recoverable from the losing party) as reimbursement for court costs.

Court Order: Any judgment or order of any court of appropriate jurisdiction.

Court Reporter: The person who stenographically records and transcribes testimony during court proceedings or related proceedings such as depositions

.

Court: Refers to a specific court or may also refer to a judge.

Covenant:   A legal assurance or promise in a deed or other document, or implied by the law.

Covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) :   Rules and regulations for a development, such as acceptable landscaping or improvements that can be made to individual units.

Cox-2 Inhibitor: A drug designed to treat chronic pain without irritating the stomach and stomach lining.

Craftsman style:   An architectural style that evolved as part of the Arts and Craft movement near the turn of the century.

Crawl space:   The space between the ground and the first floor of a home, usually no higher than four feet.

Creative financing:   Innovative home-financing arrangements that help sell a property.

Credible: Worthy of belief.

Credit history:   A record of an individual’s current and past debt payments.

Credit life insurance:   Insurance that pays off a mortgage in the event of the borrower’s death.

Credit rating:   The degree of credit worthiness assigned to a person based on credit history and financial status.

Credit report:   A credit bureau report that shows a loan applicant’s history of payments made on previous debts. Several companies issue credit reports, but the three largest are Trans Union Corp., Equifax and Experian (formerly TRW ).

Credit repository:   Large companies that gather financial and credit information from various sources about individuals who have applied for credit.

Credit union:   Nonprofit cooperative organizations that provide banking and financial services, including mortgages, home improvement loans and home equity loans, to their members.

Credit:   The money a lender extends to a buyer for a commitment to repay the loan within a certain time frame.

Creditor:   An individual or institution to whom a debt is owed.

Creditor: An entity that has a claim against the debtor.

Criminal Law: Criminal law declares what conduct is criminal and prescribes punishment to be imposed for criminal conduct. The purpose of criminal law is to prevent harm to society.

Cross-bridging:   The strengthening of a structure by bracing cross members between beams.

Cross-Claim: A lawsuit filed by one defendant in a lawsuit against another defendant in the same lawsuit.

Cross-examination: The questioning of a witness of one party by the opposing party during a trial, hearing or deposition.

CT Scan:  First introduced in 1973, CT Scans (Computed Tomography) and CAT Scans (Computed Axial Tomography) have rocketed in use and have evolved in capability and utilization. During CT Scan, a series of x-ray beams pass through an area of the body and the extent to which the body tissues absorb the x-rays are thereupon measured. A computer transforms these measurements into two-dimensional anatomic “slices” of high-resolution quality. One of the benefits of CT is the enhanced detail over regular x-rays. CT is able to depict portions of the body impossible to obtain by mere x-ray, and does so at ten to thirty times the detail of regular x-ray. Other advantages of Computed Tomography include its cost effectiveness (when compared to MRI), and its ability to differentiate between soft tissue damage without regard to nearby structures on the image itself. CT Scans are the diagnostic tools of choice for brain trauma due to their ability to capture collections of blood (hematoma), cerebral contusions (bruises), fractures, and edema (swelling). As with x-ray, CT Scans are not limited for use in any one area of the body, but are used throughout.

Cul de sac:   A street or alley that is closed at one end.

Cumulative Sentences: Sentences for two or more crimes to run consecutively, rather than concurrently.

Cupola:   A dome-like structure that sits on top of a roof.

Curable defect:   A deficiency in a property that is easy or inexpensive to fix, such as chipping paint.

Curb appeal:   The first impression of a house as seen from the street.

Curtain wall:   An exterior wall that encloses a yard or other area but does not provide any structural support to a home.

Custodial parent: The parent who has physical custody of the child.

Custody: Legal guardianship of the children. Frequently, in a divorce proceeding, custody will be shared between the parents (“shared custody”). Less frequently, there will be a reason to award custody only to one parent (“sole custody”).

Custom builder:   A builder who constructs a home or building based on plans created by the owner.

Custom home:   A structure designed by an architect hired by the owner.

Customer property: Cash, security, or other property received, acquired, or held by or for the account of the debtor, from or for the securities account of a customer.