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
property
See personal property, real estate, community property, separate property.
property control trust
Any trust that imposes limits or controls over the rights of trust beneficiaries. These trusts include (1) special needs trusts designed to assist people who have special physical, emotional or other requirements, (2) spendthrift trusts designed to prevent a beneficiary from wasting the trust principal; and (3) sprinkling trusts that allow the trustee to decide how to distribute trust income or principal among the beneficiaries.
property guardian
See guardian of the estate.
prosecute
When a local District Attorney, state Attorney General or federal United States Attorney brings a criminal case against a defendant.
Prosecuting Attorney
See District Attorney.
prosecutor
A lawyer who works for the local, state or federal government to bring and litigate criminal cases.
proving a will
Convincing a probate court that a document is truly the deceased person's will. Usually this is a simple formality that the executor or administrator easily satisfies by showing that the will was signed and dated by the deceased person in front of two or more witnesses. When the will is holographic -- that is, completely handwritten by the deceased and not witnessed, it is still valid in many states if the executor can produce relatives and friends to testify that the handwriting is that of the deceased.
provisional patent application (PPA)
The provisional patent application is a simple, inexpensive strategy to preserve your rights while you decide whether to file for a regular patent. It establishes an official U.S. patent application filing date for the invention and is much less expensive, and much easier to prepare, than a regular patent application.
provocation
The act of inciting another person to do a particular thing. In a fault divorce, provocation may constitute a defense to the divorce, preventing it from going through. For example, if a wife suing for divorce claims that her husband abandoned her, the husband might defend the suit on the grounds that she provoked the abandonment by driving him out of the house.
PTO
See Patent and Trademark Office.
public administrator
Someone appointed by a probate court to oversee probate proceedings when a person dies without a will or heirs, and his or her property is expected to pass to the state. Some states have public administrators who are responsible for temporarily preserving the assets of an estate if there are disputes about specific provisions in the will or about who will be appointed the regular administrator.
public defender
A lawyer appointed by the court and paid by the county, state, or federal government to represent clients who are charged with violations of criminal law and are unable to pay for their own defense.
public domain
A creative work, invention or logo that is available for use without permission from its owner. This typically occurs after patent, trademark or copyright protection has expired.
published work
An original work of authorship that is considered published for purposes of copyright law. A work is "published" when it is first made available to the public on an unrestricted basis. It is thus possible to display a work, or distribute it with restrictions on disclosure of its contents, without actually "publishing" it. Both published and unpublished works are entitled to copyright protection, but some of the rules differ.
punitive damages
See damages.