Chief; leading; most important or considerable; primary; original. Highest in rank, authority, character, importance, or degree.
As to principal challenge
- principal contract
- principal obligation
- principal office
- principal vein, see those titles
@ principal establishment
In the law concerning domicile, the principal domestic establishment. Mosely v. Dabezies, 142 La. 256, 76 So. 705, 706.
@ principal fact
In the law of evidence, a fact sought and proposed to be proved by evidence of other facts (termed "evidentiary facts") from which it is to be deduced by inference. A fact which is the principal and ultimate object of an inquiry, and respecting the existence of which a definite belief is required to be formed
2. principal, noun
The source of authority or right. A superintendent, as of a school. An amount of money that has been borrowed or invested. The capital sum of a debt or obligation, as distinguished from interest or other additions to it. An amount on which interest is charged or earned. Amount of debt, not including interest. The face value of a note, bond, mortgage, etc. that must be repaid as distinct from the interest that is paid thereon. Capital sum placed at interest, due as a debt, or use as a fund, as distinguished from interest or profit. Klitgaard v. Gaines, Tex.Civ.App., 479 S.W.2d 765, 770.
See also coprincipal
Criminal law.
One who is present at and participates in the crime charged or who procures an innocent agent to commit the crime. State v. Furr, 292 N.C. 711, 235 S.E.2d 193, 198.
A chief actor or perpetrator, or an aider and abettor actually or constructively present at the commission of the crime, as distinguished from an "accessory." At common law, a principal in the first degree is he that is the actor or absolute perpetrator of the crime; and, in the second degree, he who is present, aiding and abetting the principal in the first degree.
The distinction between principals in the first and second degrees has been abrogated in the Model Penal Code and by many state codes.
A "principal" differs from an "accessory before the fact" only in the requirement of presence during commission of crime. Huff v. State, 23 Md.App. 211, 326 A.2d 198, 201.
Whoever commits an offense against the United States or aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission, is punishable as a principal. Also, whoever willfully causes an act to be done which if directly performed by him or another would be an offense against the United States, is punishable as a principal. 18 U.S.C.A. No. 2
@ principal in the first degree
A principal in the first degree may simply be defined as the criminal actor; the one who actually commits a crime, either by his own hand, or by an inanimate agency, or by an innocent human agent. Johnson v. State, 303 Md. 487, 495 A.2d 1, 12. He is the one who, with the requisite mental state, engages in the act or omission concurring with the mental state which causes the criminal result
@ principal in the second degree
To be a principal in the second degree, one must be present at the commission of a criminal offense and aid, counsel, command, or encourage the principal in the first degree in the commission of that offense. This requirement of presence may be fulfilled by constructive presence. A person is constructively present when he is physically absent from the situs of the crime but aids and abets the principal in the first degree at the time of the offense from some distance.
The person for whom a broker executes an order, or a dealer buying or selling for his own account. The term "principal" may also refer to a person's capital or to the face amount of a bond. Law of agency. The term "principal" describes one who has permitted or directed another (i.e. agent or servant) to act for his benefit and subject to his direction and control, such that the acts of the agent become binding on the principal.
Principal includes in its meaning the term "master", a species of principal who, in addition to other control, has a right to control the physical conduct of the species of agents known as servants, as to whom special rules are applicable with reference to harm caused by their physical acts.
If, at the time of a transaction conducted by an agent, the other party thereto has notice that the agent is acting for a principal and of the principal's identity, the principal is a disclosed principal. If the other party has notice that the agent is or may be acting for a principal but has no notice of the principal's identity, the principal for whom the agent is acting is a partially disclosed principal. If the other party has no notice that the agent is acting for a principal, the one for whom he acts is an undisclosed principal. Restatement, Second, Agency, No. 4.
Law of guaranty and suretyship.
The person primarily liable, for whose performance of his obligation the guarantor or surety has become bound
@ principal and surety
Relationship between accommodation maker and party accommodated on promissory note is that of "principal and surety." Putney Credit Union v. King, 130 Vt. 86, 286 A.2d 282, 284.
Trust law.
Property as opposed to income. The term is often used to designate the corpus of a trust. If, for example, G places real estate in trust with income payable to A for life and the remainder to B upon A's death, the real estate is the principal or corpus of the trust.
See also Kentucky Rule.
The majority of states have adopted the Uniform Principal and Income Act.
@ vice principal
A vice principal is an employee to whom the master delegates those absolute or nondelegable duties cast upon a master for protection of his employees, and who is in charge of the master's business or any department thereof, and whose duties are exclusively supervision, direction and control of the work of subordinate employees engaged therein, whose duty it is to obey him. Haynie v. Haynie, Okl., 426 P.2d 717, 724.
Vice principal is servant who, in addition to his authority to direct and supervise work of those under him, has authority to hire and discharge a subordinate servant. Sartain v. Southern Nat. Life Ins. Co., Tex.Civ.App., 364 S.W.2d 245, 252

Black's law dictionary. . 1990.

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