Straw Man


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Straw Man

An individual who acts as a front for others who actually incur the expense and obtain the profit of a transaction.

In the terminology employed by real estate dealers, a straw man is an individual who acts as a conduit for convenience in holding and transferring title to the property involved. For example, such a person might act as an agent for another in order to take title to real property and execute whatever documents and instruments the principal directs with respect to the transaction.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

straw man

n. 1) a person to whom title to property or a business interest is transferred for the sole purpose of concealing the true owner and/or the business machinations of the parties. Thus, the straw man has no real interest or participation but is merely a passive stand-in for a real participant who secretly controls activities. Sometimes a straw man is involved when the actual owner is not permitted to act, such as a person with a criminal record holding a liquor license. 2) an argument which is intended to distract the other side from the real issues or waste the opponent's time and effort, sometimes called a "red herring" (for the belief that drawing a fish across a trail will mislead hunting dogs).

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
"The court very clearly distinguished between STOLI--a prearranged agreement to transfer a policy involving a straw man -that's illegal- and life settlements [involving] a legitimately procured life insurance policy in a life settlement market described as highly regulated, says Michael Freedman, a senior vice president at Coventry First L.L.C., Fort Washington, Pa.
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He set up a two-legged straw man and then easily knocked him down.
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He must show that David Cameron is a political straw man without substance or policies.
Another is the straw man, in which one makes up a ridiculous position and attributes it to an opponent who, therefore, must be wrong.
Our Justice Secretary might like to play the tough guy, but he really is a Straw Man.
Park (Lake Forest College, Illinois) and Pooley (Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA) introduce 14 essays that reflect on this "invention of tradition" as international contributors address how the field views its history compared to other social sciences from postmodern perspectives that deflate the straw man of the all-powerful media.
IN his attack on me (Your Say, 16.7.07) Andy McDonald erects a straw man then proceeds at great length to demolish it.
Straw man #1: "The celebrant now marches down the centre aisle ...
I am referring to the crafting of a straw man, which the dictionaries define as "a sham argument set up to be defeated." A straw man can of course also be selfdefeating when poorly constructed.
Early in the book Dawkins tells us about the God in whom he does not believe: this God is a "supernatural creator" and when Dawkins writes of God it is "in the sense defined." This definition, of course, saves Dawkins the trouble of reading any theologians who might not define God in this way and who would say that Dawkins' God is in fact a straw man, an easy target.