As the specialized language used by those in the legal profession, legalese includes a number of complicated, curious, and occasionally confounding legal terms and phrases.
Over the last six months, our series examining this specialized language, Legalese from A to Z, has made it nearly all the way through the alphabet, one letter at a time. In this final installment, we take a look at some interesting bits of legalese from each of the last three letters of the alphabet, "X," "Y," and "Z":
Year-and-a-day rule. The year-and-a-day rule is a common law rule relieving a person of responsibility for the killing of another person if the victim lives for more than one year and one day after being injured. Most jurisdictions in the United States have abolished this rule, although similar rules may still apply. In California, for example, if person dies more than three years and a day after an event, there is a rebuttable presumption that the killing was not criminal.
Zone of danger. In injury law, the zone of danger is the area within which a person is in actual physical danger from another person's negligent conduct. The zone of danger may be a factor in determining whether an injured person will be able to recover from a defendant. For example, in some jurisdictions a claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress brought by someone who witnessed another person's injury may require that the plaintiff was also in the zone of danger.