LIFE. The aggregate of the animal functions which resist death.
2. The state of animated beings, while they possess the power of feeling and
motion. It commences in contemplation of law generally as soon as the infant is
able to stir in the mother's womb; 1 Bl. Com. 129; 3 Inst. 50; Wood's Inst. 11;
and ceases at death. Lawyers and legislators are not, however, the best
physiologists, and it may be justly suspected that in fact life commences before
the mother can perceive any motion of the feotus. 1 Beck's Med. Jur. 291.
3. For many purposes, however, life is considered as begun from the moment of
conception in ventre sa mere. Vide Foetus. But in order to acquire and transfer
civil rights the child must be born alive. Whether a child is born alive, is to
be ascertained from certain signs which are always attendant upon life. The fact
of the child's crying is the most certain. There may be a certain motion in a
new born infant which may last even for hours, and yet there may not be complete
life. It seems that in order to commence life the child must be born with the
ability to breathe, and must actually have breathed. 1 Briand, MĒd. LĒg. 1ere
partie, c. 6, art. 1.
4. Life is presumed to continue at least till one hundred years. 9 Mart. Lo.
R. 257 See Death; Survivorship.
5. Life is considered by the law of the utmost importance, and its most
anxious care is to protect it. 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 202-3.
LIFE ANNUITY. An annual income to be paid during the continuance of a
LIFE-ASSURANCE. An insurance of a life, upon the payment of a premium;
this may be for the whole life, or for a limited time. On the death of the
person whose life has been insured, during the time for which it is insured, the
insurer is bound to pay to the insured. the money agreed upon. See 1 Bouv. Inst.
LIFE-ESTATE. Vide Estate for life, and 3 Saund. 338, h. note; 2 Kent
Com. 285; 4 Kent, Com. 23.; 1 Hov. Suppl. to Ves. jr. 371, 381; 2 Id. 45, 249,
330, 340, 398, 467; 8 Com. Dig. 714.
LIFE-RENT, Scotch law. A right to use and enjoy a thing during life,
the substance of it being preserved. A life-rent cannot, therefore, be
constituted upon things which perish in the use; and though it may upon subjects
which gradually wear out by time, as household furniture, &c., yet it is
generally applied to heritable subjects. Life-rents are divided into
conventional and legal.
2. - 1. The conventional are either simple or by reservation. A simple life-
rent, or by a separate constitution, is that which is granted by the proprietor
in favor of another. A life-rent by reservation is that which a proprietor
reserves to himself, in the same writing by which he conveys the fee to
3. - 2. Life-rents, by law, are the terce and the courtesy. See Terce;
LIGAN or LAGAN. Goods cast into the sea tied to a buoy, so that they
may be found again by the owners, are so denominated. When goods are cast into
the sea in storms or shipwrecks, and remain there without coming to land, they
are distinguished by the barbarous names of jetsam, (q. v.) flotsam, (q. v.) and
ligan. 5 Rep. 108; Harg. Tr. 48; 1 Bl. Com. 292.
LIGEANCE. The true and faithful obedience of a subject to his
sovereign, of a citizen to his government. It signifies also the territory of a
soverqign. See Allegiance.
LIGHTERMAN. The owner or manager of a lighter. A lighterman is
considered as a common Carrier. See Lighters.
LIGHTERS, commerce. Small vessels employed in loading and unloading
2. The owners of lighters are liable, like other common carriers for hire; it
is a term of the contract on the part of the carrier or lighterman, implied by
law, that his vessel is tight and fit for the purpose or employments for which
he offers and holds it forth to the public; it is the immmediate foundation and
substratum of the contract that it is so: the law presumes a promise to that
effect on the part of the carrier without actual proof, and every principle of
sound policy and public convenience requires it should be so. 5 East, 428;
Abbott on Sh. 225; 1 Marsh. on Ins. 254; Park on Ins. 23; Wesk. on Ins. 328.
LIGHTS. Those openings in a wall which are made rather for the
admission of light, than to look out of. 6 Moore, C. B. 47; 9 Bingh. R. 305; 1
Lev. 122; Civ. Code of Lo. art. 711. See Ancient Lights; Windows.
LIMBS. Those members of a man which may be useful to him in flight,
and the unlawful deprivation of which by another amounts to a mayhem at common
law. 1 Bl. Com. 130. If a man, se defendendo, commit homicide, he will be
excused; and if he enter into an apparent contract, under a well-grounded
apprehension of losing his life or limbs, he may afterwards avoid it. 1 Bl.