Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A head; a principal.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    Principal; leading; head; eminent in power or importance; the most important or valuable of several. Declaration in chief is a declaration for the principal cause of action. 1 Tidd, Pr. 419. Examination in chief is the first examination of a witness by the party who produces him. 1 Greenl. Ev. § 445.
    —Chief baron. The presiding judge of the English court of exchequer; answering to the chief justice of other courts. 3 Bl. Comm. 44; 3 Steph. Comm. 401.
    —Chief Clerk. The principal clerical officer of a bureau or department, who is generally charged, subject to the direction of his superior officer, with the superintendence of the administration of the business of the office.
    —Chief judge. The judge of the London bankruptcy court is so calied. In general, the term is equivalent to "presiding justice" or "presiding magistrate." Bean v. Loryea, 81 CaL 151, 22 Pac. 513,
    —Chief justice. The presiding, eldest, or principal judge of a court of justice.
    —Chief justice of England. The presiding judge in the king's bench division of the high court of justice, and, in the absence of the lord chancellor, presidentyof the high court, and also an ex officio judge of the court of appeals. The full title is "Lord Chief Justice of England."
    —Chief justice of the common pleas. In England. The presiding judge in the court of common pleas, and afterwanis in the common pleas division of the high court of justice, and one of the ex officio judges of the high court of appeal.
    —Chief justiciar. In old English law. A high judicial officer and special magistrate, who presided over the aula regis of the Norman kings, and who was also the principal minister of state, the second man in the kingdom, and, by virtue of his office, guardian of the realm in the king's absence. 3 Bl. Comm. 38.
    —Chief lord. The immediate lord of the fee. to whom the tenants were directly and personally responsible.
    —Chief magistrate. The head of the executive department of government of a nation, state, or municipal corporation. Mclntire v. Ward, 3 Yeates (Pat) 424.
    —Chief pledge. The borsholder, or chief of the borough. Spelman.
    —Chief rents. In English law. Were the annual payments of freeholders of manors ; and were also called "quit-rents," because by paying them the tenant was freed from all other rents or services. 2 Bl. Comm. 42,
    —Chief, tenant in. In English feudal law. All the land in the kingdom was supposed to be holden mediately or immediately of the king, who was styled the "Lord Paramount," or "Lord Above All;" and those that held immediately under him, in right of his crown and dignity, were called his tenants "in capita or "in chief," which was the most honorable species of tenure, but at the same time subjected the tenant to greater and more burdensome services than inferior tenures did. Brown.