[This is an update to the Black Label Law Dictionary. You can read the full version here.]
Asset-coverage test. A method of checking the appropriateness of work attire by standing in front of a full-length mirror and going through a range of motions to see how clothing shifts in order to assure proper asset-coverage.
Bicameral. A legislature that is divided into two houses, each of which is filmed by a different camera. In the United States, the bicameras are those of CSPAN and CSPAN2.
Blue-sky. A security having little value. The term originates from the popular belief among those working in finance and law that blue skies, sunshine, and day time in general are fantasies on par with Santa Claus and work-life balance.
Crown-jewel defense. (1) An antitakeover device in which the target company agrees to sell its most valuable assets to a third party if a hostile bid is tendered, so that the company will be less attractive to an unfriendly suitor. (2) An anti-assault maneuver in which an attacker is kicked or punched in the crown-jewels. (3) An anti-crown-jewel-assault maneuver in which the crown-jewels are covered at the expense of leaving all other parts vulnerable.
Denizen. A person given certain rights in a foreign nation or living habitually in a foreign nation. <American denizens of Middle Eastern countries enjoy the right to forgo due process in their extrajudicial assassinations.>
Fraud by hindsight. A claim of fraud based on the assumption that a corporation deliberately misled investors by issuing optimistic financial statements or forecasts and later reporting worse-than-expected results. Congress eliminated this claim in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, coincidentally the same time law schools began universally advertising 95%+ employment outcomes.
Hax0rcide. The murder of a hacker.
Juxtaposition. Mythological beast from Alice’s Adventures in Blackacre. <Twas COB and the paralegals / Did scurry off like impish Smeagols / But the lawyers all so supercilious / Were to impending danger quite oblivious / Beware the Juxtaposition, counselor / The file memo and spinning propeller / Beware the chit-chat secretaries and shun / The time-consuming new bestseller.>
Trial by combat. A trial that is decided by personal battle between the disputants, common in Europe and England during the Middle Ages. It saw reduced popularity over time, eventually being replaced in 1992 with Trial by Kombat, due largely to the new method’s legal fees of only twenty-five cents per party.
Wontonness. Conduct indicating that the actor is aware of the risks but indifferent to the results of putting too many wontons into a bowl of soup, which is known to create a choking hazard and risk of MSG poisoning.