Glossary

B

Bailiff

An officer of the court whose job includes “serving” legal documents, which means delivering them in an official way.

Bailiffs also carry out court decisions, for example by seizing property.

Balance of probabilities

This refers to the standard of proof that must be met by people involved in a civil court case.

A standard of proof is the obligation to prove that your version of events is the truth.

The balance of probabilities standard is met when a person shows that her version of events is more likely to be true than the version of the other side.

This standard is also called the “preponderance of proof” or the “preponderance of evidence”.

Bar

The Quebec Bar is the professional order for Quebec lawyers. A professional order supervises people who practice certain professions.

The Bar’s main function is to protect the public. The Bar makes sure that lawyers have the knowledge they need to do their jobs and that they follow rules that apply to the profession.

Historically, the “bar” referred to a physical barrier in the courtroom that separated the public from lawyers presenting a case.

Books and records

Documents that record the activities of an organization. Books and records include financial statements, invoices, minutes of meetings, copies of tax receipts issued, annual reports and bank statements. Registered charities are required to keep certain kinds of books and records.

Burden of proof

This refers to the obligation of people involved in a court case to prove the truth of their versions of events. This obligation usually rests on the person who brings the case to court.

In criminal cases, the case against the person accused of breaking the law must be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt”.

In other cases, a person must show that her version of events is more likely to be true than the version of the other side. This is like a 50%-plus-1 test.

Business

Activities carried out on a regular basis that generate money from providing goods or services with the intention of earning a profit.

Business corporation

A type of legal structure for operating a for-profit business. A business corporation is also called a "company".

Business corporations are incorporated, which makes them different from other kinds of business structures.

By-laws

Written rules on how an organization or business corporation operates internally.

(A business corporation is also called a "corporation" or "company".)

By-laws often include rules about how directors and officers (president, treasurer, etc.) are chosen, the duties of directors and officers, how meetings are called, the creation of committees, banking arrangements, etc.

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