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The Everyday Dictionary of Law

The Everyday Dictionary of Law provides legal vocabulary currently in use in common law jurisdictions such as most notably, in the United States. The dictionary is compiled specifically for commercial and intellectual property law practitioners, which provides simple definitions and meanings in American English, for legal terms (including Latin terms) used in formal correspondence, court proceedings, and motion practice as well as common language words that are frequently used in the same. It is a simple reference guide for attorneys, paralegals as well as casual readers who need to check the meaning of a particular legal term in due course of their work.


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The Quality Brands Protection Committee is a committee in China that facilitates and promotes continuous improvements in administrative and judicial protection for intellectual property.


/kweɪ/ /kwɑ/

Latin for "which; as". In the capacity of.


/kwɪərɪ/ /ˈkwiri/

Latin for "query". Used in legal drafts to call attention to some uncertainty or inconsistency in the material being cited.


/kwaɪrɪˌtɜː/ /kwirituˈr/

Latin for "It is sought". The question is raised. Used to declare that a question is being asked in the following verbiage.

quaestus liberales

/kwiːˈsiːtəs lɪbəˌreɪl/
/kwɛstəs ˈlɪbərˌeɪl/

Liberal profession


/kwɒntəm/ /kwɑntəm/

Latin for "how much".

quantum meruit

/kwɒntəm mɛruːɪt/ /kwɑntəm meɪruɪt/

Latin for "as much as it deserves; as much as she or he has earned". In contract law, a quasi-contractual remedy that permits partial reasonable payment for an incomplete piece of work (services and/or materials), assessed proportionately, where no price is established when the request is made. In contract law, and in particular the requirement for consideration, if no fixed price is agreed upon for the service and/or materials, then one party would request a reasonable price for the said services and/or materials at the end of the job. A common example would be a plumber requested to fix a leak in the middle of the night.

quantum valebant

/kwɒntəm væləbænt/
/kwɑntəm væləbænt/

Latin for "as much as they were worth". Under Common Law, a remedy to compute reasonable damages when a contract has been breached – the implied promise of payment of a reasonable price for goods. In contract law, for requirements of consideration, reasonable worth for goods delivered. Quantum meruit has replaced quantum valebant in consideration; in the case of contract remedy, quantum valebant is being used less, and could be considered obsolete.


/ˈkweɪzaɪ/ /kweɪˌzaɪ/

Latin for "as if". Resembling or being similar to something, without actually being that thing.

qui tam

/ˈkwi tæm/ /ˌkwɪ tæm/

Abbreviation of qui tam pro domino rege quam pro se ipso in hac parte sequitur, meaning "who pursues in this action as much for the king as himself". In a qui tam action, one who assists the prosecution of a case is entitled to a proportion of any fines or penalties assessed.

quid pro quo

/kwɪd prəʊ ˈkwəʊ/ /ˌkwɪd proʊ ˈkwoʊ/

Latin for "this for that". An equal exchange of goods or services, or of money (or other consideration of equal value) for some goods or services.

quo ante

/kwəʊ æntɪ/ /kwou ænti/

Latin for "as before". Returning to a specific state of affairs which preceded some defined action.

quo warranto

/kwəʊ wɒˈræntəʊ/ /kwou wɔ ˈræntou/

Latin for "by what warrant". A request made to someone exercising some power, to show by what legal right they are exercising that power. A type of writ.

quoad hoc

/kwəʊˌæd hɒk/ /kwɔd houk/

Latin for "as to this". Used to mean "with respect to" some named thing, such as when stating what the law is in regards to that named thing.

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