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 ?
He sets up the straw man argument that to believe in evolution it's also necessary to believe "that the zillions of species in nature all came about by sheer happenstance, that no intelligence was at any point involved." This is a misrepresentation of Darwinian evolution.
That this is hot a straw man argument is demonstrated in Pickstock's claims in her and Milbank's Truth in Aquinas (Routledge, 2001), where she asserts that contemporary philosophy has adopted the position that realism is dead.
More importantly, Holland's example of a misreading presents a common version of a straw man argument that evades the difficult interpretive questions at issue.(3) I will readily admit, I have never "found" any Eskimos lingering in Faulkner's city of Jefferson.
Im just as tired of hearing straw man arguments (like "the left wants open borders so they get more voters.") We need to get past political games they only benefit the two parties, not Americans in general.