COMMERCE

Cruzan v. Missouri Department of Health (1990)

The U.S. Supreme Court case in which the Court held that family members could not refuse life-sustaining medical treatment -- such as a feeding tube -- on behalf of incompetent patients, absent clear and convincing evidence that the refusal was in accordance with the patients' wishes.

Assumable Mortgage

A type of financing in which one person may take over the mortgage from another.  For example, Buyer 1 wants to buy a house, so he takes out a mortgage (borrows money from the bank to pay for the house).  If Buyer 1 wants to sell the house to Buyer 2 before the mortgage is paid off, and the loan is an assumable mortgage, Buyer 2 may "step into the shoes" of Buyer 1 and take over the mortgage.

Adjustment Date

The date the interest rate changes on an adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). On most ARMs, the rate starts out fixed at a discount for an initial period, such as five years. Then it's reset (typically upward) on the adjustment date to reflect current market rates. The rate continues to change on a regularly scheduled basis at each adjustment period.

Cumis Counsel

An attorney employed by a defendant in a lawsuit when there is an insurance policy supposedly covering the claim, but there is a conflict of interest between the insurance company and the insured defendant. Such a conflict might arise if the insurance company is denying full or partial coverage. In California, the defendant can demand that the insurance company pay the attorney fees of a selected attorney rather than use an insurance company lawyer. The term is derived from the name of a 1984 California case.

Cohan Rule

 A common law rule whereby taxpayers, when unable to produce records of actual expenditures, may rely on reasonable estimates provided there is some factual basis for it.  "Absolute certainty in such matters is usually impossible and is not necessary; the Board should make as close an approximation as it can, bearing heavily if it chooses upon the taxpayer whose inexactitude is of his own making."  See Cohan v. Commissioner, 39 F. 2d 540 (2d Cir. 1930).  

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