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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 ?
If we take the "original character," the confidence man himself, to represent fiction, or the writer in the guise of fictionist, we see that the costumes, the abrupt shifts in style, the calculated deceptions designed to expose the passengers to themselves, comprise the very work of telling the truth.
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Syed Zubair Shah, a young fictionist and poet from Swabi, stole the show by reciting a beautiful romantic poem.
Bautista, National Artist for Literature and multi-awarded poet, fictionist, and essayist, died at the age of 76 yesterday.
One oversimplification results from the failure to create a useful critical view based on the valuable insights of Bakhtin about the "chronotope." This element now is mainly just an assertion, not an illuminating discussion of the fictionist's opportunities and achievement.
Vincen Gregory Yu is a medical doctor, fictionist, poet and theater reviewer for Inquirer Lifestyle-Theater.
My third other sister is Rowena Tiempo, a poet, fictionist and essayist, a former Miss Dumaguete.
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Which is not to say that Thom Jones is a fictionist of the radical right.
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There are many atheists - past and living - who I admire for their achievements like science fictionist Isaac Asimov, poet Robert Burns, Greek philosopher Democritus, inventor Thomas Edison, writer Ernest Hemingway and philosopher Bertrand Russell.