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An assumption made by a court and embodied in various legal doctrines that a fact or concept is true when in actuality it is not true, or when it is likely to be equally false and true.

A legal fiction is created for the purpose of promoting the ends of justice. A common-law action, for example, allowed a father to bring suit against his daughter's seducer, based on the legal fiction of the loss of her services. Similarly, the law of torts encompasses the legal fiction of the rule of Vicarious Liability, which renders an employer responsible for the civil wrongs of his or her employees that are committed during their course of employment. Even though the employer generally is uninvolved in the actual act constituting the tort, the law holds the employer responsible since, through a legal fiction, he or she is deemed to be in direct control of the employee's actions. A seller of real estate might, for example, be liable in an action for Fraud committed by his or her agent in the course of a sale.

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


Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
References in periodicals archive ?
Fictionally she is genuinely worried about this fate and attentively follows the
Would it be cheaper through a plot line to have something fall out the sky fictionally and wipe out the EastEnders set, and rebuild it as new?" The plot he referred to was the 1993 Christmas storyline of a plane crashing into the village, which gave Emmerdale viewing figures of 18 million.
For readers interested in how emerging technologies are realized, this book provides a rich portrayal of nanotechnology's potential being apprehended and embodied virtually, fictionally, and actually through play.
Other fine writers also contributed: Butch Dalisay with the hero on a world poker tour, Jose Lacaba with an excerpt from a film script and ruminations on the alleged gayness of the subject long before the word changed meaning, Erwin Castillo on gunmanship and Rizal's affair with the Smith and Wesson, and the aforementioned Sanchez in a letter to Sawi (Aquino), saying: "I remember, many years back, Erwin and I chatting about what aspect of JR we might want to render fictionally.
The book can be described as 'faction,' as it has enabled her combine her love for history and fiction, by fictionally re-creating the life of the late premier of Northern Nigeria, Sir Ahmadu Bello, using researched materials.
Geoff Berner's The Fiddler is a Good Woman pieces together the fictionally fragmented life of a Canadian rock violinist named DD, known for her many moods and talents, now seemingly gone without a trace.
These four visits, fictionally reimagined, of course, but also "pretty closely autobiographical," are one of three beautifully braided narratives in Refuge, a revelatory novel about the lives of uprooted people.
British photographer Richard Allenby-Pratt has created images depicting a fictionally eerie, abandoned Dubai in which the skyscrapers and resorts are empty.
Based on their recommendations, NATO forces fictionally "sank" a Norlandia refueling ship during the exercise, choosing a time and area with near-ideal conditions to mitigate environmental damage.