ex lege (eks lee-jee orlay-gay). [Latin] By virtue of law; as a matter of law (property forfeited ex lege).

“Antecedent rights ‘in personam’ ... either arise or do not arise out of a contract.... In the latter case, since they arise from facts of various kinds to which it pleases the Law to affix similar results, we shall describe them as rights ‘ex lege’; and it will be convenient to consider the rights which arise thus variously before treating of those which arise solely from contract.... The rights which we describe as arising ‘ex lege’ were described by the Roman lawyers as arising ‘quasi ex contractu,’ and more simply, ‘ex variis causarum figuris.’ ” Thomas E. Holland, The Elements of Jurisprudence 246–47 (13th ed. 1924).

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